BY CARY GINELL
After last Sunday’s matinee performance of “Noises Off,” I met with the nine-member cast and asked each one how they approached playing their respective roles and whether they had anyone, such as an acting idol, in mind when they performed.
JIM SEERDEN (Selsdon): I like to think of myself as my own idol that I’m trying to live up to. In this particular case, there wasn’t anyone to compare to because all of these people here are young and vibrant and Selsdon was an old person. I’ve seen the show many times and it’s a wonderful part.
JOANNA BERT (Brooke): Sometimes I pretend, while I’m in the play-within-the play, that I’m in an adult film. I think that if a camera was looking at me, what should I be doing to look sexy enough for the guys looking from the other end of the computer monitor?
COURTNEY POTTER (Poppy): I know a lot of stage managers and I’ve stage managed a little bit, so I just thought about a couple of people who I knew, both in community and Equity theater, and how they would potentially react to so much insanity happening, especially in Act II. I love the movie version and since I have a ponytail in the beginning, I kind of compare myself to Julie Hagerty in the movie, so there are little touches here and there of other stuff that sort of formed my character.
SUZANNE TOBIN (Dotty): I had played a lot of this kind of character; she’s kind of my “go-to” character anyway, but it was actually the Dotty Ottly part that was scary. And then I remembered a time when I saw a production of a show with Sally Kellerman in it. And Sally Kellerman was drunk – she wasn’t supposed to be – and she was stumbling everywhere and everything went wrong, but Sally had this kind of “I just don’t care” attitude, so that’s what I was thinking about.
DREW DAVENPORT (Tim): Every act has a different Tim, so for the first act, I thought about myself as being just tired because I get a little loopy if I drive at night sometimes. And then I was watching “Where the Buffalo Roam” with Bill Murray and I thought about being like Hunter S. Thompson in a walking daze. The second act is just me. In the third act, I think about first timers acting, not knowing what to do with your hands and forgetting how to walk like a normal human being.
DAVID COLVILLE (Freddy): I don’t think I modeled Freddy after a person, but Brian [director Brian Robert Harris] told me to think of Freddy as a five-year-old, so that’s how I play him. It’s nice to be the only one who never yells and I never swing the ax. All I ever do is feel bad for everyone and try to help people.
KEITH MORETONE (Lloyd): I started off thinking about someone that directed me while I was in law school. He was from Louisiana and was on the staff, so he changed the way he spoke and tried to appear to be more than what he was. Then I got to rehearsal and Brian changed everything (everyone laughs), so I don’t know where it wound up.
ERIC MELLO (Garry): Brian had me watch Pete Campbell from “Mad Men” to get the arrogant/jerk side of Garry. But I also love watching Buster Keaton to get the physical stuff.
KIMBERLY DEMMARY (Belinda): I didn’t have anybody in mind. I just knew that I wanted to make the actors who did the original movie proud. I wanted to be that caliber and that’s what I pushed for.
“Noises Off” concludes its run at the Conejo Players Theatre this weekend. For dates and showtimes, see the VC On Stage Calendar.