Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Spotlight On...Kevin Jaeger and Alex Mitchell
KJ: Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
AM: East Windsor, New Jersey
KJ: Florida State University
KJ: As an actor, Louie in Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up? and Joseph Wykowski in Biloxi Blues.
AM: Performing as Private Louden Downey in A Few Good Men, Noah Countability in Billionaires for Bush and singing aboard the Norwegian Majesty.
KJ: As writers, I think we can definitely agree that the upcoming World Premiere of Spot on the Wall in the 2015 New York Musical Theatre Festival is our favorite credit.
AM: Absolutely. Hands down.
AM: Because live theater is one of the most honest and intimate ways to tell a story. The connection that is created and the communal experience that is shared between audiences and performers when the curtain rises and the lights come up--there's nothing like it in the world.
Tell us about Spot on the Wall:
KJ: Spot on the Wall is a musical about the beautiful forms of art and self-expression that are born out of love, loss, and grief. Paul Hunter, a photographer, is preparing for an exhibition of his artwork that focuses on his mother's recent lost battle with cancer. As Paul and those close to him are forced to face their past on the walls of the museum, they learn to appreciate the ugly side of life and see the beauty in the stories we live.
What inspired you to write Spot on the Wall?:
AM: We both began as actors, so I think first and foremost we were inspired to create a show that actors would want to do. Actors are the instruments of storytelling in theater and giving them a piece they can really sink their teeth into was something we were very focused on.
KJ: We were also inspired by elements of Greek mythology. I have a degree in Classical Civilizations with a focus on Ancient Greco-Roman Society and Culture--
AM: And I've always loved mythology.
KJ: So we were both excited about creating a contemporary story with allusions to classical mythology.
What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?:
AM: Theater that is honest and original. Pieces that inspire you to think and question things. Shows that push the boundaries of storytelling and reimagine the strengths and limitations of the live theater experience.
KJ: People like Jeanine Tesori, Lisa Kron, Simon Stephens, Marianne Elliott, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tracy Letts, and the incomparable Stephen Sondheim continue to raise the bar and advance the art form of live theater.
If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?:
KJ: We've definitely fantasized about working with people like Audra McDonald, Michael Cerveris, Brian d'Arcy James, and Lindsay Mendez...but to be honest, we have been amazingly blessed with the people we've been able to work with so far! Our cast and creative team for the NYMF production of Spot on the Wall is an absolute dream team, so we're pretty lucky guys!
AM: As long as we can continue to work with people who are passionate about telling stories, we're happy.
What show have you recommended to your friends?:
KJ: Fun Home and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
AM: Two of the best shows we've ever seen. Just amazing. Everyone should run and see both of these productions.
Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?:
KJ: Chris Pratt...in his chubbier "Parks and Recreation" days...and it would probably be called "Finding the Words".
AM: Eddie Redmayne and it would be called "A Search Within".
If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?:
KJ: The opening night of Sweeney Todd on Broadway!
AM: Anything produced by The Group Theater in the 1930's!
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?:
KJ and AM: AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR!!
KJ: We've been watching it for a few seasons now and we're obsessed! We never miss an episode.
AM: But it's not really a guilty pleasure...I mean, I don't feel guilty about it.
KJ: Because Alex is going to be on it one day.
AM: Exactly. First goal: Establish Jaeger/Mitchell on the Musical Theater scene. Second Goal: American Ninja Warrior. But really. I'm serious.
If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?:
AM: Music Therapy with children.
KJ: Teaching High School English.
What’s up next?:
AM: We hope for a continued life for Spot on the Wall after our run in the New York Musical Theatre Festival, but we also have a few new shows in the works.
KJ: We have a new piece with the working title Everything No One Should Know that we're excited to develop...plus we have some other ideas we're working on. We've got a lot of stories and we're so excited to share them.
AM: Plus...there's American Ninja Warrior--
KJ: Of course, can't forget about that.
For more on Spot on the Wall, visit spotonthewall.com and nymf.org.