Monday, October 31, 2011

Final Words of Wisdom & Friendship from Evan Nasteff

It's our farewell conversation with Evan Nasteff who plays Chris, son of the title character in Becky's New Car. Becky's continues to cruise at Barksdale's Hanover Tavern home, and will be delighting audiences through Nov 6. Pretty much everyone agrees that this is a Barksdale show you won't want to miss. And if you've never been out to the Tavern, this is a perfect introduction. The historic Tavern dates back to the 18th Century and the lifetimes of Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, but Becky's New Car couldn't be more fun and fresh. Don't miss it!

Q - Welcome back, Evan, for our third and final set of questions.

A - Fire away! I'm having fun.

Q - Okay. Lots of actor hopefuls say it's impossible to arrive new to the scene in Richmond and get cast in your first audition, and yet ... you did it. What's it been like to join the Barksdale family with this production? Will we be seeing more of you in the future?

A - I will be auditioning for as many shows as I can. Being in this play, with this awesome cast, and under the amazing direction of Billy Christopher Maupin...the experience has reignited me. As for the other part of your question, what I find appealing is how welcoming everyone in the whole community has been. In terms of our cast, I didn't know who Melissa Johnston Price was, even though she's in STYLE Weekly as one of Richmond's favorite actors. I didn't know Gordo or Dave or Daniel or Christine. I'd met Maggie because I saw her kick butt in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown and Dog Sees God, both directed by BC, on back-to-back nights; but I didn't really know her, or anybody. As I started to learn who these people were, and how incredible they are and how rife they are with professional theatre experience ... then I freaked out. But they were all so welcoming, so nice, that if they didn't have so many damn stories of past plays together, you'd think that they could be on their first show too.

All the new people I've met now in the theatre community, I'll shake their hand and say, "Hi, I'm Evan Nasteff, nice to meet you" and they'll say, "Oh, you're the one in Becky's New Car!" and I'm like, "How the hell did you know that?" Everybody's been so welcoming to me, and that's what's been so appealing. I was a complete outsider, scared out of my mind of these amazing actors, and now I'm a part of it and I get to act right alongside of them. And now that I'm friends with all of them, they don't impress me at all anymore. Kidding.

Q - What do you think is the message of Becky's New Car, if there is one? What does the play have to say to people in our age bracket?

A - Um, I think we all imagine that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, and that we all worry about becoming complacent and not achieving our goals and dreams; and, without spoiling anything, Becky's explores what MIGHT happen if someone decided to just hop over that fence really quick and just check shit out. Becky wonders if maybe she can attain greater things in life. I don't want to sound too corny, but Becky's message is that life is about the journey. It's not where you've been and where you're trying to get to, but it's the journey that matters, and we all find that out in this show. Hey, come to Becky's New Car! Dave Bridgewater will give you free beer! That's another message.

Q - Being new, you can see things from a fresh perspective. Do you have any constructive suggestions to offer to Barksdale or the Richmond theatre community in general?

A - Everybody seems to get along really well. I think. It just seems like everyone supports everybody else. All the different theatre companies go to see each other's shows. I met the artistic director from the Firehouse Theatre, Carol Piersol, on Opening Night of Becky's. And I read the great things Bruce said about going to see Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at Firehouse, and I know he went out to the Mill too to see the Carter Family show. I guess I always thought the different theatre companies met in the streets and had West Side Story knife fights. That's what Maggie said in her interview, right?

Q - What does the future hold for Evan Nasteff? Any dreams you can share?

A - I'm moving to Hamburg, Germany! I'm going to go work at the Hollister store there. They have a Hollister in Germany. They speak English fluently in Hamburg, and the store is completely English-speaking! I need to brush up on my German, and by that I mean I need to LEARN German, but at least while I work I will have no communication barrier to break down. I've worked at Hollister in the past, and the opportunity arose and I decided to jump on it. I figured, if I didn't, I would regret it forever, plus Melissa Johnston Price told me I had to, so there wasn't really choice involved anyways. I'm going to give myself at least a year there, maybe more if I love it, which is likely, but as soon as I get back I'm going to dive right back into theatre and acting in general, so nobody get out of the pool while I'm gone, okay?

(Photo captions: top, middle and bottom - Evan the bartender with some of the beautiful women in his life.)

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