Thursday, August 25, 2016
Spotlight On...Jesse LaVercombe
Hometown: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Education: The National Theatre School of Canada, Canadian Film Centre
Favorite Credits: For the past two years, all of my acting work has been in new Canadian plays, which is what excites me most about the industry right now. Our Beautiful Sons by Christopher Morris, Seams by Polly Phokeev, Mistatim by Erin Shields, Hacked by Paul Kirby, and S H E E T S by Salvatore Antonio were some highlights.
Tell us about Love Me Forever Billy H. Tender: It’s a play for one actor about the three members of the Tender family: Billy H., a pop star in crisis; Stella, his theatre-theorist mother; and Hal, his adoring and distraught teenage brother - following them all through the fateful day of January 31st, 2021.
What inspired you to write Love Me Forever Billy H. Tender?: You know that textbook symptom of OCD in kids, where they get really anxious at dinner if their peas are touching their mashed potatoes? I feel that way about pop culture. It’s creeping out of its designated area and inserting entertainment where entertainment is actually profoundly unhelpful, and, like a child suffering from OCD, it makes me really anxious. I also think that I’m writing about insomnia.
What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Theatre that is engaged with its own inherent and unavoidable liveness. I also like complicated structures that, as soon as I find my footing, start to shift out from under me.
If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: 2b Theatre, based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia. They’re badass.
What show have you recommended to your friends?: At the Fringe? Dad, from this company in Denmark. It’s heartbreaking and so smart, and the two performers are charismatic as hell and almost infuriatingly beautiful. https://thedadperformance.com - don’t miss it.
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Heroin. Black. Tar. Heroin. #sorrynotsorry
If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: Maybe a teacher…? I like to think that I’d be a good english teacher, but now that I’ve written that I’m very self-conscious of the fact that there are probably at least seven egregious errors in this one interview.
What’s up next?: I’m working on some films in the fall, and then I’m in the Toronto premiere of a play called Sequence at the Tarragon Theatre in the winter.
For more on Jesse and Love Me Forever Billy H. Tender, visit www.jesselavercombe.com/billy