Cue & A: Steven Pasquale on The Wild Party, Sloppy Stage Kisses and the Importance of Not Being a Jerk

News   Cue & A: Steven Pasquale on The Wild Party, Sloppy Stage Kisses and the Importance of Not Being a Jerk Steven Pasquale, who stars as Burrs in the City Center Encores! staging of Andrew Lippa's The Wild Party July 15-18, fills out Playbill.com's questionnaire of random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.

Steven Pasquale
Steven Pasquale

Pasquale most recently starred in Carousel at Chicago's Lyric Opera.

Select New York theater includes The Bridges of Madison County (Drama Desk and Drama League nominations), Far From Heaven, The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide…, A Man of No Importance (Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations), Beautiful Child, Spinning Into Butter and The Wild Party.

He has appeared on screen in "American Crime Story" (upcoming), "Almost There" (upcoming), "The Good Wife," "Rescue Me" and "Six Feet Under."

Name: Steven John Pasquale
Where you were born/where you were raised: Born in Maplewood, New Jersey, raised in central PA.
Zodiac Sign: Scorpio
What your parents did/do for a living: My father was a business man, and my mother was a nurse practitioner.
Who were you major mentors/inspirations when first starting out? Paul Newman, Jim Carey, Mandy Patinkin. Lots of people really.
Current audition song/monologue: I gratefully haven't auditioned for a musical in a while. But am still scarred from all the thousands of them my first couple years in NYC.
Special skills: I can do the splits. Weird, I know.
Something you're REALLY bad at: I am bad at so many things. Where would I begin? Today I pick... getting back to people.
First Broadway show you ever saw: Les Miz
If you could go back in time and catch any show, what would it be? If I could go back in time, I'd see the original Sunday In The Park With George
Current/recent show other than your own you have been recommending to friends:

Hamilton. It's absolutely genius, and will literally move the needle on what we are capable of with a contemporary musical. Also I full-blown love a whole bunch of those people. It's fun when the people you love are the most talented people on the planet.

Favorite showtune of all time: "Soliloquy." Come on.
Some favorite modern musicals: Hamilton
Some favorite classic musicals: Carousel
Broadway or screen stars of the past you would most have loved to perform with: Phil Hoffman. God he was good.
Your personal vocal idols, living or dead: Donny Hathaway. Stevie Wonder. And Anthony Warlow, who is pound-for-pound the best legit theatre singer on earth.
Music that makes you cry, any genre: That godd*mn haunting guitar that comes in at the end of every episode of "Friday Night Lights." I'm powerless against it.
MAC or PC? MAC, of course
Most played song on your iPod: Lately James Blake.
Most-visited websites: Streeteasy. It's my porn.
Last book you read: Just read "Founding Brothers." Fantastic.
Must-see TV show(s): "Game of Thrones," "Penny Dreadful"
Last good movie you saw: I just saw "Begin Again" on the plane. Loved it. And the music thing is really hard to get right. It's really smart.
Some films you consider classics: "Ghostbusters," "Glory," "Last of the Mohicans," "Ace Ventura." And "The Godfathers," of course.
Performer you would drop everything to go see: Celia Keenan-Bolger
Pop culture guilty pleasure: I'll see a big stupid summer blockbuster movie in a heartbeat.
Three favorite cities: New York, Seattle, San Francisco
Favorite sport/team/player: Fighting Irish football. Obsessed.
First CD/Tape/LP you owned: Ummm.... Boyz II Men I think?
First stage kiss: My high school production of West Side Story. And all I remember is the staggering amount of lipstick she had on. Avoiding looking like a clown afterwards was my priority.
Favorite or most memorable onstage role as a child/teenager: I played Tyrone in Fame the Musical. Enough said.
Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living: That summer I was a cherub at Northwestern. That was when I knew.
Favorite pre-/post- show meal:

Light. A salad. Or sushi. Post show: Oysters. Martinis.

Pre-show rituals or warm-ups: My warm up is minimal vocal and lots of physical. I like my body to feel warm before we go.
Most challenging role you have ever played: Billy Bigelow is no joke. Also I played a creepy pedophile in a Nicky Silver play, which was hard because I literally could feel how much the audience HATED me.
What do you remember from your audition for the original production of The Wild Party, in which you understudied the role of Burrs? It was literally my first job in NY. And it was with Taye Diggs, who is a dear friend. I got to cover Brian d’Arcy James, and we became friends as well. Brian was a warrior. That sh*t is hard, and he crushed it every night.
Did you get to go on as Burrs the first time around? What are your strongest memories from the experience? I did not get to go on as Burrs. However one night someone forgot to do their off-stage "angry neighbor" yell, so I just screamed it as loud as I could from the back row where I was watching. I one hundred percent gave the old lady next to me a heart attack.
What has been the most fun or fulfilling part of this project so far? I like Burrs. He's gonna be fun. It's always a little more fun playing a deeply f*cked-up person.
Worst costume ever: My current look as Mark Fuhrman in this OJ Simpson mini-series I'm shooting. Wow. Just wow.
Craziest audition story:

I sang (pretty damn well if memory serves) "Anthem" at an audition, and a very well-known casting director completely dismissed me by asking if I studied singing, and that if I didn't, I should. Then he insulted the way I looked, and that was that.

I have since been offered many things he's cast and have agreed to do none of them. Mostly because they sucked, but also? Because I haven’t forgotten how sh*tty a moment that was.

It is EASY to do your job, any job, without being jerk. It's simply a choice. If the President can do it? So can you. Full-on Scorpio mode right now, PS.

Leading man role you've been dying to play: Stanley in Streetcar
Something about you that surprises people: Lately I've learned I like to cook!
Something you are incredibly proud of: My daughter
Something you're embarrassed to admit: That movies about ghosts can scare the absolute sh*t outta me.
Career you would want if not a performer: Football coach. Or history teacher.
Three things you can't live without: Big belly laughs, delicious food and friends.
"I'll never understand why…" … a twelve-hour day is considered a good day in the TV world. That's a terrible day. A long, long, long, long, day.
Words of advice for aspiring performers: Keep your life as small as possible for as long as possible. It will provide you with more opportunity to make and pursue the good stuff.
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