A Summer With the StarKids: Twisted Actor Dylan Saunders Blogs About the Growth of Team StarKid

By Dylan Saunders
18 Jul 2013

Dylan Saunders
Dylan Saunders

YouTube sensation Team StarKid presents Twisted: The Untold Story of a Royal Vizier, an original musical comedy parody from the creative team behind A Very Potter Musical, in Chicago through the month of July. Throughout the run, members from Team StarKid are blogging exclusively for Playbill.com.

Once a week throughout the month, a different member from Team StarKid is sharing behind-the-scenes insight and backstage scoop with Playbill.com in the exclusive blog "A Summer With the StarKids." Here is the third blog, one from Twisted actor Dylan Saunders.

Click here for the first blog from lyricist Kaley McMahon and here for the second blog from new company member Robert Manion.

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My heart is full these days.

I feel so grateful to live in this era. I don't know that Team StarKid's story could have existed ten years ago. I try not to take for granted how easy it is to communicate, to share, to create and to present work nowadays. Because theatre and music are both such inherently communal experiences, they are — I believe — something that should absolutely be shared. That is ultimately how I define Team StarKid — a communal sharing of new work. And, that is why I love it.

At its core, StarKid is a collaborative effort. So many moving parts from so many people have to fall into place to create our finished product.

I can't believe that I've known some of the actors I work alongside for eight years (literally, one-third of my life!). It's mind-blowing. One of my colleagues and greatest friends, company member Joe Walker, was one of the first people I met in college — and we're still making plays together all these years later.

Because this group formed at the University of Michigan, each time we get into production mode, it feels more like a mad family reunion, rather than a traditional rehearsal process. It's amazing to watch this group grow. I walk up the aisle on a break from tech rehearsal to meet our undeniably talented costume designer June Saito, who's had a hand in every StarKid production since its inception. I watch as she stands together with new collaborators, music director Justin Fischer and actors Alex Grace Paul, Rachael Soglin and Robert Manion. I look up from our sound check to see director Brian Holden giving notes, book writers Nick Lang, Matt Lang and Eric Kahn Gale fixing props and organizing the front-of-house before we open the theatre doors — all friends whose work has inspired me ever since I saw them first create in college. I have grown to truly love that familiarity. It is unbelievable and unique and something that I know doesn't exist in very many places.

 Continued...