Welcome to InterVIEWS-day TUESday! (Say it out loud. It rhymes.) Each week, we’ll feature a different Araca Project participant answering questions on all the hard-hitting issues, like what celebrity encapsulates their show. This week, we’re celebrating the team behind October in the Chair and other Fragile Things, Fisher Neil! Seatbelts fastened? Good. Let’s go.
1. What is your involvement in Araca Project 2014?
I am the Managing Director of Old Sound Room, so that means that I’m doing a majority of the administrative paperwork involved in producing “October in the Chair and other Fragile Things”, from negotiating our LOA with Equity to handling our money to writing and signing contracts with designers and such.
2. Describe your show in 17 words.
“October” is an adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s short stories which are as imaginative as they are fun.
3. If your show was a celebrity who would it be?
It’s already a celebrity: Neil Gaiman.Duh.Unless you’ve never heard of him, in which case it is a love chlld between Michael Caine and Tim Burton.
4. If you could be any character in the show, who would you be? Why?
I would like to be October because of the wisdom and depth of the little thing he says to November at the end of our play.
5. What was the first show you worked on in any capacity?
I would have to say that was when I played Percy in the play version of “The Beverly Hillbillies” in high school.
6. What is your biggest show catastrophe/embarrassment, on stage or off?
There are so many!The biggest is probably from a recent production of Titus Andronicus at Yale in which I played both Chiron and Quintus.My first big entrance as Chiron was an epic two minute long sword battle with my brother, and in the first phrase of the first performance on a two show day the other actor caught my hand with his broadsword and smashed my pinky open right in front of the audience.I continued with the fight, and in the section where we fought on the balcony I stepped off the edge and very badly grated my shin against a steel I-beam.I was unable to leave the stage for several minutes as I switched back and forth between characters, limping and bleeding all over the stage.When I finally got off I had about 60 seconds to tell the SM I could finish the show, tape the thing up, and get back out there and attack Lavinia, who did not know that I was injured and fought me accordingly.The second show started 45 minutes late because I was getting stitches, and the fights went off without a hitch despite having a huge splint on my fingers, but the carnage wasn’t over.To top it all off, my final death moment utterly failed.I was tied up to a pole in my underwear with my hands above my head, holding an IV bag that would cover me in blood when Titus slit my throat.Instead of working, the blood exploded onto the ceiling, then splashed on top of my head, dripping throughout the remaining scene.The audience was in stitches, and being naked and stuck in that position I had no way to hide the fact that I was thrown by all of this, so the audience laughed even more, and finally I started laughing uncontrollably despite supposedly being dead.It was quite a day.
7. What are your top 3 (Yes only 3) theatre experiences (as an audience member or participant)?
The time I saw “Once on this Island” in high school that made me want to try acting.The time that I unexpectedly met Arthur Miller at a show I was in at Williamstown the same day that I read “Death of a Salesman” for the first time.The first time I felt I was in control of the audience from the stage, which was during the Jud Fry’s Cabin scene in “Oklahoma” during my senior year in high school.
8. What is your guilty pleasure TV show?
You ‘ve probably never heard of it:The Crush with Lee and Tiffany
9. What is your internet and/or social media obsession?
Google Maps.I like to know where things are, and I can’t get enough of the satellite imagery.
10. What’s the one movie you’d actually like to see as a stage show?
For the longest time it was “Bullets Over Broadway”, and now that this has failed, I feel responsible and think the best thing for everyone is that I should stop thinking of movies I’d like to see on the stage.
1. Musical or Play?
2. Too Hot or Too Cold?
3. Wine or Beer?
4. Olympics or X-Games?
5. Proscenium or Thrust?
Definitely Thrust.The only way to do right by Shakespeare in my opinion.