Thursday, April 17, 2014

Behind the Curtain with A SONG AT TWILIGHT'S Nicholas Carrière

by Chad Kinsman, Artistic & Management Coordinator

Full Given Name: Nicholas Carrière

Hometown: West Bridgewater, MA

Why you love A Song at Twilight: Aside from appreciating any play in which people over the age of 50 guzzle vodka like Gatorade, I am continually gutted by the quiet moments of grace in this play. Noel Coward’s brilliance lies in his words, but also in the space between those words. Every night I get to hear three characters tear each other apart, gorgeously and hilariously, but they each, ultimately, choose a kind of love. Grace is underused on stage, and in life. This play is a glorious reminder that it remains just as potent an option.

First time on stage: Massachusetts. Winter. 1986. I played “Rowdy Rudolph”, who turned into “Respectful Rudolph” when hit with Cupid’s arrow in the little known, American Classic, “Crosspatch and Cupid”. That tour de force was witnessed by dozens of parents, and a janitor.

Biggest onstage disaster: A drunk, homeless man wandered on stage, while I was playing the title character in Coriolanus, and threatened to assault me. Boston police rushed the stage, and while terrifying, it was also very humbling. The bravado of my character was instantly replaced by my own personal loathing of physical confrontation.

Favorite moment on stage: The same moment. Five thousand audience members came to my defense. It was magical. When the assailant was taken away in handcuffs, I signaled to the stage manager that we’d re start the scene, and the rest of the night was the most thrilling two hours of actor/audience togetherness I’ve ever witnessed.

Dream role you’ve not performed yet: This week it's Henry V, but Hermione, from The Winter’s Tale is nagging me. I’d make an ugly woman, but her speeches could reduce Hercules to a pile of blubbering sobs.

Book on your nightstand: Edith Wharton’s The Custom of the Country, and The Economist. I try and balance things out.

Last great movie you saw: Amour. I don’t ever want to watch it again, but I’ve never seen such a devastating portrait of love and devotion on screen.

Guilty pleasure: French Fries, and Trader Joe’s dark chocolate covered peanut butter cups, respectively, not together.

Your motto: ‘There but for the Grace of God go I’

Best piece of advice you’ve received: “You should always be nice to yourself, because inside of you is your little guy self, and you wouldn’t want anyone else to be mean to him, so why would you?!” An 11 year old said this to me.

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