Monday, August 06, 2007

Virginia City Actor-Forrest Leder

Introducing this actor is really special for me. Why? I'm so glad you asked :-D Seeing Forrest Leder's name in lights would make my momma's heart swell! It does every time I watch him perform. It's also fun learning things about your kids that you didn't know.

Forrest Leder was born in Torrejon, Spain on the military base. He speaks a good bit of Spanish (in fact spoke more Spanish than English until he was almost three) and loves the performance lifestyle. Let's get to know him a little better. Then, make sure you go see the Virginia City Players perform this summer at the Opera House in Virginia City, MT.

Angie: Where are you from and if you are willing, please share your age education level, college?

Forrest: I'm from Missoula, MT. I'm a 23 year old, college senior in Music and Acting.

Angie: What are the productions you are the most proud to have been involved with? Why?

Forrest: Urinetown at the University of MT, and Anything Goes at the Bigfork Summer Playhouse

Angie: Such awesome theater at both those locals! Virginia City is a living ghost town of 135 people. Just driving through, you wouldn't notice all the amazing hidden wonders. So, what's it like living in a ghost town? Also share the Best thing/Worst thing.

Forrest: It's pretty much like any other small town except there’s more fun history stories. Best: great people. Worst: No cell service. Haha.

[This is Forrest with one of his favorite locals, George, in Virginia City. I had the opportunity to meet George. He's quite a charming individual.]

Angie: He says that about the cell service because Forrest has to drive outside of town to get reception and call home:-) Have you ever done Summerstock like this before? Where? How did you audition?

Forrest: Yes, I worked at the Bigfork Summer Playhouse. The producers came to a show I was in after they were referred to me by a professor. Then I was offered a job.

Angie: What do you want to accomplish in your acting/singing/dancing career?

Forrest: What every young musical theater person dreams of: to make it on Broadway. Of course I would love to play a super/action hero in the movies, too.

Angie: Obviously you have a creative side. What other things about you are creative? (Hobbies, other talents not showcased here, abilities you'd like to develop.)

Forrest: I write, draw, sing jazz, and also enjoy directing, although I don’t have much experience there. I also like to build worlds for stories and role playing games.

Angie: Are you a reader? If so, what genre and favorite books?

Forrest: Yes, I read a ton. I mostly read fantasy and sci-fi novels, but I enjoy a wide variety of books.

Angie: If you could tell a director in an audition why you are unique and why they should hire you, what would it be?

Forrest: I always take a note, and will bring a hundred different ideas about a character to the table for you to say no to until we find the ones you like.

(Aside: A "note" means director's notes or verbal observations that the director wants changed about the actor's performance or participation in the troupe. When an actor is given a note, he has been given direction by the director. If the actor can assimilate that observation into his performance and accept it with professionalism, then he is deemed to take notes well. We could liken it to constructive criticism or praise from our boss, editor, or other authority.)

Angie: What one thing do people tell you over and over again about yourself?

Forrest: I have a great voice.

Angie: Ahem, he does:-D He used to walk through the hallways at school singing between classes. That's the one thing teachers said they would most miss after he graduated high school.

So Forrest, what's the funniest thing that has happened to you in Virginia City or with the Virginia City Players?

Forrest: I got a speeding ticket one minute outside the town on my way home. Haha.

Angie: If you live in the actor's row (cabins by the pond), what does the stage coach driver say each time he toodles by with tourists?

Forrest: …and this part of town used to be known as Chinatown…

Angie: Where is your favorite spot in Virginia City and why?

Forrest: The stage, obviously! That’s where I do what I love.

Angie: Is there some time or place in your past that pointed you in the
direction of acting?

Forrest: I acted a little in high school but college is where I got hooked. I was in my first semester of college taking acting for non-majors and I had a great prof. Mike Verdon really opened my eyes to the world of acting.

Angie: Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, 20 years?

Forrest: New York City, making boatloads of cash, and achieving all of my dreams!

Angie: How did you get involved in the Virginia City Players?

Forrest: I had the Producer, Stacey Gordon, as a director in Opera theater at the U. Later I auditioned for several theater companies, got called back to about half and got the job with the ‘Players’.

Angie: Are you willing to share your deepest fear and greatest joy?

Forrest: My deepest fear is a failure in my integrity, and my greatest joy comes from knowing that, even when I fail, I am still loved and accepted by my savior, my family, and my girlfriend, Tristan.

Angie: What's a normal day like for a VCP actor? How does it change through the summer once rehearsals slow down?

Forrest: For the first six weeks we frantically learn new plays, and write vaudeville olios from 9 am to 9 pm. After that most of us get day jobs to bring in a little extra cash.

Angie: Are you homesick? If so, how do you handle it?

Forrest: Yes, I try to keep in touch all the time, and go home every week. It does get expensive, though.

Here's Forrest visiting this summer with one of his new kitties. This is Merlin. Forrest agreed to help save a couple of feral kittens found abandoned in Virginia City. Like everyone in our family, he is an animal lover too:-)

Angie: One spot in the world you really want to go?

Forrest: Ireland. I love Irish folk music and culture.

Angie: I'll tell you all a secret. (He won't mind.) All the way through high school, Forrest talked about one day going to Ireland and/or Europe. He would make his living being a bard. He'd sing and storytell his way across the country to see the world. I actually see him doing that through these Summerstock opportunities. Forrest, how would your other cohorts describe you after working with you all summer?

Forrest: Pretty easygoing, easy to get along with, and the least punctual of the group, haha.

Angie: Do you find memorizing a script easy or hard? What technique helps you most?

Forrest: More easy than hard. I break it into the scenes, repeat every line 3-4 times before moving to the next, and then run the scene. I also try to learn the cue lines with my own.

Angie: What one question would you really like to answer that I didn't ask yet?

Forrest: Who are my acting Idols?

Angie: Great question! So who are they?

Forrest: Danny Kaye, Hugh Jackman, and Sean Connery.

Angie: It's really fun to learn how people think, what they believe in, and who they are as a person. Thank you Forrest for letting me interview you. If you would like to learn more about Forrest Leder, check out his blog:

Another fun thing is Forrest's sense of humor. This is the tagline on his email, lol.
Cleaning up your room is easier than cleaning up your life.
Thank you for visiting with Forrest and I today. Come back soon:-)
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