Monday, September 26, 2016

Spotlight On...Weston Chandler Long

Name:  Weston Chandler Long

Hometown: Waterford, CT
Education: Currently attending Pace University

Select Credits: The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show (Off-Broadway); John Tartaglia's ImaginOcean (National Tour); Reusable the Musical, Luna's Sea (New York).

Why theater?: After a failed attempt playing soccer at age five, I did my first community theater show and I was immediately hooked. More than any other kind of acting, theater offers an immediacy, connection, and sense of trust with an audience. Everything is left on the stage, no do-overs. It's a great thing to form that bond with audiences day after day.

Who do you play in That Golden Girls Show! A Puppet Parody?: I play Dorothy Zbornak, a woman in her golden years who lives in Miami with her two best friends and her mother. (I can honestly say that I never thought I would ever have an answer like that in my career!)

Tell us about That Golden Girls Show!: It's a parody of the beloved television series, but with all of the four main women portrayed via puppetry. It's a love letter to the series first and foremost, with plenty of recognizable moments that fans will love, and a respect for the characters as the audiences recognize them.

What is it like being a part of That Golden Girls Show!?: It sounds funny to say, but it's probably one of the most challenging roles I've ever played. I know the show is so loved by so many people, which is a daunting thought as it is. And although what we are doing is a parody, I wanted to play this character that so many people know and love with as much homage to the original as possible. Luckily, the cast dynamic is so wonderful that I have felt comfortable to experiment with it. We all get along so well and I learn so much from all of them.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I love to laugh, so I love shows that are funny. I think the world is serious enough, so I personally like to use theater as an escape to find some joy.

Any roles you’re dying to play?: Well, as a puppeteer, any role in Avenue Q would be a total dream. But I would also love to play roles as a human actor as well. I'm a huge holiday nerd, so I think something like Buddy in Elf would be the most fun in the world.

What’s your favorite showtune?: I find myself singing "Beautiful" from Ordinary Days more than anything else.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: I've worked under him a few times, but I would love to act alongside John Tartaglia. He's the nicest guy and I feel like he would be so much fun to play off of.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: I thought about this a lot, but at this stage in my life I don't feel like a film about me would have very much to say yet. Hopefully in the future I would have more of a story worth telling and can hold a casting call then. As for the title, I'm leaning towards Jaws 2.

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?:  There are so many. I'm such fans of original cast recordings that I would like to go back in time and see some of my favorite shows with their original Broadway casts that I just missed out on seeing, no matter how recent it was. I feel like seeing something like RENT with its original cast would be an experience and energy that couldn't be matched.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: I really plug shows that I have been in with my friends, to the point where they grow so sick of me.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: I watch The Great British Bake Off more often than I care to admit. And then I actually bake desserts. And then I want to watch the show some more. It's a vicious cycle.

What’s up next?: With this business, this is a question that never has a definite answer. I love to work, and will work whenever I have the opportunity to. But for right now, I am enjoying my time with Golden Girls. I hope everyone who comes to see it enjoys it, too.