I first met Steven Fales almost 10 years ago when his show Confessions of a Mormon Boy made it's NYC Off-Broadway premiere. To this day, I still remember that show. When I found out that his new show, Cult Model, was going to be at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, I knew I had to find out more. In true cult fashion, I re-programmed my brain as Steven and I sat down for this candid conversation!
Cult Model is a new solo comedy exploring our society’s harrowing cult susceptibility and Steven's own obsessive cult disorder. You’ll be surprised by what he considers a cult! With hilarious parables and parodies Steven takes on each of the many cults he’s let run his life as he takes each layer of clothing off--or will he? Cult Model will play at The Laurie Beechman Theatre in NYC (407 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Avenue inside the West Bank Cafe), on October 15, 16, 22, and 23! Click here for tickets!
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1. Your newest show, Cult Model is making it's NYC debut this October at the Laurie Beechman Theatre. What made now the right time to debut this show to New York audiences? New York is headquarters for so many cults I thought it only fair to face my "obsessive cult disorder" right here! If I can survive the cults of Utah, it's time test myself and see if I I'm finally cured of being a cultaholic in NYC.
2. What are you looking forward to most about this show? Singing as I take each layer of my cult uniform off.
3. Why did you title the show Cult Model? I'm fascinated with our cult susceptible society. We all seem to have "cult brain." And I've been touched by more cults than most from being a Mormon missionary to being an "escort" in the cult of the sex industry. I'm your floor sample or cult model. There's really not a cult I haven't tried or wanted to. Except ISIS. I just hope no one confuses me with a COLT MODEL. That would just be far too much to hope for.
5. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing Cult Model? A whole new respect and appreciation for the four-letter "c" word.
6. After being in so many cults yourself, at what point did you go, I should write a show about this? How do you feel writing and performing this show has made you "cult free"? It's been a whole year since I went into "cult withdrawal" to detox from my last beloved cult. I seriously want to help others who have hit the "cult ceiling" and let them know there is life after their cult. Not all cults are bad--there can be a lot of value--like getting laid! But there comes a time to take the cult out of the kid. This show has helped me look at my pattern of cult abuse.
7. I was fortunate enough to see your first show Confessions of a Mormon Boy, which you still perform. What did writing and performing that show do you for you? As life has happened over the years, how do you feel the show has evolved and do you perform it differently now then when you first started it? Wow! Thank you for seeing Confessions! Writing that show was truly cathartic for me. My writing was a bit ahead of my healing. I wrote it more generously than I sometimes felt. But I think the generosity rubbed off which helped give me an alacrity in the face of a lot of angst. I then continued writing so it's now Part One in Mormon Boy Trilogy. The plan is to mount the entire trilogy in New York Fall 2016. That's the ten-year anniversary Off-Broadway of Confessions. I'm looking for co-producers to join my cult. I mean team.
9. What have you learned about yourself from being a writer/performer? I've learned we all have a story. I can pull out the stories in others in ways I never imagined possible.
10. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? A force field for myself and those I love.
11. Favorite way to stay in shape? I walk everywhere.
12. Boxers or Briefs? Definitely still briefs.
Steven Fales is an award-winning veteran of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, two New York International Fringe Festivals (Overall Excellence Award), the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival (Oscar Wilde Award Nomination), Atlantic Fringe Festival (Overall Fringe Hit Award), Acts of Faith Festival and countless others. His solo plays in Mormon Boy Trilogy include Confessions of a Mormon Boy, Missionary Position, and Prodigal Dad. His cabaret acts include Mormon American Princess and Mormon American Cowboy. He has performed his work from Lincoln Center to Joe’s Pub; from Halifax to Houston; from London to Los Angeles. He received an Outer Critics’ Circle Award Nomination for the off-Broadway run of Confessions of a Mormon Boy at the SoHo Playhouse. Fales holds an MFA in acting from the University of Connecticut. Fales was an LDS missionary to Portugal and is an Eagle Scout. He holds extensive credits in film, television and theatre.