PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Ghost The Musical's Bryce Pinkham

News   PLAYBILL.COM'S CUE & A: Ghost The Musical's Bryce Pinkham Bryce Pinkham, currently playing Carl Bruner in Broadway's Ghost The Musical, fills out Playbill.com's questionnaire with random facts, backstage trivia and pop-culture tidbits.

Bryce Pinkham
Bryce Pinkham

Past theatrical credits include Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Public Theater and Broadway), Knickerbocker Holiday (Lincoln Center), Orphans' Home Cycle (Signature/Hartford Stage), A Funny Thing Happened..., Our Town, Beyond Therapy (Williamstown), A View From The Bridge (Guthrie Theater) All's Well That Ends Well, Woman Of No Importance (Yale Rep) and Much Ado About Nothing (Chautauqua Theatre Co.).

Full given name: Bryce Allen Pinkham
Where you were born/where you were raised: I was born in Redding, California, and I was raised in the East San Francisco Bay Area.
Zodiac Sign: Libra. The scales. Decisions are very hard for me.
What your parents did/do for a living:

My parents met on a horse ranch. They are high school sweethearts. They initially worked with horses until they decided to start a family. My mom has since worked for twenty plus years as a veterinarian technician and my dad works in the computer network service industry but also acts and directs as a serious hobby.

We have performed several times together, one specific time you may learn more about if you read further in this very questionnaire!

Siblings: I am the proud older brother of one sister, an amazing singer who is now working as a social worker at a shelter for women at risk.
Current audition song/monologue: "My Heart Will Go On." Next question.
Special skills: Portuguese, juggling, soccer, snowboarding
Something you're REALLY bad at: Questionnaires
First Broadway show you ever saw: I think I saw Urinetown and Take Me Out on the same day.
If you could go back in time and catch any Broadway show, what would it be? The original Death of a Salesman with Lee J. Cobb, Marlon Brando in Streetcar, the original Chorus Line at the Public, Bill Irwin and David Shiner's Fool Moon.
Current shows you have been recommending to friends: Peter and the Starcatcher.

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Such a beautiful show that revels in the joy of telling a story as an ensemble. The entire cast is incredible and Christian Borle's performance is flat-out inspired.

Favorite showtunes of all time:

So many to choose from, but I just did a reading of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and I have to say that I don't know of a better opening number than "Comedy Tonight!" As far as other songs, I think it's hard to compete with the music from West Side Story.

Some favorite modern musicals: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson
The Last Five Years
Some favorite classic musicals: The Music Man
Singin' in the Rain
West Side Story
Funny Thing...
Broadway or screen stars of the past you would most have loved to perform with: Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Danny Kaye, Paul Newman
Your personal vocal idols: Cat Stevens, James Taylor, Paul Simon, Billy Joel
The one performance – attended - that you will never forget: Closing night of Angels in America at Signature Theatre Company. I saw my good friends Bill Heck and Maggie Lacey get engaged at the curtain call... an amazing way to end an amazing evening of theatre.
Music that makes you cry, any genre:

I am usually moved by songs that meant something special to me at a particular time in my life and bring back memories of a particular person or group. Some of these include:

"Moonshadow," "Tea for the Tillerman": Cat Stevens
"Hide and Seek": Imogen Heap
"Both Sides Now": Joni Mitchell

MAC or PC? They're still making PCs?
Most played song on your iPod: A full album by this new band called "The Hollows" called "Belong to the Land." Old Crow Medicine Show meets Zepplin.
Most-visited websites: ESPN
New York Times
Playbill.com (duh)
Favorite Tweeters: Haven't taken that plunge yet.
Last book you read: "Jitterbug Perfume" by Tom Robbins. Holy Cow. It's one of my new favorites.
Must-see TV show(s): Nerd alert! "Game of Thrones"
Last good movie you saw: "Midnight in Paris"
Some films you consider classics: "Shawshank Redemption"
"The Godfather"
"Chaplin's Modern Times"
Performer you would drop everything to go see: Bill Irwin
Pop culture guilty pleasure: Miley Cyrus' song "Party in the USA." Don't know why, but I am guilty as charged!
Favorite cities: San Francisco, CA, Salvador, Brazil and Queenstown, New Zealand
Favorite sport/team/player:

My favorite sport to play is soccer. I've played since I was a kid and try and get a pick-up game in whenever I can in Brooklyn's Prospect Park. My favorite professional athletic team is the San Francisco Giants.

My favorite professional athlete is Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona.

First CD/Tape/LP you owned: Tape: Ace of Base!
CD: Green Day's "Dookie"
First stage kiss

I was in a production of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and I was the "lucky" high school freshman who got to kiss the junior captain of the cheerleading squad. She was not only beautiful but definitely taller than me at the time. I think she had to bend down so that our lips could touch. Totally worth it though!

Favorite or most memorable onstage role as a child/teenager: My father and I performed in a production of To Kill a Mockingbird together when I was about 12. I played Jem Finch and my dad played Bob Ewell, the bad guy. I remember being surprised by how scary my dad could be as the bad guy, hopefully he passed a little on to me!
Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living:

My sophomore year in college, I performed in a Moliere one-act called The Flying Doctor and later that year as Valere in La Bete. I've never had more fun or done anything as physically exhausting as those performances. I remember thinking at that time that I would regret it if I didn't at least take a shot at turning my serious hobby into my profession.

