Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Girl Wrote It: Michael Komala, Actor

 Michael Komala has been professionally-trained and performed in theatre and film in New York for the last 5 years. Originally from South Jersey, Michael was one of the few who actually made it out alive. Now enjoying the splendors of the Greek ‘hood, ACToria, he finds his next path in life to the Richmond Shepard Theatre where he plans to woo those who surround him. If not, he hopes that $3 wine you’re sipping on helps. Roll recent credits...Pillow Talk (Brain Spunk Theater), Hit and Match (Cage Theatre Company at Manhattan Rep), and Gabriel (Redd Tale Theatre Company). 

  • You’ll be performing in Deirdre O’Connor’s Penicillin as part of our upcoming production of A Girl Wrote It. Can you tell us some of your initial thoughts about the piece? How are rehearsals going? 

I like the humor that O'Conner put in this. It has a real language in it that makes me believe that this ridiculous and awkward situation could and probably has happened. Although, I hope not because that would be awful. Given the short length of the play and having little knowledge of either characters history, this could go in almost any direction but I think we found a comedic rhythm and flow that fits well without making it look like a daytime drama. Oh, we could go there! But you'll just have to see what really happens.  

  • When did you know that you wanted to be an actor? How did you get started? 

I unleashed this powerhouse acting machine from the deepest, darkest years of my life...high school. I was always the quiet, shy guy in most classes. Theatre arts classes and plays opened me up to a "Jekyll & Hyde-like" transformation. Sitting in English class as a fly on the wall to dancing, singing, and doing the most odd/outrageous characters I've ever done. My friends and teachers couldn't believe they were seeing the same guy on stage. I like it that way.  

  • Who or what do you consider to have been your biggest creative influences to date? Why? 

As a kid, I always idolized Jim Carrey. No one can replicate what he brought to work everyday. Complete freedom without any consciousness of judgment. I just wanted to make people laugh all the time so I would try to imitate his variety of voices and movements. The man is made of rubber!  He created with only what he had, a mind and body of endless characters. From there, I made it my own because he had already introduced me to so many tools. I didn't even realize Jim was my first acting teacher. I was just having fun.  

  • What is your favorite part of the creative process before you perform for an audience? Do you have a particular pre-show ritual that you engage in before curtain? If so, can you share it with us? 

My favorite part is when I've convinced myself that I can relax a little bit more because all the time and work has been put in to what the final production will look like and now I can just have fun with it. All work and no play makes Komala a dull boy. As weird as I can seem, I really don't have an odd pre-show ritual. I do some stretches, vocal warm ups, and finish memorizing my lines. Actor stuff.  

  • You were in last year’s production of A Girl Wrote It, in Elizabeth Birkenmeier’s Plight of the Apothecary. How would you say this process differs from that experience? 

I said before that we could take this show in any direction, but "Apothecary" could be taken to any planet (and our dressing room still wouldn't be big enough). It was such a bizarre play...but through improvisation and great direction from Justin Ness, we pulled this thing out of our as…scending talent, and actually had a lot of fun with it...With Penicillin, I have a name, it's in the present time, and on Earth, I believe. 

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