"Call Me Adam" chats with actor, writer, director Jay William Thomas about starring in Reina Hardy's new Off-Broadway show A Map To Somewhere Else, playing at The 133rd Street Arts Center Lab (308 West 133rd Street) through June 28!
A Map To Somewhere Else asks What happens to the imagined worlds we create as children? The tender, heroic, silly, elaborate fantasies that shape the souls of so many ordinary people, then are abandoned as we grow. What if, all this time, they were there waiting, hoping we'd come back? A Map to Somewhere Else is a comic drama full of fantasy, music, and magic that dares to ask what happens when that long-closed door is reopened. What adventures wait for us beyond the threshold? Click here for tickets!
1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? Performing has always been a gateway for me to feel more connected, to the world, my peers, and myself. I love what I do and I do what I love. That inspiration came from my father, and acting was the vehicle I chose to drive.
2. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? I'll shoot for the stars here, literally. I would do anything to work with Matt Damon. I think he has had a brilliant career and I respect his decisions as an actor.
3. From June 19-28, you are going to be starring in a new Off-Broadway play called A Map To Somewhere Else. What made you want to be part of this show? My current show is being produced by Everyday Inferno Theater Company. This company amazes me with the challenges they choose to take on. This new show incorporates song, dance, combat, and imagination all into a unconventional quasi-round stage. There is so much to tackle here I wouldn't know where to begin, but they do. It is a blast working with them and shaping this new play for its New York Premiere. Come see it! "A Map to Somewhere Else"
4. What do you identify with most about your character of "Constantine"? My "real-world" character, "Constantine," (I also play two other fantasy based characters) is struggling to find something that is missing. I feel like that everyday. He's a young man turning around every second over-analyzing the past and hesitant towards the future. I connect with him because we share the same intrinsic qualities.
5. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show? My big hope is for the audience to walk away awe-struck. This play is a story telling piece and it hits all the highs and lows of a great epic.
6. Since the show is about letting go of our childhood fantasies, what childhood fantasies have you let go of? Have you ever gone back to them? I always wanted to be a professional baseball player. I let that go in the 9th grade, but I go back to it every time I turn on a Cincinnati Reds game.
7. In addition to A Map To Somewhere Else, you also star in the web series GAYS. What made you want to be part of this web series? What do you like about filming a web series as opposed to being on stage? GAYS was such an amazing experience. I wanted to be a part of that project because of the Roller Coaster my character takes. From a life of glamour to an earth shattering wake-up call. That was a challenge, and I like challenges.
The big difference between the two mediums is really the ability to stop and start. In theatre the ride doesn't stop, that's why we rehearse and rehearse and rehearse, while a day on set may mean several hours of break, ten minutes of shooting, and then another break. On-camera work is essentially a story told through one lens while theatre has as many lens's as can fit in the audience.
8. What's the best advice you've ever received? Failing to prepare is preparing to Fail.
9. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? Too much to write, but the main thing is that life should be spent with the people you love and in a community that supports you. Success is inevitable then.
10. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? Flight or instant teleportaion, anything that would make travel easy and less expensive.
11. Favorite way to stay in shape? Push-up competitions with my roommate.
DeathBed Ripple Effect Artist Directed By Brent Buell; Einstein Variations Theatre Group Directed by Randolph Curtis Rand - Off-Off Broadway: Something Wicked Everyday Inferno Theatre; Zombie Frat House Bash EndTimes Productions; I Do Wonder Synapse Theatre Ensemble; Leaving Normal Avalon Studios. Jay is a company member of Ripple Effects Artists and holds a BFA from Western Kentucky University.