Last, but certainly not least in our cast, is Chris Rosamond who plays our long-searched-for “Doug” in Blue Surge. After the all the drama in finding the right actor for this part, we’re grateful that Chris has the guts to take on the nudity and also give heart and humour to the role. Chris and I grabbed a quick break in the parking lot of the rehearsal space a couple of weeks ago for a quick chat.
Hey Chris! So tell me about your “Aha! I want to be an actor” moment.
Uh, you know it was something I always wanted to do when I was young. I was in this sort of musical dance troupe called “The Young Canadians”. We used to do the Grandstand show at the Calgary Stampede. It was great and I loved it. It was really exciting and a lot of fun for me. I did that for a few years and that’s when I kind of knew that I really enjoyed it. But through peer-pressure I just kind of lost it and didn’t have the courage to pursue it. Thankfully I found it again. And I think that I always knew it, I just didn’t have the courage to pursue it.
I know you went to “Circle in the Square” in New York City. What was that like?
You know, it was fantastic. I went later you know, in my thirties, but it was the right time for me. It was a great experience. Honestly, I think every actor should spend time in New York. I feel that that’s where the real work is being done. It’s not so image-based and there’s just really good work being done. It’s the epicentre of it. Creatively, it’s just the place to be because there’s just so much of any medium – not just acting. So yeah, it was incredible. It was the best three years of my life, for sure.
So what was a really memorable performance or show that really stands out to you?
You know, there’s a lot because I was in New York and so I went to shows all the time. The best play I saw was a play called The Journey’s End and it’s an English play about World War I. It had Hugh Dancy, Boyd Gaines, and Jefferson Mays – just an incredible ensemble cast. It was such a moving play – just incredible. It was the best play I’ve seen. But you know performances and stuff I saw, I would say Frank Langella in Frost/Nixon was pretty spectacular. When he does confess to Frost in that last interview I swear to God I could see every pore on his face open. It was pretty, pretty spectacular.
You know another memorable thing, which was really interesting, was I went and saw a play called The Country Girl; a Clifford Odets play with Morgan Freeman, Frances McDormand, and Peter Gallagher. And I thought, you know, Morgan Freeman and Frances McDormand! They got onstage and they were working away and I was like, “Umm yeah, it’s pretty average,” and then Peter Gallagher came onstage and just blew them away. Blew them away. He had such a stage presence. It was really spectacular to see. Another great one was Liev Schreiber in a revival of Talk Radio, an Eric Bogosian play, where I saw the first day of previews and I could have sworn to God that he had been running that show for six months. It was just so good! I was very fortunate and I tried to go see everything. I saw a lot of good stuff.
Tell me a bit about your character, “Doug”.
I think he’s a guy’s guy. I don’t think he’s incredibly ambitious – quite content with where he is in life. No one really expected much of him. He’s got a decent paying job and a career. He’s just pretty content. I can relate to him. I think he’s simple, but he’s not easy and he’s likeable. So yeah, you know I just did a play not too long ago where I had a similar character. It was Three Days of Rain. The character, “Pip”, you know he wasn’t very ambitious, somewhat successful in his own eyes, content, and simple. It’s refreshing to play those roles, rather than the shamed or deeply emotional. But yeah, he’s a good guy.
Without giving too much away, what is one of your favourite moments in Blue Surge?
I think the third scene in the play, when I come into the office and sort of catch “Curt” chatting up this prostitute and I fanaggle my way in and I have a banter with him. I ride him a little bit about things. I like just how the scene carries on and I start to explain how basically I wanted to see how far I could get with my prostitute, which led to me technically entrapping her. It was well worth it because I could have had anal sex with her and that’s a pretty big deal. It’s pretty funny how open and honest “Doug” is, especially in front of “Beth”. He knows how to push the right buttons, so to speak. There’s no shame. He’s honest to a fault.
Why should people come and see Blue Surge?
Because they can see my #W$% and @#$%. (I laugh).
Cool answer. Anything else?
Would you have any advice to give to someone who’s made the decision that they want to be an actor?
Audition for everything. Start doing plays, go to class, and just start working. No one’s going to hand anything to you. You just have to create your own opportunities. Start auditioning for everything and learn how to audition.
You can catch Chris, just as nature intended, in Blue Surge tonight and running until September 5th at Studio 16. Tickets may be purchased from Tickets Tonight or by calling the box office at 604.684.2787.
~ Sarah MacKay