InterVIEWS-day TUESday: Phil Blechman

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.

Full name: Philip Edward Blechman (Call me Phil. Or Blechman. Or handsome.)

What is your involvement in Araca Project 2012?
I am the part of the producing team for The Black Book as well as the writer/director.

Describe your show in one sentence. No semi-colons.
A suspense-thriller love story trapped inside mental chess game puzzlebox.

What is your favorite thing about your show?  No spoilers.
Its really intricate, forces you to think, and keeps you guessing all the way through.

What was the first show you worked on in any capacity?
I was in Les Miserables in high school. I played Joly which is one of the students as well as the look out on the barricade. I’ve loved heights ever since.

What is your biggest show catastrophe, on stage or off?
I was playing Gaston in Beauty and the Beast and accidentally punched the Beast double in the face in our fight scene cracking open his lip which then swelled and stayed swollen for 2 weeks after. The following night I fell off the balcony of the castle and broke my right hand. We had to restage both the fight and all my choreography because I did the entire run of the show in a splint. Who’d a thought Beauty and the Beast was so brutal?

What are your top 3 theatre experiences (as an audience member or participant)?
1. The Black Book world premiere in Syracuse this past December.
2. The world premiere of another play of mine titled The Unwritten Code my sophomore year of high school in Syracuse.
3. Producing and directing my father’s play Debbie, Joyce, Caren & the Dragon.

What was your favorite college restaurant?
Anything sushi will always get me. But I’d have to go the Unique Tea House on Marshall St. at Syracuse University. I liked it so much, I worked there for a year and a half, got experimental as a drink maker and attempted to make different flavors not on the menu and ultimately got fired for it. So even after getting fired, it’s still my favorite place. The taro green tea with no sugar, no milk is the end all, be all of drinks everywhere.

What is your earliest memory?
I don’t know if it’s my earliest but it’s the one that sparked into my mind; I was a catcher before getting into theatre and I remember one day I was behind the plate talking one of the batters as he was up to bat, both because I’m a conversationalist behind the plate and also to break their focus, and he ended up standing way far back in the box, swung and smashed my left hand with his bat. Oddly enough it didn’t hurt and I shook it off, but I think about how it’s full of poetic justice when I broke my hand years later in Beauty and the Beast.

What is your internet and/or social media obsession?
I am a huge Magic: The Gathering player. Both casually and competitively. I read articles/watch videos on,,, etc. daily. I wish Manhattan had a place to play Magic because it is my favorite hobby. I’m hoping a shop will open up in the next few years or if I strike it rich, I’ll open up a shop with some friends of mine. It’s the greatest game ever made.

If you were a Friends character, who would you be?
Honestly, I’ve seen so few episodes of friends that I couldn’t tell you which character is who. But I’d love to be any character on Spartacus. Does that count? [Editor’s note: We’ll take it.]

What was your favorite movie in each decade of your life?
In the ‘90s, I really like Snatch (I’m a huge Brad Pitt fan), for 2000-2010; Darjeeling Limited is just so good. And in the last 2 years; Social Network.

What is your favorite Olympic event?
Soccer. It’s like a 2 year prelim to the World Cup. And I love me some World Cup.


Coffee or tea? Tea.

Mad Men or Breaking Bad? Spartacus.

Mac or PC? Mac.

Manhattan or Brooklyn? Manhattan currently, could change soon.

Hiking or biking? Hiking.

Thanks, Phil!  Stay tuned for more InterVIEWS next TUES!