Saturday, August 15, 2015
Spotlight On...Shyaporn Theerakulstit
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA. Long-time New York City resident.
Education: New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, BFA
Favorite Credits: Creating comedy videos online (YouTube.com/Shyaporn), Prospero in The Tempest, Lt. Hikaru Sulu in Star Trek: New Voyages, Closing speaker at the Smithsonian’s “Future is Here” Festival.
Why theater?: Well, since theater will be dead soon, I thought we should spend a little time together.
Tell us about The Absolutely True Science Of Nerds: The Absolutely True Science of Nerds is a comedic series of three, scientific(ish) lectures on how to become Batman, the technology of Star Wars vs. that of Star Trek, and Godzilla biology. In addition to the presentations, there will be musical numbers, burlesque performances and audience Q&A.
What inspired you to create The Absolutely True Science Of Nerds?: There is a lecture series called Nerd Nite that happens in cities around the world. They are like TED Talks, but with considerably more alcohol. After attending a few, I thought, “Well, this looks like fun,” and simply asked the founder, Matt Wasowski, if anyone had ever done anything about Godzilla, which just happened to be the first one of my fandoms to spring to mind. He said no, so not too long after I found myself giving my lecture, “Godzilla: History, Biology and Behavior of Hyper-evolved Theropod Kaiju” to a pretty great reception. I was invited back several times to give the presentation at Nerd Nite and other venues, such as C2E2 in Chicago and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. In the intervening years, I’d written or outlined other presentations on nerd culture as well, so I decided to bite the bullet and put them all together into one show for FringeNYC.
What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I enjoy theater (and art in general) that either strives to perfect an existing form, or breaks with convention while applying the same rigor and discipline to developing something new as those creators in the mainstream. Whether you’re doing a Broadway musical with an enormous budget, or a small, experimental performance piece in a storefront, I appreciate effort and attention to creative detail. And I’ve actually been quite inspired by the other FringeNYC participants. I started a "Science of Nerds" podcast on Soundcloud where I’ve been interviewing other Fringe participants, and it’s been great hearing where their shows began, how their run to the festival is going and sharing stories of procrastination and other feelings of impending doom.
If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: My artistic heroes growing up were those who were able to combine comedy and storytelling. Bill Irwin, for example, is a long time idol of mine, as well as Steve Martin.
What show have you recommended to your friends?: If you mean theater, I always recommend Sleep No More to anyone visiting NYC. The immersive nature and attention to detail in that piece is astonishing and leaves a lasting impression. If media in general, "Hannibal" is one of the most under appreciated shows on television right now. NBC just cancelled it, of course, because NBC can’t have nice things.
Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Well, ideally, **I** would play me in a movie about me. And it might be called, “There And Back Again, With A LOT Of Procrastinating In Between.”
If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: Either Shogun: The Musical or The Red Shoes: The Musical. I actually saw both of them on Broadway, but I’d like to confirm that they were actually as bad as I remember. I think I may have fallen asleep during part of The Red Shoes…
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Falling asleep during bad musicals.
If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: Financially secure.
What’s up next?: I plan on shooting a web series I wrote many years ago called “Unemployed Hitman”, The title is fairly self-explanatory – it’s based on a short film I shot a long while back, which you can find on my YouTube channel. And I’ll continue making comedy and commentary videos for the channel, as well as posting excerpts from my FringeNYC show. Aside from those things, I’ve always wanted to be a correspondent on The Daily Show, so I think I’ll start bugging folks about that.
For more on The Absolutely True Science of Nerds, visit http://www.ScienceofNerds.com and Facebook.com/ScienceofNerds. For more on Shyaporn, visit http://www.shyaporn.com