Q & A with Seth Numrich who starred as 'Albert' from 17 Mar 2011 - 8 Jan 2012 in the Tony Award-winning play War Horse, which played at the the Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theater from 17 Mar 2011 - 06 Jun 2013.
January 19th. I'm a Capri-quarius...
Place of birth?
You now live in?
Fort Green Brooklyn. Best neighborhood in the city.
Did you go to training school, if so which one?
I went to Juilliard, right across the street from where I'm working now at Lincoln Center Theater. It looks different now with all the renovation. It kind of looks like a spaceship.
As an actor, do you have a preference for stage, tv or film?
Most of my experiences have been onstage, and I love live theatre and want to do it for as long as anyone will let me. I've also really enjoyed the little bit of TV and film I've done and I would like to do more.
Your first stage performance was?
Kind of hard to say... My Dad is a storyteller and I used to get up while he was doing his performances and act out the scenes. I've been stealing focus for as long as I can remember.
Career highlight to date?
I feel like I've been blessed with so many that it's hard to pick out one, but working on "War Horse" has been an incredible experience and a huge honor for me. I feel so lucky to go to work every day.
What roles would you most like to play?
Of course I have my dream roles in the Shakespearean cannon, too numerous to name... I'd also love to play Treplev in the Seagull. Sometimes I also dream that someday someone will make a film trilogy of the Divine Comedy, and that I can be in it. Wouldn't that be awesome?
What's the best advice you have ever received?
That's a tough one. I don't really hang on to direct advice so much as watch and emulate the people around me who I admire. The artists I admire the most are people who stay grounded, who work hard and attempt to find truth.
What has been your most embarrassing moment on stage?
During our first preview of War Horse I fell off the horse; that was pretty awesome.
What is the most annoying part about your job?
I guess I would have to say auditioning. I am really envious of actors who enjoy auditioning because I am so terrified of it and my nerves often get the best of me, which strangely never happens when I am actually performing. Auditioning is annoying.
Briefly tell us how you become involved with War Horse?
I heard a while back that the play was coming over from London and assumed that the London cast would be coming as well, so when I heard that they weren't I was very eager to read for it... I had 3 wonderful sessions with the directors over about two months and then eventually got the call.
Briefly tell us about the character you play in War Horse?
I play Albert Narracott, who is a young boy from Devon England, and who acquires a Horse named Joey. Eventually Joey is sold to the British Army to serve as a cavalry horse in WWI, and Albert runs away from home and joins the army to attempt to find him.
If you had not become a performer, what might you have done instead?
Another passion of mine is teaching, and I do a lot of arts education work in addition to working as an actor, so I suppose I could see myself doing that.
Who are your favorite actors/actresses?
A few weeks ago I got to meet an idol of mine: Mark Rylance. I admire him so much. I also fell in love with Cate Blanchett when I saw her perform at BAM a few years ago. There are so many more, but I'll leave it at that.
If you could meet anyone in the world dead or alive who would it be and what would you say to them?
I sometimes wish that I could put every person who has influenced or effected me in my life into one room, so that I could really say thank you. I don't think I've done that enough.
Favorite after-show haunts?
We often head down to "Route 66" on 9th ave and 56th street for diner food and milkshakes. Really good milkshakes.
What was the last Broadway show you saw?
I was so lucky to see The Normal Heart on its closing performance last Sunday. I was moved so deeply. Larry Kramer is a force of art and change in this world and the entire cast was absolutely incredible. Theatre at its finest.
What was the last book you read, and name some of your favorite authors?
I just finished a book called "So Long, See You Tomorrow" by William Maxwell, which a cast-mate recommended, and I would highly recommend to anyone. Walt Whitman is probably my favorite writer, but I love lots of different kinds of books... Gabriel Garcia Marques is a favorite, as is Milan Kundera...
What was the last film you saw, and name some of your favorite movies?
Yesterday I saw a documentary called "Buck" about a famous horse trainer named Buck Branaman. It was amazing and I would recommended everyone, even if you're not in the cast of War Horse. I love seeing movies and there are many that I love... one of my favorites of the past few years was "Let the Right One In." The original Swedish version, not the American remake, although I haven't seen that one. It's a beautiful, weird, dark, simple film with a lot of heart. That's the kind of movie I like most.
Favorite TV programs?
I don't actually have a TV so I don't watch a lot, but I occasionally check out the Daily Show on Hulu so I'll say that. Oh and I have the DVD set of Flight of the Conchords. That's probably my favorite.
Favorite holiday destinations?
I love northern California, and I really enjoy visiting there as often as I can. I Also love visiting my family in Minnesota. Just not in the winter.
Do you have any hobbies?
Hiking, biking, swimming, camping, climbing... Pretty much anything outdoors.
Do you have any superstitions?
I definitely believe in the scottish play curse, and am observant of not naming it in the theatre... I also knock on wood a lot.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you take with you?
I thought about this question the hardest. I don't think I'd take anything. Just try to enjoy the freedom. I might not make it long, but at least I'd be unencumbered.
What are your future plans?
My good friend and amazing theatre artist Daniel Talbott is developing a new play that I hope to be in next season. Other than that I'm planning to keep trying to not suck in War Horse and to stay thankful for all my good fortune.
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