Onstage / TEN QUESTIONS FOR Eric Rawski
(Eddie in FOOL FOR LOVE at American Repertory Theater of Western New York)
Photo courtesy of Eric Rawski
What is your relationship to this show?
I play Eddie, one half of a pair of doomed former lovers who come together to work through their crap in the middle of the desert. And oh, there’s a lot of it.
What’s the best acting advice you were ever given?
A professor in college, Chris Catt, who quite literally changed the course of my life, told me: know yourself. Your strengths, your weaknesses, and where to focus your time and energy. I can carry a tune but you won’t find me at an open call for Les Miserables.
What’s your best “the show went on” moment?
The first thing that comes to mind was when I was just back to town and working in the box office at Theatre of Youth. Tim Newell, who was the definitive Templeton the Rat in Charlotte’s Web, had a death in the family and would be out for three shows and I was tapped to jump in and learn the part, the puppet manipulation, the choreography, etc. in twenty-four hours. Not only did I miraculously pull it off, but every time I left the stage, it was like Rocky, with Meg Quinn ready with a script, a water bottle, and a towel. That was memorable.
What’s the role that got away?
Father Flynn in Doubt.
What line from a former play have you never forgotten and why?
I was gonna try to be profound. And then funny. But once a show closes, that script goes outta my head. A theatrical lobotomy.
What “against type” role are you dying to play?
Evan Hansen. As [Buffalo United Artists artistic director] Javier Bustillos would say, “as a flashback.”
What’s your classic actor nightmare dream?
Your typical, it’s opening night, I’m backstage and ready to go on but have zero clue as to what my lines are.
What audition do you want a do-over on and why?
I hate auditioning. With a passion. So, all of them? I know it’s part of the life but, ugh. One particular one for Jud in Oklahoma! at Bucks County comes to mind. Everyone else was giving Rodgers and Hammerstein. I was in an Ibsen piece. I literally just put my hand over my face in embarrassment—twentysome years later.
Plugs for the rest of the season or next?
Louis in Angels in America at SGT!!
Read more on this month's theater scene here.
Playwright Donna Hoke writes about theater for Spree and Forever Young.