January 26, 2011

Actor: CHEO BOURNE

Cheo Bourne has certainly come a long way since his acting debut as the Happy dwarf in first grade. The Boston native began his career at Connecticut College, where he took the stage in nearly a dozen  university productions over the course of his tenure. He returned to his hometown after graduation, kicking off his career by working in reputable regional theaters for two years.  He recently decided to move and showcase his talent in the theater capital of the world--New York City, obviously!--where he soon after landed a role in an off-Broadway production of Shine! The Horatio Alger Musical, as part of the New York Musical Theater festival this past October. Cheo’s resume impressively boasts 4 years of dance and a capella, and his past experience on stage (not to mention his mastery of 4 speech dialects) ensures his capability to successfully portray a wide variety of characters. 

This guy’s got talent, and we can’t wait to see him make it big on Broadway--keep your eyes peeled for his name on your Playbill.

When did you first know you wanted to act?
I became interested in becoming an actor when I realized how attracted I was to the challenge of storytelling.  

Your first role:
My first grade play: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, in which I played Happy.

The most difficult aspect of acting:
Knowing that there is no right answer—that's also one of the most exciting parts as well.

Most important trait in an actor:
Vulnerability.

How do you muster tears on stage?
I usually chop onions backstage immediately before I walk out for a crying scene.

The part of which you are most proud:
A role that has really stayed with me is Coalhouse Walker Jr. in Ragtime.

Your greatest fear:
Losing family and friends.

Actor that most inspires you:
It's too difficult to honor the word "most," but an actor that has inspired me recently is Colman Domingo.

Pre-performance rituals?
Depending on my nerves, my rituals could include one or all of the following: Ricola throat lozenges, speaking all of my lines and/or lyrics, personal steamers, pep talks, and prayer.

Any superstitions?
I always sing the song "Opening Night" from The Producers on opening night.

Your favorite playwright:
August Wilson.

Favorite Broadway show:
Recently, The Scottsboro Boys.

Do you live theatrically?
Yes.

Most embarrassing moment on stage:
Doing a split leap in tech rehearsal and splitting my pants.  They fell down, too!

Your motto:
Just keep swimming.

Most accurate stereotype about actors:
We love to laugh.

Best off-Broadway venue in NYC:
Second Stage.

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