30 August 2010

The Next Big Thing: My First Time

Actor Simon Vincent took time from his rehearsal schedule to tell drama on the waterfront all about My First Time … that is, the next Circa One production.

DOTW: What is the basic idea of My First Time? How does this show work?

SV: The initial idea for My First Time came from Ken Davenport, a renowned Broadway producer, looking for ‘The Next Big Thing’. He approached the progenitors of www.myfirsttime.com with the idea to create an Off-Broadway show, using the material from their website. The website itself was well established at the time and had nearly 40,000 posts. People have contributed many stories, some funny, some awkward, some painful and some touching but all extremely personal. The website is completely anonymous and this meant that the people were extremely candid; the whole gamut of human behavior is covered on the website.

Ken Davenport’s idea, like the website, is extremely innovative; he didn’t stop at just editing the stories he found on the website, he decided to give the show another twist. Every night the audience is asked to fill out a questionnaire, the anonymous results of which are collated in real time and incorporated into the show. This is an exciting innovation for us as actors because it means that the show will be specific to each audience and as a result very fresh, we won’t know what to expect and as we all know the truth is sometimes stranger than fiction.

Danielle Mason and Simon Vincent

DOTW: What has the rehearsal process been like?

SV: The rehearsal process has been very exciting, it is always highly technically challenging to take on many different roles and as the stories are real we have spent a lot of time researching the stories online and making sure we are investing each of these characters with real truth and integrity. The cast and director are all great and it has been a very revealing process for us all!

DOTW: What has been the biggest challenge? What has been the best part of the experience so far?

SV: The biggest challenge has been switching between characters and accents, it requires immense concentration and we are required to work very closely together so we all have to be on the same page. The best part of the experience so far has been creating such a diverse range of characters; I always enjoy striving to transform in front of the audience’s eyes using just my voice and body and this play is the perfect opportunity. I am most excited about the last character in the play…the audience!

DOTW: What made you want to be a part of this show?

SV: The idea initially because of its potential to bring audiences something that is interactive and highly original.

DOTW: What can you tell us about your fellow cast mates?

SV: They are all highly accomplished actors and as we have rehearsed we have had to be quite candid about our own experiences, which have brought us closer together…mostly! Some of the stories in the show relate to us but you’ll have to come and see the show to find out which ones…

(left to right) Judith Gibson, Aaron Alexander, Danielle Mason and Simon Vincent

DOTW: What can audiences expect from the show?

SV: An extremely entertaining night out that is a little risqué. The stories are hilarious and touching, at times painful but always entertaining. It will be a fulsome night out and also one that you might find quite surprising, you might find out some new information about your partners and friends.

My First Time runs from 4 September until 2 October. To book your tickets, call the Circa Box Office at 801-7992 or visit www.circa.co.nz.

Tell us about your first time to win a guaranteed great time! Go to www.myfirsttime.weebly.com and fill out the audience survey – not only will you help out with the show, but you could go into the draw for a fantastic prize package!

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