Saturday, March 2, 2013

Spotlight On...Chris Harcum

Name: Chris Harcum

High Point, North Carolina  

3 degrees in Acting.

Favorite Credits: I like mixing things up—classical, new works, different styles—so I’m not sure. Sometimes you do a great project but the people you work with spoil it or no one comes to see it for who knows what reason. My favorite moments in shows are when the audience has a laugh that takes them by surprise or drops down to a place of deep listening and understanding. I’ve experienced this doing intense dramas, solo shows and children’s theater. I like things that change me during the course of working on them.

Why theater?:
It found me when I was young.

Tell us about Two Lovely Black Eyes:
It’s my 11th solo show. It’s a comedy about escalating violence, trust and America’s gun culture.

What inspired you to create Two Lovely Black Eyes?:
Seeing some great work in Edinburgh, the incident in Aurora, Colorado and some personal stuff that is revealed during the show.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I have a broad range of things I like. I don’t like artists who have not put in enough time on the work or are self-indulgent. I don’t like seeing things that feel like a homework assignment that was slapped together the night before. I do like thinking, “I can’t believe they did that.” I often ask, “What would Bill Irwin do?” Not just on stage but in life as well. I do things better when I do that. I’m inspired by a lot of my colleagues in the indie theater scene.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?:
I understand Steven Soderbergh is giving up Hollywood and doing other things, including theater.

What show have you recommended to your friends?:
In the FRIGID, I recommend The Vindlevoss Family Circus Spectacular and Generic Magic Realism. Both are nicely done and really delightful to watch.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Oddly enough, a film director friend suggested he shoot a documentary about the making of my next solo show. I hope the score is good because it will be a lot of scenes of just me typing.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Green tea and a large cookie.

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: I picked up the harmonica for this show. I’ve been thinking about becoming a blues man as I get older. I can get rougher looking and it won’t matter. Also, I can get some mileage out of all the bad patches in my life.

What’s up next?: My company, Elephant Run District, will be hosting more Stampede Labs in April. We also are planning something big in the summer. I’ve been asked to play the title role in a workshop of Richard III and am working on a screenplay. I am also working on another draft of The Devil in Ms. Spelvin, based on the memoir by the porn chic actress.