Colin Martin, a young playwright/actor made his Playbill On-Line debut on January 29 where he discussed his critically acclaimed play "Virgins & Other Myths," among other things. This one-man show explores Colin's shocking but fascinating personal story about coming out of the closet. He's won a DramaLogue Award & the LA Drama Critics Circle honored him with the coveted award for Creation Performance over Redgrave's "Shakespeare For My Father." Following is the transcript of the event.
Colin Martin: Well actually, the play's not about "coming out of the closet" -- it's more of a psycho-sexual journey. "Coming out" is just one aspect. Katia Lundy (Playbill On-Line): Sounds interesting. Is this your first time at bat . . . I mean on the stage?
Colin Martin: Oh no. I started on stage in "The Music Man" when I was seven .
Katia Lundy (Playbill On-Line): Here's a little more info about our guest.
Katia Lundy (Playbill On-Line): Colin Martin took Los Angeles by storm last theatre season with his solo performance "Virgins & Other Myths" which he also wrote. More than just a one-man show about coming out of the closet, you've heard him say it's a psycho-sexual journey. Colin has won a DramaLogue Performance Award and the L.A. Drama Critics Circle honored him with the coveted award for Creation Performance over Lynn Redgrave's "Shakespeare For My Father."
Katia Lundy (Playbill On-Line): Here's a question from Queaqueg
Question: Mr. Martin: I was pleased to have seen your play here in L.A. and hope to see it in NYC next month. Have you made changes to it?
Colin Martin: Yes there have been a few changes. The first act is pretty much the same, but I've reworked Act II and added a new ending.
Katia Lundy (Playbill On-Line): "Virgins & Other Myths" make its New York debut at Primary Stages -- 354 West 45th Street -- from January 16 - February 25. For tickets please call 212-333-4052.
Katia Lundy (Playbill On-Line): Colin, When you say psycho-sexual journey, what do you mean?
Colin Martin: Well--the play starts with me being mis-diagnosed wiôh AIDS, which makes me ask myself, How did I get here?" And that question leads me on a journey trying to trace when I lost my virginity. But as I try to determine when I lost my virginity, I realize that the definition of virginity is very loose, so I keep having to find another experience that would qualify. This journey forces me to confront my sexual behavior, my self-destructiveness, and irresponsibility. And once I realize my out of control behavior is killing me, I'm forced to try and change it. Easier said than done! To me the play is not about one person--me. It's about a lot of people's experiences with sexuality and the abuse and use of it by themselves and others.
Katia Lundy (Playbill On-Line): Very deep Colin. Hearing you say that, makes one want to re-evaluate ones own life.
Colin Martin: Sexuality is very powerful--in its engagement or in its denial.
Katia Lundy (Playbill On-Line): Here's a question from Da Gambit
Question: Good evening: Is there any plans to film your play? And if so when and where might we see it.
Colin Martin: Ah . . . film. Yes, there has been interest and inquiries about filming it form different people and its something that's being explored. I think a film would be a real challenge--how to explore this story in a way that is accessible to as many people as possible without watering it down. It's such a trip, show-biz. I mean you start off with a specific intention and the more people become involved the more you risk becoming detached from why you started this project in the first place. This is a business and people are always looking to come out on top--and there's nothing wrong with that. It's just a tricky balance.
Katia Lundy (Playbill On-Line): If you do go ahead with filming, would you play yourself? Or who would you like to see play you?
Colin Martin: I would definitely like to hand this job over to someone else. But I think that answer ultimately depends on what kind of movie gets made. I mean, anywhere from a traditional narrative to more of a documentary/concert film.
Katia Lundy (Playbill On-Line): This Q's from Sue485
Question: Your play is terrific. Are you coming back to LA?
Colin Martin: Thanks, Sue. I am definitely coming back to LA--sometime. I don't know if VIRGINS.. will be remounted there or not -- haven't thought that far ahead. And, I have to admit, I'm itching to move forward with some new projects that are in the works.
Katia Lundy (Playbill On-Line): This q's for you from Snowhit85
Question: Do the different endings change the play's message?
Colin Martin: Not ultimately--great question! But I think that the ending now in place is more positive, more future oriented and looking forward. It's not a Hallmark ending, 'cause that's not real. What's real is change and growth and hope. And that's where I think the play leaves off now.
Katia Lundy (Playbill On-Line): Q from Btmsdream
Question: What's it like opening yourself up in such a personal way on stage? Frightening or liberating?
Colin Martin: Wow. Both. I mean, it's not fun going down that road every night all the time. But I think that for me it is ultimately liberating not to live in fear.
Colin Martin: And the play addresses that. The key is to get in touch with the past without re-traumatizing oneself again. Does that make sense?
