Talking With Nathan Cuckow
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
In this play you’re required to play multiple characters, and move quickly through space and time. What challenges does this present? What opportunities?
Challenges: Lots of transitions.
Opportunities: Lots of transitions.
In On It occasionally uses direct address. How do you feel about interacting directly with the audience?
I've performed in a couple of one-person shows and have some experience interacting directly with audiences, so I would say that I feel pretty comfortable with it.
What role are you dying to play?
I can't really think of one. I'm not really interested in roles as much as I am projects. I want to be part of great projects, with great artists, and to feel like I'm learning and growing and becoming better at what I do with every experience.
What is the most challenging role you've tackled thus far in your career? Why?
I recently finished performing as Vladimir in Wishbone Theatre's production of Waiting for Godot. That was quite challenging. Why, you ask? Have you ever read Waiting for Godot??
What makes a role great?
Technically challenging and emotionally engaging roles are my favourite. Oh, and a strong character arch and/or really funny lines to say doesn't hurt.
What qualities do you love to find in an actor you're working opposite of?
Generous. Open-minded. Kind. Fun. Playful. Doesn't suffer from anger management issues.
What's more inspirational - suffering or joy?
I would say that generally the perseverance of the human spirit is the most inspirational thing, but that doesn't mean that one can't find inspiration in a good ol' fashioned suffering. I think it really just depends on my mood and what kind of experience I'm looking to have.
If you didn't have a career in theatre, what would you be doing?
Not sure. They say "Don't go into the arts, unless you have to go into the arts!" and I went into the arts, so... I don't know what the answer is. I've always wanted to be an actor. That doesn't mean that one day I won't be a Barista at a Starbucks somewhere, but hopefully that will just be a temporary thing between gigs. Gotta do what you gotta do to pay the bills, right? (Should I just have said that I would want to be an astronaut?)
3 things you love to do that have nothing to do with theatre?
1) go for walks in the river valley
2) eat at Bistro Praha
3) spend time with Loren Drysdale
Last book you read?
Jonathan Franzen's "Freedom".
Last song you grooved to?
I don't really get groovy, but in the rare event I do, I would say that Dee-lite's "Groove is in the Heart" works, or Madonna's "Get into the Groove", but I'm genetically pre-designed to like Madonna, so does that count?
Play that made the biggest impact on your life?
One of my favourite recent theatrical experiences was seeing Jez Butterworth's play Jerusalem on Broadway. Mark Rylance's performance blew my mind. I wouldn't say it made the "biggest impact on my life" or anything, but it definitely reminded me of why I wanted to become an actor in the first place. It's easy to lose sight of that along the way and it's great to have those reminders.