How you got your Equity card:

The wife of a professor of mine at Boston College asked me to be in a Conor McPherson play, Dublin Carol, that she was directing at a theatre in Boston called Boston Playwrights. In order for me to be in the cast I had to be made Equity. I remember thinking, "I get paid for this? I'd do this for free!"

Favorite pre-/post- show meal:

Pre-show: I'm usually trying for something quick and healthy like a salad from Lenny's or some protein from FUEL. Post-show: I Love the Mules Frites at Cafe Un Deux Troix, or if I'm feeling really fancy, some oysters at Blue Ribbon Sushi near where I live in Park Slope.

Favorite liquid refreshment: Warm Ginger Honey Crystal tea
Pre-show rituals or warm-ups: I do a little juggling to focus. I also make sure the first time I see my scene partners that day is not onstage.
Most vocally challenging role you have ever played: Valere in David Hirson's La Bete. He blabs for about ten minutes by himself in rhyming couplets in the opening of the show.
Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap: During one performance of La Bête, I was in the middle of the play-within the-play that Valere narrates (in rhyming couplets mind you) when I recognized a friend of mine in the audience.

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We had sort of a wink-wink moment after one of the jokes and I was completely ripped out of character, and totally lost my lines. I mean, all the way up, in the clouds. Because my character was the only with any narration, no one could help me. After what felt like two minutes of ad libbing and acting a fool I finally just squatted down and put my head in my hands. I was about to tell the audience I couldn't remember my lines when I noticed that my fellow ensemble members were acting out the play-within-the-play to help cue my next lines.

Thanks to their heads-up move, the lines came flooding back and we moved on. I learned two lessons that night: don't wink at friends in the audience, and trust your fellow cast members!

Worst costume ever: Had to do a strip-tease out of a red floor-length sheer dress and six inch heels down to women's lingerie (matching brassiere and thong if I remember correctly) and lip sync "My Baby Shot Me Down" directly to the audience.... ahhh grad school.
Worst job you ever had: I worked one summer as a kennel assistant at a veterinary hospital. My job was basically cleaning up everything scared dogs and cats leave behind.
Favorite screen or commercial gigs: I appeared on "The Good Wife" in Season 2. My scene partners were other theatre actors, Mark Blum and Zach Grenier. They were so kind to me and helped me get over the nerves of my first on-camera experience. I found the whole cast and crew, especially Julianna Margulies, very welcoming and I learned a lot from everyone that day.
If you could trade roles/tracks with anyone in the show for a week, who would it be? Oda Mae's track, are you kidding? Look at those costumes. Look at those wigs. Listen to those songs. Don't think just because I play the bad guy that I wouldn't relish the opportunity to strut!
Leading man role you've been dying to play: Charlie Chaplin, Harold Hill, Prince Hal, Truffaldino
Leading lady role you wish you could play: Maggie Smith's character on "Downton Abbey," The Dowager Countess
Something about you that surprises people: I speak Portuguese. My best friend growing up was Brazilian and he and his family took me to Brazil on vacation and taught me how to speak.
Something you are incredibly proud of:

I work with a theatre company called Outside the Wire that produces a project called Theater of War. The project uses theatrical readings of classic plays as a way to incite meaningful discussion among military audiences. I have performed for active troops, veterans and their families in Guantánamo Bay, Japan and throughout the States. The projects address a variety of subjects including PTSD, soldier suicide, and alcoholism in the military.

I am always amazed watching soldiers and their families opening up about toughest issues they face. I am proud to serve them in some small way, but also extremely proud of the ancient art of story-telling and the power it still wields today.

Something you're embarrassed to admit:

I'm a clown. I create my own physical comedy bits and perform them whenever I get the chance. Yup. Red nose, baggy pants. Not birthday party clown, more like European, Circ sort of stuff. I also teach clown at NYU's Meisner Studio and the Studio New York.

Career you would want if not a performer: In my dreams? An anchor on ESPN's SportsCenter. In reality, probably a teacher or something in the environmental field.
Three things you can't live without: Laughter, Oxygen and Coffee
"I'll never understand why…"

Two things: 1.) Why people on the subway think it's okay to blare their own personal music collection from their phone for the whole car to hear. I sometimes wish I had the guts to say, "hey, could you skip this one, I'm not a fan." 2.) Why do people in New York say they are waiting "online" at the register? There is, in fact, no line on the floor they are "on!" They are, however, "in" a line formed by themselves and the other people standing there. I cringe every time some says "next online!" I'm not on the Internet, I just want to buy batteries!

Words of advice for aspiring performers:

Spend less time worrying about what you think others want you to act like or sound like, and spend more time finding out what it is that moves you, inspires you. Get to know yourself and the type of artist YOU want to be. Also, soak up as much information about the world as you can. Don't just study theatre, film and TV. Travel, see the world, learn many skills, you will need them all if you aspire to perform for a living!

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