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 which Friends character they most resemble. This week, we’re celebrating the beginning of One Night Only’s run in Chicago (starting tomorrow! get your tix HERE) by bringing you not one, but TWO interviews from One Night Only ensemble members. Here’s #2: Matthew Van Colton, who did not send me a photo like Katie did so I internet stalked him. Enjoy!
Full name: Matthew Van Colton
What is your involvement in Araca Project 2012?
I am an actor in One Night Only, a completely improvised musical, which opens September 11, 2012.
Describe your show in one sentence. No semi-colons.
It’s pretty much like that movie Mulholland Drive except that it is nothing like Mulholland Drive.
What is your favorite thing about your show (no spoilers!)?
Those moments when the “magic” happens…when you connect with the other performers, and the audience and the music all at once. Because we’re making everything up as we go along, it is even more special than when it happens in a scripted show.
What was the first show you worked on in any capacity?
I brought startling realness to the role of Santa Claus in a school show when I was 6 or 7.
What is your biggest show catastrophe, on stage or off?
Pretty recently I split my pants doing (overenthusiastic) warm-ups about 4 minutes before I was supposed to be on stage. Luckily, a couple of clever people safety-pinned me and the show went right on.
What are your top 3 theatre experiences (as an audience member or participant)?
1. As a pretty young kid, I had the opportunity to sing by myself in front of some 1,000+ crowds both in an opera and at a public festival. Even at a young age, I knew those were special experiences.
2. In my late teens, I got to see a professional production of one of my favorite musicals, Assassinsby Stephen Sondheim. It’s dark, the subject matter is dark & political, and the show has some real depth. I felt like I “got it” and was excited to view musical theatre through a new, adult lens.
3. The first show I performed in as a member of Actor’s Equity was here in Chicago. It was quintessential Chicago theatre: gritty, dirty, small, tough. I got to do an accent and cry and be drunk and get in a fight all in the same show! I got kind reviews and the show was an audience hit. I felt like I’d won the jackpot.
What was your favorite college restaurant?
Shakespeare’s Pizza in Columbia, Missouri. I just drooled a little.
What is your earliest memory?
From today? Can you remind me which day it is again?
What is your internet and/or social media obsession?
I still call the internet “the web”. I’m like, waaayyy behind.
If you were a Friends character, who would you be?
I’d like to say Joey, but friends would probably tell you Phoebe.
What was your favorite movie in each decade of your life?
What is your favorite Olympic event?
Coffee or tea? Coffee please.
Mad Men or Breaking Bad? Sportscenter.
Mac or PC? Whatever you put in front of me and give me step-by-step instructions how to use.
Manhattan or Brooklyn? A Manhattan with two cherries and no ice, please.
Hiking or biking? Yes! Both! And walking and running…
BONUS. Check out this vid introducing Matthew and ONO to the world: