Friday, May 12, 2017

Spotlight On...Jef Canter

Name: Jef Canter (Jef with one F)

Hometown: Tallahassee, FL

Education: BS Marketing Florida State University; Young Actors Studio

Select Credits: I loved playing Dr. Watson in the East Coast Premier of Watson at Gretna Theatre and playing 21 different roles in Around the World in 80 Days. I’ve also had the privilege to play Clarence the Angel in two different productions of It’s a Wonderful Life and to return to my hometown to perform Bottom the Weaver in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Southern Shakespeare Festival.

Why theater?: Theatre is my love because of the audience. You have the ability to interact with them, to play off their energy, to make them laugh, cry or think. Nothing beats it because each show is a living breathing creation that is special and unique each time you perform it.

Who do you play in Giovanni The Fearless?: I play Jacopo Bombasto, (pronounced Ya-co-po), the patriarch and leader of a family troupe of commedia dell’arte actors.

Tell us about Giovanni The Fearless: Giovanni The Fearless is a wonderful new show with something for everyone. We describe it as a family-friendly commedia dell’arte folk opera. It’s a story about love, a troupe of travelling actors, a deserted castle and a couple of ghosts. This is the first full professional production of this work with book and lyrics by Carolyn Balducci and music composed by Mira J. Spektor. It’s directed by Lissa Moira, whom I’m pleased to be working with for the second time. The music is beautiful and it will be a treat for kids and adults as well. We will be performing at the iconic Theater for the New City in the Village from May 12 – 21.

What is it like being a part of Giovanni The Fearless?: It’s a thrill to be able to originate a new role and bring new works to life. The show has wonderful music and the style of the acting is very playful. It will be the first time I’ve ever gotten to play a giant ghost puppet on stage which should be a lot of fun!

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I love it all from straight plays to musicals, classics to contemporary. There are so many amazing stories to be told. But I love and live for the comedic roles and making people laugh. I am inspired by great performances and there are so many to see it would be hard to choose just one.

Any roles you’re dying to play?: Dave in Full Monty, Freddy in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Billis in South Pacific, Thernardier in Les Mis. I also played Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof in my community theater days and would love to play the role professionally.

What’s your favorite showtune?: That’s a hard one. Maybe “There is Nothing Like a Dame” from South Pacific or “Big Ass Rock” from The Full Monty.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Wow… writers like Tim Minchen, Alan Menken, Lin Manuel Miranda… directors like Casey Nicholaw, John Doyle, Jack O’Brian… Anyone who wants me for their Broadway show!

Who would play you in a movie about yourself, and what would it be called?: If I couldn’t play myself, I think maybe Jack Black or Zach Galifianakis. It would be called “Jump and You’ll Find the Net” which is one of the philosophies I try to live by.

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: I’d love to see the original production of Fiddler with Zero Mostel.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: I can’t say enough good things about Groundhog Day!

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and buffalo wings!

What’s up next?: Earlier in the year, I played Michael Larson in a staged reading of a new musical called Big Bucks: The Press Your Luck Scandal. It’s an amazing new piece of work, written by Brandon Sturiale, and I’m excited to be going into the recording studio to record some demo tracks to help take the show to a full-staged production. I’m looking for my next immediate gig… so if you’re looking?

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