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

By Dylan Saunders
18 Jul 2013

Creating a new musical is some of the most fulfilling and demanding work I've ever done. It has tested my limits and abilities in ways that I could have never imagined. Setting the tone for an entirely new story is a tall order — I always want to do right by the writers and my fellow performers.

The day-to-day process of rehearsals is always a mixed bag. One day you go to work, and there is a brand-new song waiting for you, or entire scenes reworked or even cut. I personally love working in this way, since you are always on your toes.

Today, July 18, marks the halfway point for our performances of Twisted: The Untold Story of a Royal Vizier here in Chicago. I love getting to experience the audience's different reactions each night. It makes the performances truly special. Because the work is new, and there is no barometer for how things should be executed, I am always curious to hear how new situations, songs, characters and jokes land differently.

Equally important and uplifting to me is getting to connect on a personal level with the people who have traveled far and wide to see the show. Last week, a young woman stopped me after the show to say how inspired she was and that we should "never stop telling stories." My job as an actor is very sacred to me, so her words felt like a grand re-charging of sorts. It feels pretty remarkable to get to meet so many like-minded people before and after the shows.

I love that sense of community that exists within StarKid. You really can't beat it. Everyone — the performers, the creators, designers, musicians and, most importantly, the audience — are in the trenches together. It creates a pretty magnificent bond.

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