Friday, February 16, 2007

Interview With Arthur

You all remember that I recently went to Austin, and while I was there, I got to pal around with Arthur, improv actor and painter extraordinare. But how many of you feel you really know Arthur? How many of you know what's inside the heart that beats within his head? Well, you're going to know all that and more after this entry, which has been named in the literal style: welcome to Interview... With Arthur.

PHIL: You're a painter of some renown. Also, you're the only painter I know who sells work instead of just hanging it up. Why have you chosen your particular medium? What is your most and least favorite thing about your work? And why do you persist in painting almost-recognizable and smiling bits of cheese?

ARTHUR: Simply put, I paint what I like, I like what I paint. I'm not trying to please buyers, I'm trying to please my own artistic curiosities, I'm trying to explore and perfect my lines and colors one step at a time. I hardly ever use blue, which is kind of strange, considering that blue is my favorite color. I suppose my lack of experimentation with it is because I feel I would have to do it justice. I expect less from my yellows and reds, so I don't have to deal with self-censorship.

P: You're an actor of some renown. What's been your favorite role? Least favorite? What's the most interesting thing about acting, for you? What's the deal with that semi-present E in your last name? And would you please end the debate among hot young women everywhere about your supposed use of body doubles?

A: My favorite role was as the principle actor of Looking Glass Inn, an indie film that, as far as I know, only exists as unprocessed cans of film in the director's refrigerator in Indiana. One day I hope to just buy it from him and finish it myself and remember when I used to be younger and more talented. On the other end, I've seen Jigsaw so many times at this point that I cringe with every ___damn word out of my mouth.
For the time being, I'm absolutely addicted to improvisational acting with ColdTowne; it's always so free, so liberating, so spontaneous. There's a certain integrity with scripted acting, though, so I just need an excuse (and time) to get back to that. Doing Shakespeare again would be a treat.

P: You've just renovated a theater, which is already of some renown. Take us through the process. What drives you to improv? What inspired the name Coldtowne? And why do all comedy stages need brick backdrops?

A: There's a fun article about ColdTowne somewhere on As far as the theater goes, it's a blessing and curse dealing with the owner of the building, who is our greatest benefactor and greatest pain in the ass. Part of the business, though.
Brick backdrops are "urban" and "authentic", even when they're painted on. It's retarded, but we have to deal with a certain degree of audience expectation to get them to pay attention and pay for tickets, so consider them catered to.

P: Thanks for being interviewed in front of millions of readers that now feel like they know you, but will still probably never make it to Austin.

A: Get mean, Phil.

P.S. Notice how he dodges the "body double" question. That's as good as a confession to me, ladies.


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