Spotlight on Patrick DavidBy Laura & Mike Clark • Mar 27th, 2009 • Category: Interviews
James Lee Community Center, Falls Church, VA
$15/$12 Seniors and Students
Playing through April 4th
Listen to the interview with Patrick David. [MP3 12:52 11.8MB]
Mike: This is Mike Clark with ShowBizRadio. Tonight I am backstage at a rehearsal for Rehearsal For Murder with the Providence Players and I am talking with Patrick David who is playing the role of David Mattthews. Thank you for talking with me.
Patrick: You are welcome. Which one are you talking to, David or David. Which one?
Mike: Yes, David.
Patrick: Ok, that clarifies it. Good.
Mike: So who is David Matthews?
Patrick: David Matthews is a very handsome actor who is highly overrated in his own mind of his acting talents. He was a lead in one of Alex’s shows last year and has been invited back to read again. little does he know what he is reading for.
Mike: So has it been hard to get into this character?
Patrick: I like the character. It’s got a lot of freedom to it so you can play it many many different ways. In fact. as I’ve been going through the rehearsals I have been trying also to different deliveries, different ends of the spectrum that I think this guy would actually be from. Totally full of himself to somewhat full of himself, but trying to be the best he can to somewhat of a buffoon, but he does not know it. I’ve tried a little bit of everything so it’s been a very enjoyable character. Plus it is not a zillion lines which I love after the last show I was in.
Mike: And what was the last show?
Patrick: The last show was Rough Crossing by tom Stoppard. I played the character Sandor Turai. It felt like I was on stage every minute of the play. It was a great show, though.
Mike: Yes, at first when we started Rehearsal for Murder I had read the play and came in and met everybody and I did not see that working for Patrick as David, but now that I’ve seen everybody and how it has grown it really works well. I can’t picture it any other way now.
Patrick: Of who is cast which way?
Patrick: You know, it is interesting how it has worked out. Our first little get together rehearsal read through in that small little room down the hall here I was like a lot of new faces and new sounds and sights and I was like,” hmmm, I wonder how is this going to turn out.” But I agree, it has sort of developed it’s own kind of body here and I can’t imagine anyone else doing the parts now. From Alex the lead, down to Bella the producer to any of them. I look at them and they are supposed to be that part. It is interesting how they grow into it. And then you can not go back and say that you can not see them as that character.
Mike: So you just hit on something. In community theater we see a lot of the same faces all the time. So does Providence have that a lot or is there always new blood coming in?
Patrick: This is my fourth year. Fourth year, fifth year. My memory is going. I’ve been on both sides of the street. I’ve worked with some actors quite a few times and quite a number of new faces which I think both are very enjoyable. In Moon Over Buffalo, there were a lot of new faces I had never worked with and it was great, but there were some characters who have been with Providence since the beginning. It was a nice mix. In this show it is a nice mix again or old and new. And mostly new. Mario and who is our lead? Alex.
Patrick: Carl. Thank you. I keep thinking of Twelfth Night. They have done shows before. But most of them are new to Providence Players. It is good to see them. I like seeing new faces. I think the audience tires of the same face, the same lead awith just different lines. I think you need to shake it up. That is how you get to grow your theater that way. you get more people interested that way.
But a lot of people come back and back because Providence Players is such a great group. It is like a family. And people like to be involved with his family and that is the reason I’m here. Besides I live ten minutes way and it is awfully convenient. But it was the group that really drew me to Providence Players not the location. I have actually not tried out anywhere else. At sometime down the road I probably will, but right now I am very happy with the Providence Players.
Mike: What is your next show; do you have one yet?
Patrick: The next show for me, I am designing and building the set for All My Sons. I’ve already finished the design and we have had some preliminary discussions with Beth Whitehead the director on how it’s going to look. I think it will be pretty nifty. Not too complex but will give a nice flavor to environment of the time and the show All My Sons.
Next year, who knows? We have a great season coming up. I’m not sure if I can even say what the season is since we have not gotten the rights to some of them. I know we are going to be doing a new piece. A comedy by former Providence Players actor. Very very good. Very very funny. We will be going through workshops next Spring working up to a Winter show. Looking forward to that. Big cast. Very funny. It takes place at a radio station. It’s great. Very funny. I think in the Spring we will do Laramie Project. I don’t know if you know about that, but it’s a wonderful show. We are still looking at who we have to work with. We’ve got our eye on the target I guess if we can get rights to it. So I shouldn’t.
