Brendan Hunt is a 2009/2010 Ovation Nominee in the Lead Actor in a Musical category for his work on Savin’ Up for Saturday Night with Sacred Fools Theater Company.
LA Stage asked Brendan Hunt the following questions:
What was the first theatrical production you ever attended and what impact did it have on you?
A production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Court Theatre in Chicago. Blew my 11-year-old mind. I had no idea until then how hilarious Shakespeare was; there was just SO MUCH going on. It wasn’t necessarily that show that made me decide to be an actor, but it sure set me down the path. As a side note, Midsummer remains my favorite Shakespeare play.
What is your most cherished theater memory?
I studied theater at Illinois State, a program with a pretty decent share of notable alumni, Judith Ivey among them. She came and did a week-long master class with a handful of seniors and MFA students. She had me do the big monologue from I Hate Hamlet in a far ballsier manner than my timid young self had even considered doing. It was a massive confidence boost — life-changing, really — the first time I ever felt in control of my facilities, the first time I felt for sure that I could do this for a living.
For someone as successful as Ms. Ivey to take the time to help young hopefuls such as us meant a lot on its own. But I ended up coming away from it with something very tangibly helpful.
Which LA theater artists’ work do you consider a ‘must see’?
I try (and fail, sadly) to see everything Kiff Scholl directs. I don’t miss a show done by the Echo, nor by Sacred Fools. And I think every artist should see the improv group “Dasariski” at I.O.; improv IS a kind of theatre, and especially when done by this exceptionally consistent trio.
What is your favorite thing about working in the theater in LA?
The modernity. The scene here seems particularly focused on new works and new ways of working, and I think that is very much to LA’s credit.
If you could change one thing about theater in Los Angeles, what would it be?
I wish the social scene was more streamlined, so all the disparate pockets of hangoutery could more often overlap. Maybe I’m just too accustomed to the everyone-knows-everyone way things work in Chicago, and am wishing for something impossible to reproduce here. But I’ve found that as far as theater-types are concerned, familiarity breeds intent.
Who’s the first person you texted or tweeted when you got the news about your nomination?
By coincidence of timing, I was in rehearsals for the re-mount of the show for which I was nominated. So I received quite the handful of congratulations before I could even get a moment to spread the news. The next day I finally got around to telling my family back in Chicago. One must consider the time difference, y’know.
For a full list of Ovation nominees, or for information about the Ovation Awards Ceremony on January 17, click here.