Spotlight on Dave SchwartzBy Laura & Mike Clark • Mar 25th, 2009 • Category: Interviews
James Lee Community Center, Falls Church, VA
$15/$12 Seniors and Students
Playing through April 4th
Listen to the interview with Dave Schwartz. [MP3 5:30 5.0MB]
Mike: Hi, this is Mike Clark with Show Biz Radio and tonight I am backstage at a rehearsal for Rehearsal For Murder at Providence Players in Falls Church and I am talking with Dave Schwartz, who is playing the role of Frank Heller. Thank you for talking with me tonight.
Dave: Sure thing, Mike.
Mike: So who is Frank Heller?
Dave: Frank plays an actor in the play and because it is a mystery I shouldn’t give too much away.
Mike: So is it different playing an actor versus playing a doctor, where a doctor has certain things that doctors do. What do actors do to make an actor come alive?
Dave: Well when you play a part that’s a very specific character, then you can take on that character and sort of lock it in. Once you establish it I guess it does not give you a whole lot of latitude because you are set as one character playing an actor or playing more of a regular person I guess who has to show different emotions different parts of the lay depending on what’s going on. Obviously every actor plays different of emotions that sounds kind of hokey. For the most part it’s more like playing a regular person. Playing an actor is probably not that difficult in terms of portraying a particular character because it is pretty much of a regular person so I do not have to stray too far from myself for this one.
Mike: So how similar is Frank to you?
Dave: I say I can play him pretty much like me. A little looser, I tend to be a pretty introverted guy and Frank is not quite so. I don’t have to go too far for myself, but definitely I have to portray some things that I certainly wouldn’t do as me in real life.
Mike: So is it easier as an actor to play a character that is pretty easy or is it better to play a character that kind of forces you to work on the character?
Dave: Actually, in some cases I guess when you play a character that is very different from yourself you can focus in a little bit more. When you are trying to play yourself, there may be a tendency just to be yourself and forget that you are on stage acting even if you are not speaking lines you still have to remain in that character and that character is not going to be exactly you. There are some challenges in that, too. I don’t have to take on any particular mannerisms or quirks that might apply to your character. The last play I was in was Saturday, Sunday, Monday where I played the grandfather. Once I established that that was a lot of fun because I got to take on a different persona.
Mike: So how long have you been acting?
Dave: Well, let’s see. I’ve been acting with the Providence Players. My first play with them was in 2001 with Arsenic and Old Lace, but I guess I’ve been acting a little bit since I was a teenager. I did some plays. My synagogue used to do plays as a fundraiser for the youth program. I had a couple of bit parts and then my big break was playing Linus when I was about 14. That was a lot of fun. Stuff in high school, stuff in college and then not for twenty years until I got involved here with the Players.
Mike: Was it hard getting back into it since it had been such a big break?
Dave: It was hard because I have opportunities through my work to do technical presentations and business presentations and sales presentations that was of course difficult at first because you are being yourself as opposed to being an actor on stage where you are somebody else. So I thought it might be easier going back on stage, but it sure wasn’t. Auditioning the first time was pretty tough. Now it’s interesting that I can sort of transfer the presentation part of it versus the acting part of it so it works well both ways.
Mike: Does the acting help you in your job now?
Dave: It does. When I have to make a presentation I think it’s helpful with my speaking ability, less nervous standing in front of a crowd.
Mike: Do you have any plans for after Rehearsal For Murder?
Dave: Well, I can usually afford to do one play a year, but I like to do it. It’s a great break. I used to wonder if it was adding stress or relieving stress because it does take a lot of time, but I really enjoy it. I think it does give me something to do outside of work. A different group of people than I see everyday. So I look forward to the opportunities to do more.
Mike: So how did you find out about Providence Players?
Dave: Well through a friend. My daughter was actually taking karate with the daughters of Beth Brown, who is another member, actress, and director with the Providence Players. She handed me a playbill for a play going on at Frost Middle School. I looked at it and I thought, “Yeah this is nice, a middle school play.” But she explained to me what it was all about,that it was a group of adults doing community theater. And I had once previously tried to get involved with the theater and then had moved and it became very inconvenient and I dropped it for a long time.
So we went to see the play and it was great. They did Lend Me a Tenor and they did a terrific job and there was a sheet of paper in the playbill that said if you’re interested in joining give us a call so I did. The next year I was in Arsenic and Old Lace and did a one act in their one act festival. I guess that was it; that’s where I took off from.
Mike: Well thank you very much for talking with me. I appreciate it.
Dave: You’re very welcome.
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/3641.
Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.