I just received my invite for the first read through of A Bright Room Called Day this morning and boy was I excited to note the start time. 9 a.m. on a Saturday. Oh the long hours of sleep we lose to theater. How much simpler it would be to lie in bed on what will probably be a cold windy weekend morning, than to drag yourself over to Casa for the first rehearsal. But you do it because you know you will get a whole lot of grief if you don't. With the day drawing near I thought it might be time to meet one of the cast. Meet the man who has been a cat, a bard and a rhinoceros for Rorschach Theatre. Grady.
J. Grady Weatherford. The name just bodes doesn't it? Of all the Company Members of Rorschach, Grady is the one who I have known the longest. He will fire your righteous indignation and will tell you lots of things you didn't know you wanted to know. I think passionate would be a great word to start any description of this man. He appeared in Rorschach's very first show, The Hairy Ape. Since then he has appeared in Rhinoceros, The Illusion, JB, Master and Margarita, Behold! and The Beard of Avon. He has directed Lord of the Flies, Family Stories: A Slapstick Tragedy and Accidental Death of an Anarchist. I will allow him to tell you the rest of the stuff he has done for Rorschach over the years.
Next he will play a one-eyed Hungarian revolutionary in A Bright Room Called Day. He told me he has already started his research by walking around with one eye closed. Here is a man who is even willing to sacrifice depth perception for his art. Like Grady always says "If it doesn't hurt you aren't doing it right." Enjoy!
1. Place of birth?
Richmond, VA, the Capital of the Confederacy
2. First experience in theater?
I was first on stage at age 10 in the title role of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown in the 5th grade, but my first paid theatre experience would not come until the age of 12 playing the donkey in The Butterfingers Angel at the Barksdale Theatre in Hanover, VA.
3. Where you went to school?
University of Maryland, at College Park. Go Terps!
4. What do you do?
Actor, director, fight choreographer, graphic design, and multi-media design.
5. What was your first experience with Rorschach?
I went to a show at Theatre J with Andrew Price. Afterward we went to a "party" at Andrew's friend Randy's house. The party was really more of an organizational meeting for some kind of Theatre Company that had no name. A couple of weeks later I was asked to audition for a production of The Hairy Ape. I think you can use the website to find out where that falls in the timeline. Look for me; I'm the dirty one.
6. Company member you would most like to be if you were not yourself?
Rahaleh, everyone wants to live a life of luxury.
7. Some story about working on a Rorschach play that either made you laugh or touched you deeply?
That's really hard. I could say getting stuck behind the door with Richard Kirkwood at the beginning of JB extending the beginning by 10 minutes, or working on Family Stories at the beginning of the Iraq War, but the single most significant personal experience I've had was Accidental Death of an Anarchist. Working on the script with the cast, doing "talking points" discussion for an hour at the beginning of rehearsal, getting to be around so many people that I loved and respected for the entire two month rehearsal process, then living out the actors nightmare for the last three performance and going on for the now world famous Karl Miller with 24 hours of preparation. I may never have another theatrical experience as intense as I did working on that play.
8. Where do you think Rorschach will be in the next ten years?
Performing in the back of a Starbucks, but not just any Starbucks, but the Starbucks National Museum for Lost and Declining Art Forms! Corporations will buy anything. I mean everything. I mean, really successful, like moving into our own building and generating wildly successful and artistically satisfying shows Jenny will you and Randy let go of my throat now please.
9. What is your favorite Rorschach show that you were not in?
Hmmm. I will answer in the spirit of the question, as I assume you want this question to apply to those who are directors and designers as well, A Clearing in the Woods.
10. Scott McCormick harmless adolescent or world conquering super villain?
Adolescent super villain