Friday, November 11, 2016

Spotlight On...Byron Loyd

Name: Byron Loyd

Hometown:  Chattanooga, Tennessee

Education:  Undergrad: Southwestern at Memphis, MFA and Phil in Theater from Columbia (ABD)

Favorite Credits:  Acting--Sandy Tyrell in Hay Fever, Joe in The Time Of Your Life, Cliff Lewis in Look Back In Anger.  Off-Broadway:  Bobbi Boland

Why theater?: I couldn't catch the ball or throw the ball but I could do spot-on imitations. I went to a boarding school where we all had to stand up and give what was called a declamation to the entire student body. I used my skills as a mimic on that occasion and, to my delight, got lots of laughs and a rousing ovation. From that moment on I've been an addict.

Tell us about Rebel Boy Fireworks: One night an actor friend and I were having dinner before going to a play.  We were trying to figure out how to jump start our careers.  She urged me to tell some of my outlandish stories about my family's fireworks business and told me that Gretchen Cryer would be the ideal mentor for such a one-man show.  Well, that night at the theater guess who was sitting next to us?  Gretchen Cryer!  My friend introduced us and I knew I had to follow up on the lead. Through Gretchen's guidance I wrote one of Miss Esther's rants.  It was the first patch in this crazy quilt.  Meanwhile, I had the inspiration to team up with Susan Morse, another escapee from the Deep South and the funniest lady on two legs.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I think I love anything that has humor and kicks deep. In that regard I've always loved Tennessee Williams. I continue to mourn Charles Ludlam.  His performance as Maria Callas in Galas, A Modern Tragedy was diamond brilliant.

If you could work with anyone you've yet to work with, who would it be?: Well, there are some folk at TOSOS I admire greatly.  Christoper Borg is so versatile and committed. Of course like everyone else I'd give anything to watch Meryl Streep prepare for a performance. She always brings such love to her work and is never less than astonishing.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: The Front Page--I love a stage full of actors.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: I could see Jack Lemon or James Cordon playing me. I guess you could call it:  "Byron Loyd Keeps the Faith".

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: Any Shakespeare play at the Globe, Eleanora Duse in Ghosts, Laurette Taylor in The Glass Menagerie, Mary Martin in South Pacific, Ethel Merman in Gypsy.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: The coconut cake in Good Enough to Eat--and no, I wasn't paid for the endorsement.

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: I love the ritual of selling and, not to brag, I'm the fastest typist this side of the Mississippi.

What next?: Susan and I are marketing the multi-character version of Rebel Boy Fireworks and we are starting to collaborate on another comedy.  As an actor I'm co-starring with a friend in a gay version of Prisoner On Second Avenue.  We plan to do a reading in February.