AM: Rinde’s take on the classic myth is huge, I think simultaneously poetic and accessible, and his collaboration with Robert Woodruff is clearly complex and committed. This time round I’m able to pay more attention to the other roles, to the writing in general, and to the work as a whole.
PM: I’m playing two parts in this show, Orpheus’s agent Jon, and Persephone “The Queen of the Dead”, but without altering the way that I look. Any differentiations in character must be achieved with my acting, vocally and physically. Rinde has written my music so that I am singing in 2 vocal registers, baritone/tenor and counter tenor; that definitely helps.
But somehow my short brown hair has never worked for me, especially in relation to the male to female and back again aspect of my roles. I left message on our set and costume designer David Zinn’s cell phone, regarding my hair. We’ve talked about bleaching or buzzing it for a more artificial or androgynous neutrality. And then I’m reminded of the famous Lawrence Olivier/Dustin Hoffman anecdote, about a film shoot in which they both had to be out of breath in the same scene. Hoffman ran around the block; Olivier just flicked the switch. It’s called acting.