Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Coffee Talk with Jason Clift

So far, we've talked with Julie and Genevieve, the two women in the production but now for the men! Meet Jason Clift, who plays "Simon" in Us & Everything We Own. Jason is a Vancouver a graduate of Studio 58 and we are thrilled to be working with him on his first production with Twenty Something Theatre. 

(Jason Clift)
What is your favourite role to date and why? 

My favourite role would probably have to be "Man 2" from Love/Stories or: But you will get used to it by Itamar Moses. It was a role where I got to play several different characters, but there was also a strong artistic statement in the work, which made the piece transcend beyond entertainment only. It felt good to not only carve out these characters from the incredibly simple and poignant dialogue but I also felt like I was helping communicate really valuable themes on love and art, which I strongly agreed with. Itamar writes in such a beautifully simple way that doesn't feel like I need to add anything to make it understood, and in those cases you get to focus fully on the character. It also helps that this show was the first time I got to work with one of my favorite directors Brian Cochrane, who is directing Speech and Debate with Twenty Something Theatre later this year. 

(Jason [Right] in a music video called "Welcome To The Night" by The Autumn Portrait)
Tell us your "I wanna be an actor" story... 

My wanna be an actor story is quite simple. I played sports as a boy and a young man, and although I loved playing the games (hockey and soccer) I found it hard to relate on a personal level with my teammates. When I got into high school I started taking drama class and found that I could relate to artists in such a deeper way and I ended up having a lot of fun being around awesome people. I tried starting a more traditional career in the automotive industry, but I ended up being depressed. At this point in my life, without theatre and without the people in the greater theatre community I am just a big unhappy mess. I don't feel like I want to be an actor as much as I have to be one. 

(Jason as "General Smog" from Repair Man by Virtual Stage)
Why should people come out to see Us & Everything We Own

To begin with, Us & Everything We Own is a brilliant piece of writing. It's entirely topical, especially to Generation Y and deals with subject matter which is sure to stir your soul. It's a sort of "wake up" piece for a very confused generation. It's also a springboard for conversation between two generations who don't seem to be talking anymore, it's like "hey, mom, hey, dad this is what is up with us, wtf is going on?" If you ever got to a place in your life where you thought maybe the American dream is a lie or it isn't possible, you should really watch this play. 

What do you think audiences can learn from the characters of Us & Everything We Own?

There is a plethora of wisdom enchanted in the characters in the play, I don't even want to speculate on what any particular individual will glean from the characters, you will just have to come and watch it. Although it is entirely accessible it is quite open for interpretation, another reason I love it. 

(Jason [Right] with his friend, Sean)
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?

Don't be a selfish asshole, we're just big kids in a sandbox playing pretend, the only point is to enjoy yourself.

Agreed. Make sure you don't miss Jason playing in Us & Everything We Own starting next week at PAL Studio Theatre (581 Cardero St.) Tickets $12-$22. More information at

Up next, I'll be talking with Adam Lolacher who plays "Charlie", the man of the house! 

-Jessica Van Elk
Producing Assistant 

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