Thursday, July 19, 2012

Meet the Cast: Jeffrey Adams (ANIMALS)

Jeffrey Adams (Drew) received his BA in Theatre Arts at Santa Clara University and is currently working on his MFA at The New School for Drama. Recent attributes include: NSD's Venus in Fur (Thomas) and the many works of the Great American Playwright, Sam Byron...Box Colony Theatre's Women and Wallace (Wallace), Pear Avenue Theatre's Death of a Salesman (Happy), The 25th Annual...Spelling Bee (Chip), Diablo Theatre Co's White Christmas (Bob Wallace), Twelfth Night (Feste), Lyric Theatre's Cinderella (Prince), Playboy of the Western World (Christy), Erik Ehn's The Saint Plays (Genesius), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Jimmy), and the world premiere of Over the Mountain at Brava Theatre in San Francisco. Adams is so happy to be working with Wide Eyed and such a talented team on Animals, and is grateful for the opportunity and privilege of participating in this year's Fringe Festival. Thank you always for the love and support of faculty, family, and friends.
  • You’ll be performing in our upcoming production of Sam Byron's Animals for the New York International Fringe Festival. Can you tell us some of your initial thoughts about the piece and your character? How are rehearsals going?
After the initial table reading of the play, I was excited to be part of a piece that was so funny but also posed a moral and ethical challenge to audiences. Sam (Byron) always manages to create relatable dialogue and characters that mirror real life situations with an unexpected, signature twist, and Animals is no exception. The play also unlocks a relatively universal nostalgia with a prolonged homecoming, high school recollections, and the reunion of a group of dysfunctional friends. I play Drew, the group’s punching bag who is pushed to the limit. He’s a hopeless romantic, aspiring medical student, and delightfully neurotic with women. I think audiences will watch with “I went to college with that guy” in mind.

Rehearsals are going well. You rarely get to work with such incredibly talented people that you also happen to respect and consider close friends, and I am fortunate enough to say, that has been my experience with this project. The nature of the play requires us to be a tight knit group, and we became very close early on. The beauty of working with the dynamic duo of Sam and Kristin (Hoffmann) is that they allow creativity and are open to new ideas in the rehearsal room, which gives actors freedom to play, which is what we love.
  • When did you know that you wanted to be an actor? How did you get started?
I started acting when I was eight in community theatre productions where I grew up in California. I actually performed mostly in musicals, and my passion and interest in theatre continued to grow in high school and beyond. I remember playing Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha in 2003, and that being the role that sealed the deal for me. It was when I realized acting was the perfect fusion of the “character” and the “self,” where the story you are telling should teach you a little bit about who you are; that acting at its finest is self discovery.
  • Who or what do you consider to have been your biggest creative influences to date? Why?
I would say my parents are honestly my greatest creative influences. They were the first people to share the arts with me and expose me to theatre, music, television and really encourage imaginative exploration. My parents are both educators, and because of that, I see actors as teachers. My dad told me years ago one of my favorite quotations by Aldous Huxley: “The more you know, the more you see,” and I really try to approach every project and character with that in mind.
  • 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?
Getting to know the cast as an extension of your family is an important part of the process for me. You see these people every day for weeks, if not months on end, and you share something with them, an experience that only they can really understand. I love that. It’s something that you share with that group alone, and you will always have that.

Before I go onstage for a show, I pretty much go through the same checklist as a person about to embark on a two hour road trip. I use the restroom, get my fill of snacks, make sure everything I need with me is accounted for, swig some water and I’m off. Then right before I walk on stage, I dedicate the show to someone in my head...just as a reminder of the people that have helped me get there.
  • 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 your last project? Is there something cool that you like to do in your spare time?
The last project I worked on was The Box Colony Theatre’s production of Women and Wallace at Theatre Row’s Studio Theatre. It’s the story of a little boy who witnesses his mother’s suicide and how that affects every relationship with women from that point on through the lens of Freudian Psychology.

In my spare time, I like to stay relatively low key. I love going to concerts, occasionally exploring the city, or even staying in with my girlfriend and ordering food and watching movies and television as a sort of character study, or homework. Watching talented actors apply their methods and techniques helps me complete the flipside to Huxley’s thought, so the more I see, the more I know.
  • Are you working on any additional projects at the moment? Care to share with us?
I guess my next big endeavor is starting an improvisational comedy group called Morning Stubble, a sketch based troupe that will hopefully start getting gigs around the city soon! I am looking forward to being a part of this year’s Fringe Festival with Animals, and hope to work with Wide Eyed again on future projects.

1 comment:

Robert Palermo said...

Jeffrey, keep a'goin. So far you've done a great job. Can't wait for the next interview. Unc. Bob