Thursday, March 29, 2012

Coffee Talk with Niko Koupantsis

Well, you've now met all four of the Bomb-itty boys except for one: Meet Niko Koupantsis. He is fairly new to Vancouver moving here from Saskatchewan where he performed in The Bomb-itty of Errors for the first time 6 years ago. This will be his Vancouver theatrical debut and all I can say is "Welcome to Vancouver Niko!" because he is a supremely talented, genuinely nice guy and we can never have too many of those in this city.

(Niko [on the left] arriving in Vancouver)

What is your favourite role to date and why?

I would have to say my favourite role was when I first took on The Bomb-itty of Errors 7 years ago. I had just finished my third year of University and was given the amazing opportunity to take on the challenge of such an epic piece. Not only was I faced with the task of developing multiple characters and learning how to rap (a daunting task to those completely foreign to it), but my fellow castmates and I were also responsible for making props and costumes, as well as contacting the local media and promoting the show. It was great training for learning how to run your own theatre company. I would say the only experience that tops that one is doing this show again now. I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with such a talented and lovely group of people. We spend so much time making each other laugh, and I can’t wait to share that with our audiences. 

Tell us your “I wanna be an actor” story…

I’m not sure exactly when I was bitten by the bug. I have had the personality of an entertainer since I was really young and learned that I could use humour to fit in, a technique I use everyday to varying degrees of success. I was always in a school play, with one of my first roles being that of a garbage man in a musical about recycling, and yes I still remember the song. Whatever the initial spark was, today I want to be an actor because I love to tell stories and show audiences things they didn’t know about themselves or maybe forgot. And I love love love to make people laugh. 

 (Niko trying to return buns to the grocery store!)

How many characters do you play in Bombitty and what’s your favourite one?

I play five characters in total, and my favorite character to play is Luciana. Maybe it’s because I get to wear an amazing dress and incredible wig and blondes really do have more fun, or maybe it’s because I get to rock dance moves that are meant for the ladies and which I excel at for some reason, or maybe it’s because she isn’t the smartest girl you’ve ever met and ignorance truly is bliss. If I was to get mushy about it, I would say it’s because she has a very innocent and bright outlook on life, and although she is a little slow she will do anything she can to help those she cares about. Whatever it is, she will always be dear to my heart. 

I'm not gonna lie. Luciana is probably my favourite character in the whole show. She cracks me up and her song is downright catchy! So other than to see Luciana, why should people come out to see the The Bomb-itty of Errors?

There are way too many reasons why people should come to see this show. The costumes are freaking amazing, thanks to the genius of Vanessa Imeson, and cannot be missed. The music is 100% original, from the stylings of Anami Vice, who isn’t only a very talented hip hop artist but also a gentleman and a scholar. We have DJ Oker Chen to mix the music live and keep things fresh. The whole thing was directed by the lovely and amazing Catriona Leger of whom I have become a big fan over these past few weeks. My fellow castmates are dangerously hilarious and intentionally talented, yes intentionally, that is a thing now, I just made that a thing, because I don’t know how else to describe how great they are to watch and work with. And while I would never condone reckless intoxication, there will be a bar and you can drink during the show. And last but certainly not least, people need to come see this show because of me and my wicked awesome dance moves. Also I am offering free hugs after each show. What else could you ask for? 

If you had one piece of advice for aspiring young actors, those just starting a training program or going to their first audition, what would it be?

My first piece of advice: work hard and be humble. They say that success as an actor is 20% talent and 80% hard work, and they are right. There isn’t really a measuring system for talent anyway, and it won’t be long before a director thinks you are just being lazy and your castmates think you are a jerk. You can never be too prepared. Make choices about your character before you rehearse and audition, and study the script well, good scripts hold all the answers. And make bold and interesting choices whenever possible, they are much more enjoyable for an audience to watch. My second piece of advice for the aspiring young actor would be not to allow yourself to be discouraged. There may be a million other actors auditioning for the same role, but you are the only one exactly like you. Always remember that you have something unique to offer that no one else does, so let that star shine. And if it doesn’t work out, you can always live in your parents basement. That has always been my fail safe. 

Great advice! Thanks for sharing Niko! Catch him and the rest of the Bomb-itty boys starting next Wednesday at Studio 16. More info:

~Sabrina Evertt
Artistic Producer

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