Artist Spotlight: Nathan Cox
Nathan Cox returns to the stage next week after decades backstage, as Tajomaru in Thunder River Theatre Company’s production of “Rashomon,” a play by Fay and Michael Kanin based on stories by Japanese writer Ryunosuke Akutagawa.
Performances take place June 16, 17, 18, 24, 25, 26 and 30 and July 1 and 2. Tickets are available at http://www.thunderrivertheatre.com.
Cox is originally from North Carolina and Wisconsin, went to school for musical theater in Ithaca, New York, and worked in New York City before moving to Vail in 2001. There, he ran the theater at the Vilar Center for the Arts for several years and ultimately founded event design and production company Pink Monkey Solutions.
Now living in Carbondale, he recently sat down to talk about what drew him back to the theater.
PI: What got you into acting?
NC: My mom found out I had two study halls in middle school. She called the school to find out what was open at the time, and put me in choir. It turned out I could pitch match perfectly, and the next thing you know I was hooked.
Then, when I got out of school with a musical theater degree, I didn’t audition for a single thing. I was burnt out. I ended up doing backstage stuff, and I love it. That led to running off-broadway shows, and eventually to what I do now.
PI: How did you end up in Vail?
NC: Two weeks after 9/11, my wife and I left, and essentially it got dark in Vail so we stopped and we stayed. I had a job within about 24 hours. I’ve led a charmed life.
PI: When did you make the switch to Carbondale?
NC: Two years ago. My sister has been here for a while, so we’ve been coming here for a decade. My eldest son, Charlie, needed a different kind of school, so we brought him over here to Waldorf.
PI: How did you end up back into acting after all these years?
NC: In the winter, Charlie auditioned for “The Fantastic Mr. Fox.” I keep talking about theater, but I wanted my boys to see that I actually do it as well. I’ve always been looking for a return.
This is only the second straight play I’ve ever done. It’s not my wheelhouse. I have no idea if I’m any good, but I really don’t care because it’s really just been fun.
PI: Tell us a little about the play.
NC: There’s essentially two different stories happening at the same time. You’ve got these people telling the story and then the re-enacting of the actual scenes. Each of the four perspectives are different. My character is sort of the hero bandit.
PI: Does the character change depend on who is telling the story?
NC: Yeah, because their perceptions are different, although they don’t really change as much as they layer. It’s fun and challenging as an actor. As soon as I had to make money at it and have it be my profession, theater lost a lot of the joy. To be able to come back now and just do it for fun is really a gift.
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