Patrick Bonck is delighted to be working with the talented folks at Wide Eyed Productions. New York credits include: Hughie (Cart Before Horse Productions); Love in Transit (The Shop); adulteration (New Voices, New School for Drama); Warning: May Contain Nuts, CLAYscapes (The Collective), The Birds (9 Thirty Theatre Company); An Drochshaol, Julius Caesar (American Theatre of Actors). Regional: Mirabelle (Seattle International Children’s Festival); Twelfth Night, Four Christmases (Centerstage Theatre);The Woman in Black (Harlequin Productions); Coriolanus (Greenstage). Proud member of the permanent ensemble of The Collective (www.thecollective-ny.org).
- You’re performing in Heather Lynn MacDonald’s Early Michigan as part of our production of A Girl Wrote It. Can you tell us some of your thoughts about the piece? How do you feel the show is going?
Early Michigan deals with a very difficult and delicate subject: the aftermath of a miscarriage. Heather explores the very physical and physiological nature of a miscarriage, the hope and joy that are crushed, and, perhaps worst of all, the separation and isolation from your partner that can happen as a result. She gives us both sides of the coin in the play, and we get to see both Pam and Serge dealing with grief, for sure, but also the rift that has formed between them. We men might be able to understand what is happening in a pregnancy, but we cannot experience it, and when something goes wrong there is a profound sense of powerlessness.
It has been such a pleasure working with Lisa, Judy and Sky, three superbly talented members of the Wide Eyed ensemble. I could sense a real ease of working together among them, which is both the benefit of an ensemble and a sign of a strong one. Paul, the director, and I have worked together twice in the past, and I simply cannot say enough good things about his process, vision and insights. He’s the best. I think we’re in a good place, one week in, and are still finding new things, which is my favorite part of live theatre.
- When did you know that you wanted to be an actor? How did you get started?
I was a shy and quiet kid (not much has changed, really), and when I discovered acting in high school it was a thrill to escape inside someone else, even if for a few hours. Though my view of acting has changed monumentally over the years, it is still that desire to escape and play that keeps bringing me back.
- Who or what do you consider to have been your biggest creative influences to date? Why?
Rosa Joshi and Ki Gottberg, two of my teachers in college, still loom very large as creative influences. They are the Apollonian and Dionysian sides of a coin that I flip on any given day. Recently, my work with Karen Chamberlain and The Collective has helped me come to a deeper understanding of what it really means to “live truthfully under imaginary circumstances” and have pushed me to new horizons of imagination, prompting me to ask important creative questions of myself.
- 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 pre-show ritual depends on the production. For this show, I begin with some simple yoga exercises to get the blood flowing and stretch out, then move on to an easy vocal warm up. In the minutes before I go on, I check in with myself, try to identify and release any tension in my body, prepare for the first moment, and then, ideally, let it go and see what happens. If it were Shakespeare, you’d probably find me buried in the words till the last minute.
- I believe this is your first time working with Wide Eyed. We’d like to get to know you a little better. Could you tell us a little bit about what you like to do in your spare time?
I’m an avid runner, and I try to get in 25 miles a week on average, though that has been slipping lately. As often as I can, I try to go for a hike and reconnect with nature, especially when the city is wearing me down. I’m a bit of a recluse, so I relish my alone time, which I spend reading and, occasionally, writing. Way too much of my spare time is spent on my phone. Sometimes I create funny little voices that I only use when I’m alone...and now I sound like a crazy person. Actors.
- Are you working on any additional projects at the moment? Care to share with us?
There is always something going with The Collective, a film and production company founded by a collective of actors, of which I am a member. There are other irons in the fire, but I’m a little superstitious, so that’s probably where they should stay for the time being.