Sunday, June 24, 2007

Mr. Davis

I've been wanting to mention just as an FYI that Bill C. Davis is a great interview and a very nice guy. I've been doing interviews for years now and, just like Forrest's box of chocolates, you never really know what you're going to get when you actually make contact. One of my worst interviews ever was with the comedian Stephen Wright whose deadpan, affectless delivery works great in his comedy but is just deadly in an interview. I've interviewed a fair amount of writers and some directors who were a bit full of themselves -- leading to very one-sided conversations. Given that Mr. Davis is both a writer and director, I was pleasantly surprised. He was polite and earnest and good-natured and forthcoming and had many wonderful things to say about Richmond.

Somewhat defying the popular stereotype, most of the actors I've interviewed have been delightful -- only one true prima donna that I can think of off-hand (and no, I'm not going to say who that was). And among the most delightful interviews I've ever had have been with hyphenates -- writer/directors, actor/directors, actor/producers, etc. Again, this seems to run against what the preconception would be -- someone good at multiple things must think they're a hotshot, right? Instead, the ones I've talked to seem to be somewhat humbled by the process of moving from one specialty to the other. Where's all that ego that's supposed to fuel you theater types?

1 comment:

Frank Creasy said...

I've only met Bill once but he does seem like a good fellow, so I'm glad to hear you had such a good interview, Dave. Sorry to hear about Stephen Wright...not seen anything from him in a long time, but I used to love his work.

Where's the ego for some theatre types? Hard to's a close knit community around here, and that sort of stuff isn't much appreciated, I suppose. Someone once said "love the art in yourself, not yourself in the art." I believe that's a good premise, because otherwise you lose your focus on the qualities that bring a character to life on stage. I have great respect for playwrights and directors, and when reading a script I look hard between the lines. I work to understand the playwright's thinking as he wrote the script and then bring my own personality and style to that vision as I understand it. Then I listen to how the director perceives it and try to match that, again with my own style. Finally, I hope like hell everyone likes it! I guess others take a similar approach, but honestly...I don't know. I just try to do what I think works for me. I have enough challenge with acting, and no asiration to write or direct.

Here's hoping for a great run of "Austin's Bridge", all the best to Bill Davis and the cast at the Firehouse.