Filmmaker by day, Cowboy by night!
Every good Western needs a cowboy, Town Hall Theatre hired a filmmaker, just like Jethro Compton, our versatile playwright, to tackle the role in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance! (More about that in a minute.) Don't expect this cowboy to be your typical gun toting, horse riding archetype, who only looks to the sun and moon for comfort. Our cowboy is quick to offer western wisdom, speak his mind without a filter, but also look out for new comers in town if it means the girl he has his heart set on will approve. Our cowboy is part of a love triangle that will take our audiences breath away. His selfless nature leads you to the interior of a character who shields himself with an exterior made of sturdy leather.
Not only is Erin an actor, he is also a filmmaker! Last year, Erin produced our Edwin Drood teaser, and this year, we have hired him (through a generous donation) to make four more for our upcoming season. Erin's other projects can be found on his business page, Minimum Wage Entertainment! Last year, Town Hall hosted a reading of his most recent screenplay and he has volunteered to direct our fundraising event on Oct. 30, The Night of The Living Dead: A Radio Stage Play! Hear what this versatile artist has to say about being a cowboy! He will make you laugh!
What sort of person is going to love this character? I think pretty much everyone can relate to unrequited love. And that’s something that Bert displays underneath the exterior of the cowboy trope — a man who rides the territory, going where the work takes him, tough and sensible, but he’s in love with a woman and unable to convey that to her in a manner that could be considered romantic. I think everyone can think about the one that got away. And hopeful that there’s always a chance.
How is this character like you? Like me? We have the same hat size, I guess. I’m very protective of my family and friends and willing to do whatever I can in their time of need. I think that’s something I share with Bert.
Bert knows who he is and what he’s capable of. It’s a level of self confidence I’d love to have, but I’m too busy doubting myself to try that. Wait…did I answer that right? I don’t know…maybe I should give you a different answer. See? Bert would have answered that in one sentence and be done with it and on to drinking whiskey.
What do you love about this character?
His ability to be selfless. To do what’s right and do it for the people he cares the most about. Sometimes his delivery may be a bit harsh, Bert is always coming from a good place. Also, he’s so secure about his place in the world.
What do you dislike about this character?
At times his brutal honesty can be a bit jarring. He may need to take an Interacting With Others course at the Two Trees Human Resource Center.
What’s the biggest challenge about taking on this role?
Having not acted in quite a few years is a bit of challenge. I’ve been on the other side of the stage (or in my case, the camera) for so long that I forgot about the tough stuff an actor has to go through like learning lines…or…learning lines. That’s hard. At least in film you can go Full Brando and stick a post-it of your lines on the wall or on someone’s forehead just out of camera view.
Besides yourself, what celebrity would you like to see tackle this character?
There were there actors I looked to when trying to find what I wanted to do with the character. This first is Sam Shepard (because he’s pretty much Bert Berricune). The second is Kyle Chandler as Coach Taylor in Friday Night Lights — quiet, says the right thing when needed, and has an inner strength to him. And finally Harrison Ford because, well…he’s Harrison Ford, dammit.
Without giving anything away, what’s your favorite line of dialogue?
I have an exit line at the end of a scene in Act 2 that is probably the coolest I will ever be in my entire life. I won’t give it away…you’ll have to come see the show to hear it. And then after the show, you can see how not-cool I really am.
Besides yourself, which actor in this production is going to blow people away?
Not to sound like a cop out, but I can’t really single out one actor in this production because the entire ensemble is so strong. They’re all capable of so much and it really is a matter of all the parts working together to make the engine run. It’s a great group of actors.
If you could play any other character in this play, who would it be?
Maybe Valance, He’s got some of the best dialogue (if not THE best) in this play, but he’s such a bastard.
What makes a good scene partner?
Someone who is willing to go there with you when you discover something in the moment. I’ve had a few of those with Nate where we were doing a scene and something would happen that was never there previously and either he or I will go there. All you can do is follow and try to support the other actor the best you can.
Oct. 1-22, 2016 townhalltheatre.com for tickets!