Monday, August 22, 2011

Coffee Talk II with Timothy Johnston

Tim is no stranger to Twenty-Something Theatre, having made his debut with the company six years ago, in its inaugural production of This Is Our Youth. An active member of the Vancouver theatre scene, he was most recently seen in The Gas Heart with the Neanderthal Arts Festival as well as a "little" production we put on back in May called, Prodigals, where he played "Wesley". Tim's also no stranger to our blog chats with him, and I wanted to think of some new questions. Here's what he had to say:

What have been some of your highs and lows over the years, as an actor?

Well, I think the obvious answer for any actor is that anytime you are not working is a low time! So…I’ll go with that too. No work equals low. As for high points, I have had many. With few exceptions, every opportunity to tackle a new character is its own high. Seriously, I’m not just saying that. But I guess…what immediately comes to mind, is the fact that in the last couple of years, I’ve been super fortunate, and have been able to work on several projects in a row that I have had deep personal connections to. Whether it was creating a role in an original work, or collaborating with my peers to produce a show we could be proud of; the opportunity to develop original, thoughtful material, with a varied pool of incredibly smart, stupidly funny, fiercely talented friends has been incredible.

Do you have any funny or embarrassing stories that have happened onstage?

No…I’m kidding. Hmm… I guess I could tell you about the time that I was performing in Aladdin and, while in the guise of “Prince Ali,” I gracefully leapt and subsequently not-so-gracefully tumbled over Princess Jasmine’s balcony, splitting open my face just above my left eye, therefore spending the rest of the play trying to A) Be Disney level romantic and heroic B) Not get blood all over my white satin costume C) Not let the audience notice I was bleeding profusely and D) Not die from loss of blood...I guess I could tell you about that?

Aladdin photo courtesy of Barbara Pedrick

You’re a bit of a veteran with Twenty-Something Theatre now. What have you noticed, or how has the company itself evolved, over the years?

Are you kidding me? This company is a machine now! In all seriousness, as someone who has produced their own theatre before, the rate of growth and maturity, pardon the pun, in Twenty-Something Theatre is incredible to me. It is HARD. To give you an example of the early days, and how hopeful and naive we were: I vividly remember, while doing their very first show, This Is Our Youth, at Presentation House in North Van – hanging out outside the Seabus terminal handing out flyers and hoping at least a few of those people would take a chance on our show. They didn’t. And it was rough. Now, the company is producing multiple high quality, exciting shows every year. They are nurturing and fostering young, sensational talent; be it actors, directors, writers or designers. They are featured in print media, digital media and are abuzz in the world of social media. They have come so far, and I am incredibly proud to be able to say that I have been a part of the journey. The best part is, it doesn’t feel like they’re done yet.

How do you feel you relate, or don’t relate, to your character “Bobby” in Tough!?

Bobby is…complex. But Bobby is also simple. He just wants to be understood. He just wants to do the right thing. I think we can all relate to that. Bobby also, unfortunately, has a hard time communicating to people what it is he’s thinking, and battles crippling insecurities about himself and his circumstances. I mean, we all go through that sometimes, but Bobby is ridiculous. That’s a challenge. I mean a REAL challenge. Come see the show, you’ll understand what I mean. Poor guy.

And finally, why should people come and see Tough!?

Come see great writing. Come see great design. Come see great acting. Come see great direction. Come to laugh. Come to be moved. Come to be uncomfortable. Come to support your friends. Come to support strangers. Come to support independent arts. Come to think. Come to not think for a while. Come and have a great time. And then tell your friends.

And you can come catch Tim this week in Tough!, running August 24th - September 3rd at Studio 1398 (formerly the PTC Studio) on Granville Island at 8 pm. Hope to see you there!

~ Sarah MacKay
Associate Producer

1 comment:

  1. Just read Kat and Tim's interviews. Excellent job both of you!