James Archer is another rising performer. From theatre to cabaret to dance, James is a triple threat! He's about to perform his 3rd Cabaret Show "Dying To Get In!" at The Duplex in NYC on April 27 and May 6. His previous two cabaret shows "That Singing Feeling" and "Putting It Together" played to packed houses at The Duplex and Don't Tell Mama.
On stage James has delighted audiences in NY and regionally around the country in "The House of Celestial Experiments" (The Metropolitan Playhouse), "Church" (The Public Theater), "Lessons of Love" and "NEO3 Concert" (York Theatre), "Merrily We Roll Along" (45 Street Theatre and Gene Frankel Theatre), "Kiss Me Kate" (Western Nevada Theatre), "Godspell" (Northern Nevada Ensemble Theatre), "Company" (TMCC Productions), "West Side Story" and "Little Shop of Horrors" (Act One Productions), "Joseph and the Amaizng Technicolor Dreamcoat," "How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying," "My Fair Lady," and "Much Ado About Nothing" (Barring Street Players). James was also a guest solo dance artist in Theatre Outbacks production of "ICONS."
You have two chances to catch James' beautiful voice and humor in his new one-man show "Dying To Get In!," an evening of song about James' experience in a Funeral Home. "Dying To Get In!" will play at The Duplex in NYC (61 Christopher Street at 7th Avenue) at 7pm on April 27 and May 6!
1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? My father probably was the first person who inspired me to be a performer. He is an amazing guitarist who taught himself to play by ear. I never really got into the musical theater scene until high school and then in college I would have to say that Tanya (voice teacher/coach) and Scott (director) both inspired me because they had a passion for the theater that I had never really encountered before.
2. What is the highest and lowest note you can sing? Currently the lowest note I can sing is Db2 and the highest is Db5 (I am always trying to expand my range).
3. If you could perform alongside anyone, who would you choose? This is an interesting question! I sat down to think about it and the first person to come up wasn’t one of the Broadway singer’s whom I love to listen to. It would actually be Tanya, a voice teacher/coach in college. She not only inspired me (above) but she also had a Broadway caliber voice, an amazing mix, and chose to show her passion by teaching others. She had a passion for musical theater and the singers that was unmatched in my life. There was always something about the teachers I took voice from that made me want to hear what they could do. I was lucky enough to hear Tanya (when she was my teacher) and would love to do a show or just sing with her.
4. How did you come up with the concept and song list for "Dying To Get In"? I went to Thanksgiving with a bunch of my friends and I told them that I was still working on my own show, and how it wasn’t the easiest of ventures mainly because I didn’t want to do the “love” or “dumped” theme shows. I wanted to have a show that was more about me. I don’t remember how it came up that I had worked in a funeral home. I began relaying my experiences; beginning as a weekend receptionist and by the end I was helping with the removals. They all really enjoyed the discussion and said that it would be a great topic for a show. I wavered back and forth for a couple months and then I finally started to put songs together. The first song lists were pretty depressing. I liked the songs but I then thought that I wouldn’t blame the audience for slitting their wrists after the show. So I began looking for more material. When you want to talk about the more exciting aspects of death and funeral home it is a difficult topic to find songs for. Death, dying, and the funeral home business aren’t really topics songwriters pick to write about so it took some searching to find material. Simon and Garfunkel’s Slip Sliding Away is one such song (but to see how that fits you will have to see the show).
5. Favorite place to rehearse/practice on your own? Currently I mainly practice in my living room but it really isn’t my favorite because I am always aware of my neighbors. I am also not one to really sing in the shower, and since I moved to New York I don’t drive. The last place that I really enjoyed singing alone was in the funeral home I worked in (ironic isn’t it). The chapel was a great place to sing and I was alone quite a bit on the weekends.
6. What's the best advice you've ever received? “Dance like no one is looking, Sing like no one can hear you, Love like you can’t be hurt.” From a marble plaque I have. Learning to let go is a constant uphill battle.
7. Favorite way to stay in shape? P90x (one day I will make it 90 days without a break).
8. Boxers or Briefs? Trunks as they have the support of the brief but not the length of the boxerbrief.
9. Favorite website? YouTube.
10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Superman.
11. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that nobody knows about? Not many people know that I am pretty good with a jump rope and a can do a few tricks while jumping.
12. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? To be honest I don’t know. I rarely remember any dreams when I sleep, so even if I knew I probably wouldn’t remember them. HA