Monday, April 18, 2016

Charlette Blogs: My Interview with Gerald aka DerekTravis Collard

BACT Blogger Charlette recently sat down with DerekTravis Collard who plays Gerald in BACT's production of Elephant & Piggie's WE ARE IN A PLAY!


Charlette and DerekTravis
I interviewed DerekTravis Collard who played Gerald the elephant in the play Elephant and Piggie. Derek started acting when he was a little kid.  When he was 8 or 9 years old he did a national tour which went all over the United states, North America, and Canada. He did that for 2 years. He also did a musical called "Peter Pan." Derek went to a university to study theater. He did lots of different kinds of plays and he traveled all around the world into different countries where he did theater. He also took tap dancing when he was younger. He is the only actor in his family but his dad is an editor for Disney animation and his grandfather was a set designer. What inspired him to act was when his great grandparents took him to see a play called Your a Great Man Charlie Brown. That was his first show he has ever seen. The moment he saw that he wanted to grow up to do that because it made him feel happy. He wanted to bring the audience happiness just as he felt.

Playing Gerald was one of Derek's favorite roles because he enjoyed physical comedy and being silly and to move around alot. But it was a little tiring for him because he never leaves the stage until intermission. His least favorite part is the very end because he gets very sad when it's over. The girl who plays Piggie (Allison) and Derek are good friends and the last song is a very sweet song and he does not want it to end. He loves playing Gerald the elephant. In his rehearsal they had all the copies of the books so he got to reference them for physical gesture for his part. He rehearsed for about 5 weeks. He was doing another show before this show so he went right from that show into this show. Its a little tricky to learn his lines in this show because it's alot of scenes quickly together so it was really hard to learn them. He rehearsed for about 4 to 5 days a week. He had alot of free time to come up with his own physical aspects of the show and the character work.  It was alot of work outside rehearsal to memorize his lines. He had to go home read his script, learn his music, and learn his choreography.  
DerekTravis Collard as Gerald with the three Squirelles.
His costume that he was wearing in the play is not his. He had a wonderful costume designer named Brett.  Brett actually designed the whole idea and put it all together. The only thing that is his in his costume is his boots. He thinks they look very elephanty. He got them from Japan and asked if he could use them for the play. He wears fake glasses for the play that are not his. So he can't see very well when he put them on. He has to be very careful and he relies on his friends to help make sure that he does not get hurt or trip on the stage. 
He worked with Allison before, they did a show called Knuffle Bunny and they played father and daughter.  She played Trixy and he played the dad. He really enjoys working with her.  He also worked with one of the Squirrelles, named Anna who also plays the penguin. She is also Piggie's understudy. On Friday performances they preform for students in school,  so Anna goes on as Piggie, so he gets to do the show 2 different ways every week.  It is a different show with different actors and they are really funny. Some new friends like Debra and Aly, the other two squirrels, this is the first time he has ever met them doing this show, but they are really good friends. It's really fun to do it with them and he likes to hang out with them.
Derek's advise to me and other young actors is to go to school and stay in school,  and go all the way through school. Take classes,  practice alot and even when something is hard keep practicing.  It will take some time and dont be afraid to get frustrated.  When you get frustrated hopefully it lifts you up to push up and succeed. That is very important. He thinks it is important to keep moving. 
I think Derek did a great job playing Gerald the elephant.  I hope I can see Derek again in another play. He was a great person who was really funny and friendly.

No comments:

Post a Comment