Monday, October 1, 2012

BACT Spotlight On - Performer

As we prepare for the exciting opening of Lyle the Crocodile, we thought we just had to hear it from the crocodile himself - the amazingly talented Calvin Kai Ku! Calvin is a multi-faceted performer, as you will read about below, who will utilize his dynamic abilities to bring the imaginative character of Lyle to life on stage.
BACT: You are a bit of an acrobat, and you show off your skills in your role as Lyle; what other skills do you have? Which of them are you planning on bringing to the show?

Calvin: I'm also a magician and physical comedian. Lyle will be performing a little bit of magic in the show. As for Lyle's character, he has more of an elegant personality and is well put together, which limits the "clowning" portion of my talents to only small, subtle moments in the show. 
BACT: Where/how did you develop such an awesome arsenal of acrobatic achievements? Could you give a little description of your training? How old were you when you started?

Calvin: I studied gymnastics at a very young age. However, I didn't quite stick with it after a few years. I got back into training after college, but everything was a lot harder, which just meant I had to train harder and longer.

BACT: You are playing Lyle in Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile: can you describe your process in taking a character from the pages of a story book/script and making him come to life as a very physical, acrobatic character?

Calvin: When reading the book and studying the pictures and character of Lyle, I got a sense of his personality. From there, it was a matter of finding that same sort of pizzazz that Lyle holds within my own character. I find it more effective and realistic to create a version of a character based on your own repertoire. During our rehearsals, I practice mostly only my relationship to everyone else in the cast as well as my "communication" since Lyle is mute. 

BACT: What are you looking forward to most for Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile?

Calvin: There is a lot of comedy throughout the show. The setup for each of these bits requires so much practice with the ensemble for each joke to work. With that, I definitely look forward to working with everyone to make each and every moment of our show punch.

BACT: What has been your favorite part of the rehearsal process so far for the show?

Calvin: Creating the solo performance that Lyle does in the first couple of scenes of the show. It's a bit of a small medley of my skills, and I hope to be as charming as Lyle's character should be.

BACT: What part of Lyle's character do you relate to the most?

Calvin: Being green. I'm just a bit of a different shade of green. But most of all, the amount of different skills that Lyle holds is very similar to what I strive to possess. Many believe I'm a jack of all trades, but I just like trying everything.

BACT: You’ve taught circus camp for BACT before. Can you tell us how circus arts have related to your life? How have they related to your students lives?

Calvin: Circus Arts requires a lot of risk. Although it's calculated risk, it's risk nonetheless. I find with the lack of funding for the arts in America, we circus artists, especially, take a huge risk in leaping into this business. And, I hope the students that I teach take with them the courage that Circus requires, and use it throughout their lives.
BACT: Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions Calvin.  We are so lucky to have someone who is so passionate about the performing arts working with our company.  Best wishes on the opening of Lyle the Crocodile!

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