Q: How are you and Leo alike?
A: Amanda (Greta Lee) calls Leo a mountain man in the play. I grew up in Colorado-we had well water and a wood stove- so I'm a bit of a mountain man myself.
My cousin just came across the country with a backpack, only a backpack with a few clothes, and he's staying on my couch now. Like Leo, he's sort of a wanderer, which I think runs in my family a little bit. We're all sort of at that age, too, early twenties, figuring shit out, trying to be... better. I feel very akin to Leo's need to express a lot of stuff that is going on inside without having the tools to know how to do it or the confidence to be able to just put it out there.
Q: What are the differences between you and Leo?
A: This is the first beard I've tried to grow, and I'm not doing too well, so that might be my least Leo-like thing!
I have a really good relationship with my parents, which I'm lucky to have, and I know that Leo is struggling with that. My father is a minister, and helps a lot of families deal with their grief , so I've sort of grown up around that. When I've lost people close to me or people my age, I let myself be supported, whereas Leo seems to want to take it all on himself. He has a stubbornness in him that I don't quite have, but that might be stubborn of me to say. I don't know. I am an Aries.
Q: You've been involved in this project from the start: through two workshops, and now for this production. How has it changed?
A: There have been a few changes made in the script, but they were very minor. The scene in which I'm skyping with my sister used to be just a phone call, so you couldn't hear the other person's voice. Little things like that changed for storytelling purposes, but mostly it's been the same so I've had a chance to sort of grow with it, which has been cool. I started it when I was 21 or 22 years old, which is how old Leo is.
Q: What was the rehearsal process like?
A: I really love working with Daniel [the director]. He likes to let actors figure a lot of stuff out themselves and see what works. He likes to whisper secrets, to whisper something that the other actor can't hear so that we can surprise each other during the scene, which was cool while we were rehearsing.
It's also been amazing to work with Mary-Louise Wilson. The play is so good that it's really evident when we're acting, or schmacting. We're trying to just tell the truth, and with her up there, I have a good barometer of what's real and what's not.
Stay tuned for more!
(Written by Scotty Arnold, an LCT3 Greeter and a recent graduate of NYU's Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program)