Katia Lundy (Playbill On-Line): How does a straight audience differ from a gay one in the way they receive your material? Is there a difference?
Colin Martin: I think there's a difference in how they react to different segments--but overall people seem to have varying responses depending on their individual experiences which go far beyond straight or gay. The relationship with sexuality and virginity has some universal themes.
Katia Lundy (Playbill On-Line): Quite an accomplishment winning the creative performance from the L.A. Drama Critic Circle. What were your thoughts when you learned you beat out (so to speak) "Shakespeare for My Father?"
Colin Martin: Thanks--I couldn't have been more stunned. It was very generous of them. I don't think that I had many thoughts at the time--I was in shock--I remember sitting back down at the table and asking my friend, "What did I say?" But I have to say it was an incredible honor just to be nominated with as brilliant an artist as Lynn Redgrave.
Colin Martin: Excuse me, that's nominated.
Colin Martin: Obviously I'm not a brilliant typist!
Katia Lundy (Playbill On-Line): But you are one brilliant playwright/actor. Queaqueg's question . . .
Question: Do you find the NYC audiences any different than those here in L.A.? Good question--I'm not sure. I'm not sure because I know I've changed since I did the play in LA so I don't know if my perceptions are different or the audiences are different. NYC is definitely more of a theater town, and more versed in a variety of theater so I think they're tough audiences. But LA was no pushover. I think what's most different is that in LA nobody heard of VIRGINS.. before it opened--it came out of the blue. While in NYC there's an awareness as a result of LA and therefore there are expectations . . . and audiences want you to meet or surpass their expectations, of course.
Katia Lundy (Playbill On-Line): This question comes from btms
Question: Is there such a thing as a casting couch in the biz? Or is that a thing of the past?
Colin Martin: You should ask my mangers that question! I have never experienced the couch--but I've never sought it out, either. This business is made up of all types, and there are many roads to Rome, and I'm sure there are couches at the rest stops along the way.
Katia Lundy (Playbill On-Line): Question from MShernoff
Question: How did your family react to seeing your piece?
Colin Martin: Well, I can't really speak for them and their reactions except to say that they have been extremely supportive of me as a person and an artist, and I have depended on them, learned from them, and am inspired by them through all our imperfections and struggles.
Katia Lundy (Playbill On-Line): You've mention you are anxious to work on other pending projects, can you tell us what other things you are working on?
Colin Martin: Well, I'm auditioning as an actor; but I have several projects that I am trying to develop as a writer. They include plays and screenplays--I love to write, but it is the most difficult thing for me to do and the most consuming. Also, it's more of a long-term endeavor, because the results take longer to develop and I get impatient and want quicker results. I also enjoy directing very much and hope to do that again soon. I think Bruce Blair, my brilliant director and collaborator, will definitely be working together again. Specifically we enjoy developing new work.
Question: What's the most unusual comment you've gotten from an audience member after seeing the show?
Colin Martin: Well . . .There's a range from the absurd to the sublime . . .I'm very moved by people who write or talk about how the play affected them or in what ways they could identify with it. Also, by people who discovered things they were unaware of previous to seeing the play. I get a little put off with people's preoccupation with who certain characters are in real life--this play is not about outing people, it's about outing behavior.
Katia Lundy (Playbill On-Line): Has Lynn Redgrave seen your play, possibly in disguise
Colin Martin: No, I don't think so. But I would be extremely nervous if she came.
Katia Lundy (Playbill On-Line): We have time for one more question and Colin has to get some rest.
Colin Martin: Rest?
Katia Lundy (Playbill On-Line): I guess with a busy schedule like yours, you do not know the meaning. I think this is a pal of yours . . .
Comment : Colin, Hi this is Michael Shernoff, and since we played phone tag today, I thought I would catch you on line. What fun!!
Colin Martin: Hi.
Katia Lundy (Playbill On-Line): Well, actually that wasn't a q, just a friend saying hi. Here's a true Q from Da G
Comment: True, film could never match the feeling of a live play. The echo, the sound, the smell, but some of us live in places where there is little or no live stage performances. I can see what you mean about other people watering down or changing your work.
Katia Lundy (Playbill On-Line): Colin I think we are done! Thank you so much for stopping by.
Katia Lundy (Playbill On-Line): I would like to remind everyone that "Virgins & Other Myths" make its New York debut at Primary Stages -- 354 West 45th Street -- from January 16 - February 25. For Tickets please call 212-333-4052.
Colin Martin: Gee, thanks.
Katia Lundy (Playbill On-Line): And remember folks your premiere theatre source is Playbill On-Line! Good night!
Colin Martin: G'night!
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