Friday, August 19, 2016
Spotlight On...Eric Cotti
Hometown: Hanford, CA
Education: B.S. in Business Administration: Marketing and a Minor in Theater Arts from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo
Select Credits: Stanley Stubbers in One Man, Two Guvnors, Edgar Allan Poe in The Raven Doesn’t Talk, Sailor in NLTP’s In The Soundless Awe, Yasha in The Cherry Orchard
Why theater?: It’s about community. Of all the mediums there is nothing like a live audience beyond the lights that you must reach each night with a new story for the first time. There is a palpable element of danger and freedom that makes it fun to ride the edge. It is temporary and can only be experienced from singular moment to singular moment, just like life.
Who do you play in Bodies Of Water?: I play Benny, who is an actor and is visiting his two best friends, Jason and Margot, with his new girlfriend Claire for the Labor Day weekend. He is an impulsive, optimistic and charming guy who sees the best in people.
Tell us about Bodies Of Water: Three artists and an elementary school teacher meet up to spend a summer weekend together. The past is brought into the present and we all find out what lurks inside each of us when the storm starts to hit. Working on this play, I find myself being immersed deeper and deeper into the layers of this story and the relationships filled with secrets, hopes and regrets. Storytelling is prevalent throughout this play and is used to address the power and necessity of the stories we tell ourselves every day. Friendship is displayed with great love and laughs and tested to its breaking point. Also, there is an impending storm throughout the course of the play that is bringing with it more than just rain, thunder and lightning.
What is it like being a part of Bodies Of Water?: I could not have hoped for a better possible play to be doing at this point in my life. The creative team behind this play are powerhouses and my fellow actors I get to share the stage with are dynamite performers. I cannot wait to share this wonderful world premier play with every audience member able to attend.
What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Theater that dares for ultimate specificity from everything on stage to hold up the play and the story for the audience. Personally, I am drawn to stories that explore ambitious or powerful figures going through existential and/or moral crisis. Finding courage in the face of fear and serving my community to shed darkness and give room for the light within ourselves to shine. This fosters understanding within us and our community; in the process healing both toward their ultimate potential of greatness. THAT and The Rock’s Instagram feed, dude knows how to motivate. Playwrights that inspire me: Harold Pinter, Arthur Miller, and Lucas Hnath. My teachers and mentors that have changed my life: John, Jessica, D, Josh, Al, Larry, Terry, Robert & Michelle and many others.
Any roles you’re dying to play?: Joe in Golden Boy and Romeo are currently near the top of the list... down the line, Hamlet and Fox in Speed-the-Plow. Way down the line... King Lear.
What’s your favorite showtune?: "Singin’ in the Rain"
If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Mark Rylance
Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Montgomery Clift in "The Power of Will".
If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: The original Elia Kazan production of A Streetcar Named Desire.
What show have you recommended to your friends?: Besides Bodies of Water... The Debate Society’s upcoming show The Light Years at Playwrights Horizons. I love those folks and their last play Jacuzzi was a paramount theater viewing experience.
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Iced Coffee that makes me a night owl.
What’s up next?: A short film I will be writing, directing and starring in about one man’s mission to take down the corporation that wronged his family. As well as, the next draft of a full length play that examines the struggles of two young men as they leave boyhood behind.
For more on Eric, visit www.ericcotti.com. For more on Bodies of Water, visit http://www.bodiesofwaternyc.com/