Hi there! I’m Brian MacDonald, the third member of HTTC you had yet to meet :) I got into acting when I was about ten because I wanted to serve a hotdog. My parents took me to a children’s luncheon theatre, where they served food before the show. I thought serving a hot dog before the show would be the best thing in the world, but as my mom pointed out, I would have to get into the show. After a moment I responded, “I think I could do that!” Thus a career in the customer service industry was born. (To this day I have yet to serve a hot dog, a story for another time)
So that was that. My acting career started with the Peanut Butter Players, and my life’s work began, which until recently, I viewed only as the time I spent involved in the craft of acting. The Peanut Butter Players taught me a lot about acting, especially the value of being a part of a community with which you can grow, succeed, fail, learn, and celebrate. When I look back at my first efforts as an actor, I remember laughter, conversations, jokes, parties, and camaraderie, all before I think about the roles I played or the lines I learned. I could say the same thing about the schools I’ve attended and companies I’ve worked for growing up in Colorado. Without a community, life between shows would have been very hard, and the majority of our lives are lived between shows, after all.
So now I find myself in New York, working as a barista (I’m writing this after getting home from it today), not only having to think about auditions and memorizing lines when I get a project but dealing with rent, feeding my dog, trying to figure out how to make those numbers in my bank account go in a better direction, and just generally keeping my head above water. Sometimes my life’s work feels like it’s actually dedicated to perfecting how to make a heart in a latte (and yes, I can totally do that). Thankfully I have a wonderful family and many friends to share my times with who grab me whenever I start to sink.
It’s easy to say you’re an actor when you have a job, and it’s easy to feel like an actor when you’re in the lights, but perhaps the more defining moments are the times in between. Those are the times that truly define us, and those are the moments when we need a community most of all to share life with. Those are the moments to be filled with good company and good cheer, because it’s what we’ll remember most, and it’s the most important piece of our life’s work.
In our HTTC meetings we’ve discussed our interest in educational outreach, becoming involved with outreach programs that provide food for those in need, we’ve even discussed the possibility of taking a show on tour, and we’re constantly adding names to our email lists. Working to attain goals such as these inspires me, because it demonstrates an interest in not just putting up shows in a black box somewhere, but in trying to create a community, a group of friends with whom life can be shared and memories made.
We’ve already met a lot of new people through events such as the Reading Salon, and I know when I look back I’ll take pride in the shows we produced and the roles we played, but I know the first memories will be the ones in which we played a Shakespeare “bard” game, drank wine while discussing the meaning of a Strindberg play, eating and drinking with new friends, and being a part of something special in a great city. We of course will always work to produce plays and provide acting work, but in the end, I like to think we’re first and foremost providing a community in which we can pursue our life’s work--the work we perform in between gigs. Join us, and bring a friend!
And keep your kids away from hotdogs--they lead to acting.