Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Meet the DEAD SPECIAL CRABS Cast: Greg Carere

Greg Carere is a New York-based, Canadian-born actor and writer. New York credits include: The Downtown Loop (3LD), If You Can Get To Buffalo (Incubator Arts Project), The Party Play (The Brick), The Grass is Greenest at the Houston Astrodome (FringeNYC), King John (The New Ensemble Workshop). Regional credits: Merchant of Venice, Pericles, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Twelfth Night (Shakespeare by the Sea), Rudy vs the World (OLS). He holds an MFA from The New School for Drama. Love to his family, friends, and Rose.
  • You’ll be performing in our upcoming world premiere production of Dead Special Crabs. What was your history with the piece before coming on board for the full production (if any)? Could you tell us a little bit about your last project?
I didn’t really have a history with Dead Special Crabs before I auditioned, but I’ve been friends with and a fan of both Dan Kitrosser and Kristin Skye Hoffmann for the past few years since they showed up at The New School for Drama. I’ve helped out a little with Wide Eyed WINKS, from whence Dead Special Crabs had an early reading, and I was really excited to have a chance to work with Dan and Kristin and the company.

My last project was with Fringe NYC and Outside/Inside: The Grass is Greenest at the Houston Astrodome, by Michael Ross Albert (who, actually, now that I think about it, also has a bit of a history with Wide Eyed). It’s a tight little dramatic comedy about a group of artists in the aftermath of a gala, in which one of the artists had a psychotic break and destroyed almost every piece in the show. I played Marshall, a painter who’s trying to find his identity in the wake of his father’s death, and whose work was the catalyst for the aforementioned psychotic break.

I mentioned it was a comedy, yes?
  • How are rehearsals going? Can you tell us a little bit about the character you’ll be playing in Dead Special Crabs, and your favorite thing about this role? (No spoilers!)
Rehearsals are going terribly! Kristin is a tyrant! Dan is a talentless hack! The rest of the cast are all hideous trolls who wouldn’t know acting if it walked up and stabbed them in the gut! My character, Virgil, is a depressed misanthrope and I can’t seem to break character! My favorite thing about this role is NOTHING! NOTHING MATTERS!
  • This is a road trip play, and the leaves are starting to change, so we have to ask: What’s your favorite place to go for a quick road trip getaway on the east coast?
I don’t get to take quick road trips all that often, but I was just on Bear Mountain to watch two of my very good friends get married, and so if I was going to recommend anything, I’d say go watch two very good friends get married on Bear Mountain in the fall.
  • What’s your favorite work by Edgar Allen Poe? You know you have one.
It’s probably a little cliche, but it’s hard to deny “The Tell-Tale Heart”. It so perfectly captures madness and obsession and guilt, and the sequence where the narrator creeps into the old man’s room and opens the shutter of his lantern to have the beam fall on the eye (the eye!) has stuck with me since I was a kid. But, in some ways, I think “The Cask of Amontillado” captures a lot of the horror and obsession of “The Tell-Tale Heart” in a tighter, more efficient story.
  • And while we’re on the subject: Crustaceans. Friend or food? Allergies? Assuming you eat them, which is your favorite one to eat? Any restaurants we need to know about?
Friend AND foe! My favorite one to eat is ALL OF THEM AT THE SAME TIME, but if I had to choose, I would probably say lobster. And, speaking of which, the Red Hook Lobster Pound (which has locations in Red Hook, on the LES, and at Smorgasburg) does just about the best lobster roll I’ve ever had.
  • When did you know that you wanted to be an actor? How did you get started?
I don’t know if I really knew that I wanted to be an actor until somewhere near the end of my time at grad school, where I was getting an MFA in Acting. It wouldn’t be exactly fair to say I fell into it, but it was certainly something that kept pulling at me despite my best efforts to ignore it. I got “started” when I took a drama class in high school, because I needed an arts credit and thought it would be a bird course. And then I ended up majoring in theater in college, despite enrolling in a university without knowing they even offered theater. And then, after I graduated, I spent a lot of time trying to be a freelance writer and working as an administrative assistant in a government office before finally applying to grad schools, primarily as a playwright. Even The New School for Drama, where I ended up going to study acting, I had originally applied to as a playwright. Acting hunted me down, and I don’t know if I really gave in until just a few years ago, and at that point I’d been doing it on and off for 10 years. 
  • Who or what do you consider to have been your biggest creative influences to date? Why?
I’d say the people I met while at NSD, both students and teachers. It was a wonderful little laboratory, full of mad scientists, and everything, every breakthrough and mistake and blank out and triumph, that anyone made, was something that I learned from and that influenced me, and I’m guessing will continue to do so for a long time.
  • Are you working on any additional projects at the moment? Is it something you can tell us about?
Yes! A number of things! But almost none of which I can talk about! There are a couple of plays in development, and a TV pilot, and maybe a movie. But most imminently: keep an eye out for Hazard Rep’s first production, Cliff by Ryan Feyk. We’re developing it right now, and I think it’s going to be something special.

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