I think the most important thing that the Playhouse is that attitude monitors talent. Your attitude is what makes a huge difference, not just in your work as an artist but in your life, and I think both seem to complement one another.
I’m forty years old and the one thing I learn as I get older is that you have got to learn how to inspire, continue to inspire yourself, how to fight the cynicism that comes with maturity, and how to keep yourself hungry, uncomfortable, inspired, excited, and that’s what the Playhouse provides.
I think that what Milton provides is a bar for an artist to try to strive for, you know? The bar set at the Playhouse is very high and I think that’s inherent, I think that’s a reflection of Milton Katselas’ values. You’re talking about a guy who’s worked with some of the best actors and actresses in the game. I mean, you know, George C. Scott, Bette Davis, it just goes on and on. I mean, it’s a crazy example. So, when you get up on stage to do a scene for Milton, you know, he’s seen and worked with the best and so the bar is pretty high and you’re expected to reach that bar.
And what Milton is so good at doing is creating an atmosphere that requires the actor to surprise, shock, and scare himself. That’s what’s so exciting about the Playhouse. And, let me tell you, it’s not comfortable. A lot of times, it’s not comfortable, but when you do it, when you do surprise yourself, when you do scare yourself and succeed, when you come out the other side, there’s nothing. You just kind of wonder why you’re not in class all the time. And I stay in class. I’m forty. I’ve been in class for over ten years now. I stay in class because it keeps reminding me of what kind of work I still have to do.
If you want to be a great actor or an artist for that matter, it’s relentless. There are no days off. I think it’s got to be something you’ve got to continue to strive for because being an artist is a verb. There’s no end-point. It’s not like I’ve arrived.
More importantly, I came to the Playhouse and I learned how to act. It was really the place under the teaching staff that I learned basically how to get to a point where, no matter who I am acting with, no matter who it is, I can hold my own.