Alan Pagano as "Chris Farley", Photo Credit: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images North America)Alan Pagano as "Chris Farley", Photo Credit: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images North America)I was fist introduced to rising performer Alan Pagano this past February when he starred in a staged reading of Charles Messina's "The Fatman Cometh: The Life and Death of Chris Farley." This hilarious, touching, and at times emotional show was very well written by Charles. Charles vision was brought to life by Alan(who played Chris Farley) and Carlo Rivieccio (who played Chris Farley's personal manager). Alan's performance was so strong that at times I felt as though I was watching Chris himself, if he were still alive. While this was a developmental reading, I really hope it comes back around and that Alan and Carlo is still attached to the project.

Prior to "The Fatman Cometh: The Life and Death of Chris Farely", Alan delighted audiences in "Frankenstein," "Beer and the Meaning of Life," "Crossing Lights," "A Bard's Day's Night," "The Shape of Things," "Elway," "Benches," "I Got Fired," and "Fair and Decent." Alan is such a dynamic performer that I'm looking forward to his next endeavor!

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? When I was in 4th grade, I saw Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and said I wanna do that. When I was a junior in high school, I saw Cuckoo’s Nest (my favorite movie) and said I wanna do that. And then the people who inspire me are limitless. My high school drama teacher, Doug Gipple, who stapled my pants to the stage because I wandered too much; my college directing teacher, Chris Catt, a big inspiration for the play, for teaching me everything I know about acting.  Parents, of course. But my girlfriend, Kelly, and my best friend Sanchez are the two people who believe in me for than anybody. If I don’t think I can make it, they do. They inspire me.

2. Who is the one person you haven't worked with that you would like to? Philip Seymour Hoffman! I could write a thesis on why he is one of the greatest American actors working today. 

3. What attracted you to "The Fatman Cometh"? Chris Farley has a story that hasn’t been told. Yes, he’s funny, really funny, but there is a real story within that layer of comedy, a real human story. That was the interest. Also, when Carlo, Charles and I began working on this piece, there were some similarities with Chris’s life that crossed over into mine.  I used be 70 lbs heavier than I am now. If anything, his life made me want to change mine.  Also, at the time of working on the piece, a very close friend of mine was battling a heroin addiction and I watched her single-handedly destroy her life and the people around her. But there is an energy that attracted me to the story. Chris had so much energy. He was electric. I loved that about him.

4. What was it like to portray such a well known personality? It was terrifying at first. I used to do some of those skits goofing around with my friends, but with no attention to detail. Then, we started writing the play and I start doing them full out, and it’s scary.  I have a lot more work to do. People know those skits and if they aren’t right, I’ll get killed. So, that was difficult. Then, there’s the voice and the mannerisms and living in his shoes that’s even harder. It was intimidating. It was exhausting. Charles was great directing me and constantly letting me discover those specifics out on my own. Eventually, I came up with something that I felt was right. I’m never gonna sound exactly like him or look like him, and that’s okay. I mean Linda Hunt won an Oscar for playing a man. Cate Blanchett almost did. As an actor, you have to go with something specific and be confident and hope it works.  

5. What's the best advice you've ever received? Bet with your balls! I live by that advice. 

6. Favorite place to rehearse/practice on your own? I manage a movie theater, Ramsey Cinema, in my home town. Every now and then, I’ll unlock the door and rehearse in the empty theater.

7. Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts? What do you order? Dunkin’ Donuts. A large Dunkacinno is awesome.  Hot chocolate and coffee. If only they could squeeze a Boston Cream Doughnut in there, I’d be set.

8. Boxers or Briefs? Boxer briefs.

9. Favorite website? Imdb.com. I cannot disclose any others in case my girlfriends reads this.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Superman.

BONUS QUESTIONS: 

11. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that nobody knows about? I’m a film and awards buff.  For fun, I memorize every Oscar winner. I can also do some cool tricks with a hackysack.

12. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Kate Winslet if my girlfriend doesn’t read this. If she does, I wouldn’t mind watching a Lakers game with Jack Nicholson.

Claybourne Elder

Patti Murin