Behind The Scenes
An Interview With...
Jim Rhodes
  THE END
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STARTING OUT

How did you get started in theatre?
I had been involved in theater at my
elementary school and church until I
was "Conned" to do some ensemble
in a teen show in 2002.

What hooked you? School play,
Broadway show, etc.
When I did Tommy in 2002. After
experiencing the life of
being a cast member, I was sucked in!

What was the first show you ever worked on?
As an actor I was involved with my church Christmas
pageant, but the first real production I was in I think was a religious show called "The Wheel". As a techie, I was brought up as one. My dad had always done sound for our church shows, so I would be helping him since I was 8.

What was first show you ever saw?
Jesus Christ Superstar on video. Then, when I was older,
I saw them do it at Hofstra.

WHAT I DO

What is your position on a production?
Actor, Stage Mgr, Board Operator, Playbill Designer, Crew

Describe what your job entails.
What are the duties of an Assoc Producer of Children's Theatre, Stage Mgr, Board Operator, Playbill Designer, House Staff.) job? Oy, where do I begin? I am in charge of a lot... If something goes wrong, you know who gets blamed!

Did you go to school to learn what you do?
To an extent ..."Tech-ness" I picked up, but acting I have taken acting classes in addition to class at my high school.

MY THEATER EXPERIENCE

What has been your favorite show to work on?
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

What motivates you to keep doing what you're doing?
Fun and Unity. Especially when I get to pick my crews
for shows. We have a blast. 

How do you feel about pre-casting?
It's a love/hate relationship...

What was your worst theater experience?
Grease, Music Man, and the second time I did Fiddler...
I'll Just leave it at that.

What was your best theater experience?
I've been blessed with a lot. Romeo and Juliet, Joseph..., Tommy, Assassins, Rumors, Fiddler (the First Time), Oliver (all 3 times) were all great experiences.  I wouldn't trade them for the world!  

If you could give one message to ALL of the actors out there, what would it be?
Ditch the drama and just be nice.

If you could give one message to ALL the producers out there, what would it be?
Don't worry about money, do shows that mean something
to you.

If you could give one message to ALL the directors out there, what would it be?
Probably, let the actor try it first ...it may actually look good.

If you could give one message to ALL the other techies out there, what would it be?
Be open to new things!

Why do you work at the theatres that you do?
The enviorment, I guess, it also has a lot to do with where my friends do shows

FUN

Do you think Long Island Theater will continue to grow?
I hope so!

What brings you greatest joy?
Seeing a great show with friends you can have fun
with.

What irks you?
People who just decide, "Okay, I am going to be mad at
this person for no reason and make their life hell."

If you won lotto tomorrow you would...
Probably, spread the love after I'm taken care of.

Is it true you would rather be rich than good looking?
Yes, because money can buy looks (and a theatre of my
own, lol) *sings* "I wanna be a producer..."

What's your favorite word?
It varies day to day. Right now, I'm partial to "indeed."

Assuming that there is a heaven, what do you want to hear when you get there?
I'm tellin' ya, God, he did great work down there!


THE FUTURE

Do you have any upcoming projects that you would like the readers to know about?
Right now Joseph... at The Stage, and crew with Plaza

What is your dream theatrical project?
Many...I'd say direct a production of Rumors or Assassins.

AND AS AN ACTOR

GETTING IN

What was your first audition?
I don't remember, but I know I didn't get in LOL

How do you choose what play you will audition for?
The piece itself, the director, theater
Usually the piece first, director second.

What types of parts do you normally play?
I've played a couple of doctors and a lot of guards. In teen productions I seem to always be the old guy, too.

Do you feel typecast?
For Dr. Grimwig I did.

Looking back on the roles you've been cast in, do you think there's a certain kind of role you get cast in repeatedly?
The not too big, but fun role type.


CHARACTERIZATION

What is your approach to developing your character?
Instinct. Pure instinct.

Of all the characters you have portrayed, who's your
favorite?
Dr. Ernie Cusack, Analyst. and Bill Sykes

What do you think were your best roles? your worst?
Potiphar, Dr. Grimwig, Dr. Ernie Cusack, Lord Montague, Bill Sykes, & Graintare in Les Mis/School Edition were my best.

What role do you wish you could have a second shot at
and get it right this time?
Charlie Cowell

What role or types of roles would you most like to
play in the future?
Voice of the plant, Brutus, Balladeer (Assassins), Tevye


SHARING

What is your favorite theater story?
The story where unexpected things happen during shows and the way they're dealt with: drunk audience members, etc.

Did you ever miss an entrance, drop enough lines for
it to be noticeable, crack up on stage?
I cracked up during Annie when a prop was missing and they had to improv a really crucial scene.


OTHERS

Who are some of the actors you've most admired or who
have been particularly rewarding to work with?
Frank L Danko, Steve LeFayt,Barry Kaplan, Mike Newman;
just overall good guys.

Who's the best (in your opinion) that you've done a
show with?
That's not fair, I'm not going to pick my fav, LOL


LIFE ISSUES

How do you maintain your school work and do theater?
School...

Why do you spend so much time toiling in L.I. Theater?
For the fun, the friendship, and you never know what will happen till you turn the page.

Do you find that your family supports your love of
theater?
They do...they're the best! lol

How has performing enriched your life?
Educationally and morally.