Mike: Ok. Stay tuned.
Patrick: Stay tuned, but it’s a good one if we can get it.
Mike: So do you prefer on stage or backstage since you have done both?
Patrick: I like doing both. I draw a lot of satisfaction out of actually building the sets. I did that coming out of school and I did that for years with a professional group building sets. I don’t know. It’s in my blood. Building. I build houses. I build a lot of stuff. I like the hands on.
Acting is out on the high wire and it is exciting, but you are out on the high wire without a net. And I don’t find it easy. It is hard. It is hard work. It is hard work memorizing. I take it very seriously. Whatever part I am doing I want o do my best for the show, and for the rest of the actors, and for the audience. I work hard at it and I am exhausted after a run. My wife will ask me if I am going to do another one and I will say, nope. That was my last one. I am done. I am never going to do another one and then the next show auditions and and I say I’ll go watch. Then I may audition tonight, but you know what, I like it.
Mike: so what has been the most challenging part you have done?
Patrick: The most challenging.
Mike: Ever how you define challenging, that can be a lot of things to different people.
Patrick: I guess challenging in physical, physically and mentally was Moon Over Buffalo because it had so much physical action. I think I lost 20 pounds doing that show. It was hilarious, it was fun. It was probably one of the funnest shows I have ever done, but physically, iyiyi. That was probably the most challenging physically.
The most challenging mentally was probably The Time Of Your Life because I had to sit in one place for days it seemed like. And stay active, stay in the show. Concentrating the whole time and never be able to get up. While all the action went on around me. Great show. Great ensemble. Loved working with everybody, but that was hard mentally because of the stationary position I had to take throughout the entire play.
I think Twelve Angry Men was the most challenging in the sense of keeping your emotions in check because everyone was always at the breaking point. So you are always on the edge.
Mike: Is it hard to turn that off? You get to that point as a character and then you need to stop the scene or whatever is it hard to go back to normal?
Patrick: Not for me. Because I’m abnormal so it does not make a difference. No, I’m not of the theory that you have to live your part. speak you lines clearly, quickly and get them out there. It’s all part of acting. I do not have to live my part. In fact I think that is is a little bit fake. There are a lot of people who take that route. It does not work for me. If I play a drunk I do not need to be a drunk after the part is over. I can drop it. I never had that problem. Some parts I’d like to keep going with, but I’ve never had a problem.
Mike: Anything else we should touch base on?
Patrick: Providence Players is is the best kept secret in Northern Virginia, I think. Hopefully we will solve that in the next year with some good marketing and a new website. I think that is where our weak point is as a group is that we do not market ourselves to the point where we could. Or marketing is word of mouth by the people who see the shows or the membership dues that come back. We are growing our membership, but I think we are missing out on a lot of people that we could reach through better marketing.
Mike: One thing that we have learned is, especially through community theater, people do not travel to it. It does not become a destination. In community theater the audience tends to be pretty close.
Patrick: Pretty close within five mile.
Mike: Five mile, ten miles maybe.
Mike: So is it resonable to move it out further?
Patrick: I do not know. I think we have a perfect locale right now with Falls Church City. 3,000 people. Ten thousand, fifteen thousand right in Falls Church city. Affluent, well educated, looking for this type of art theater experience. They just do not know about it. Most of the people I know in my neighborhood find out about our shows by the signs I put in my yard. They see it going by. So you’re thinking, I’m thinking how do we tap into this populace that really wants to see some good quality shows that they don’t know about. So that is our challenge for the next year. How do we make them aware of what ‘s in their back yard?
Mike: They do not even have to travel more than ten miles.
Patrick: They could even walk to it. Many could walk to it. We are looking at partnering with the city of Falls Church and their arts council. How can we partner with them? They do not have a theatre. The city of Falls Church. They have an Arts Council. They have a small children’s group. But there is no real live community theater so how do we attack that, too. So those are some of the challenges that Povidence Players is going to tackle in the next coming year.
Mike: That’s exciting. Good times ahead, I hope.
Patrick: I’ll look forward to it.
Mike: Yeah. And this is tenth year? Eleventh year now.
Patrick: Eleventh year now. So who knows? Eleven coming down the line now, I think. Great quality community theater. I’m happy to be a part of it.
Mike: Thanks very much for talking with me. I do appreciate it.
Patrick: Thanks, Mike.
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/3652.
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.