By Matthew Blank
17 Dec 2013
Some favorite or most memorable roles as a child or teen:
In 7th grade I played President Richard M. Nixon. Think I gave Langella a run for his money.
Moment you knew you wanted to perform for a living:
I think it was probably an accumulation of moments. Seeing Al Pacino in "Dog Day Afternoon," seeing Len Cariou in Sweeney Todd coupled with my enormous success as the 37th president likely tipped the scales for me.
Favorite pre-/post- show meal: (note where)
Pre: Salad with double turkey at Chop’t. Post: Ratatouille at Angus, or anything at the fabulous Vietnamese restaurant Saigon Shack on MacDougal.
Favorite liquid refreshment:
Victory Hop Devil IPA
Pre-show rituals or warm-ups:
Some vocalizing, some green tea, followed by an acute panic attack while curled into the fetal position.
Worst flubbed line/missed cue/onstage mishap:
Had to execute a 3-point turn in Man and Superman and backed the car off the stage into the audience. Got a round of sympathy applause after every subsequent exit. Nice.
Worst costume ever:
Played the tail-end of a horse in a children’s theater production years ago. Classic.
Worst job you ever had:
Running a bumper car concession in Weirs Beach, NH.
Craziest audition story:
Auditioned for a commercial once where I had to sit in a chair and act as if my face was being subjected to a G-Force. Like to get the tape of that.
What drew you to this project?
The opportunity to work with the supremely gifted Joe Calarco and Patrick Barlow and tell this magnificent story.
What has been the biggest challenge so far?
The biggest challenge for me has been not allowing myself to be overwhelmed by the expectations and preconceptions people might bring to anyone attempting to play this iconic character. Of course, this is Patrick Barlow’s specific and original take on the story, so this Scrooge, will be, hopefully, fresh and surprising.
What has been the most fun or fulfilling aspect of this show?
It’s been so thrilling to work with this wonderful ensemble; Mark Light-Orr, Jessie Shelton, Franca Vercelloni and Mark Price. And it’s been so wonderful and instructive for me to just get out of the way of the story and let it unfold and reveal its great truths.
Most challenging role you have played onstage:
Horner in The Country Wife. Restoration Comedy isn’t pretty.
Who have you played on "Law & Order"? What edition?
Played a disgruntled astronaut on "Criminal Intent." A pyromaniac fundamentalist and a hard-nosed Internal Affairs detective who’s largely responsible for Jesse L. Martin’s resignation from the force - both on the original series. Apologies, Jesse.
Favorite screen/commercial gigs:
"Boardwalk Empire," "House of Cards" (season 2) and "Homeland"
Leading man role you've been dying to play:
Leading lady role you'd like a shot at:
Something about you that surprises people:
I’ve never owned a car.
Career you would want if not a performer:
Shortstop for the Boston Red Sox. Sorry, the WORLD CHAMPION Boston Red Sox.
Three things you can't live without:
Wife Loretta and daughters Emma and Grace.
"I'll never understand why…"
… it’s taking me so long to make my first million.
Words of advice for aspiring performers:
There is no one road to the “promised land.” Find your own way and trust in yourself, but learn to listen. And, importantly, you must allow yourself to fail - in fact, it is required. So when you fail, fail big.
By Matthew Blank