Tuesday, April 12, 2011

ON THE SPOT with Andre Nurse and Kerren McKeeman

Boom Town cast interviews continue! Meet Andre and Kerren, two more talented circus performers!

Andre Nurse
New Victory: Where did you grow up?
Kerren McKeeman: Hollis, New Hampshire
Andre Nurse: A small suburb outside Toronto, Brampton Ontario

NV: Favorite hometown tradition?
KM: The Strawberry Festival in downtown Hollis!
AN: Canada Day

NV: Favorite hometown food?
KM: Fresh corn from Lull Farm
AN: Poutine! Fries, cheese curds and gravy

NV: Favorite hometown haunt?
KM: My hometown bed
AN: Back in the day it was a club called Government!

NV: Favorite NYC haunt?
KM: Brooklyn’s great...
AN: Never been to New York so I'll have to get back to you after the trip.

NV: When you travel, what do you miss most about home?
KM: Getting to cook my own meals
AN: Honestly I don't because when I'm on the road there's so much going on there's no time to miss home. But it's always great to go back!

NV: Favorite family activity?
KM: Movie night
AN: Sunday breakfast

Kerren McKeeman
NV: Most memorable theatrical experience as a spectator?
KM: When Cirque du Soleil’s O opens and the first synchronized swimmer punches through the flat surface of the pool with the first accent of the music, it still sends shivers down my spine.
AN: The first time I saw the Cirque du Soleil show Dralion I fell in love.

NV: Most memorable theatrical experience as a director/performer?
KM: During the time I performed with Circus Smirkus ('99-'03) the company made a trip to Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, which is a camp in the woods of Connecticut for children that are terminally ill. I was sixteen. We did a show for them on their theater's stage, and I remember at the end of the show doing our bow-- I looked out into the audience into the eyes of kids my own age. Their faces were exuberant-- they had loved our performance-- but they were strapped into wheelchairs or hindered by oxygen tanks and feeding tubes. Some were able to clap. In that moment, I really felt the unfairness of life and how much I had to appreciate in my own.

NV: If you weren't in theater, what would you want to do with your life?
KM: Work to fight against China’s damming of the Mekong and Nu Rivers in order to save the ecosystem that supports so much life further down the rivers in Southeast Asia
AN: Change the music industry by helping undiscovered artists to be heard

NV: Favorite saying or slang term?
KM: Hoboken [New Vic Note: We cannot figure out what this means through the ever-reliable Google. When we see Kerren, we will ask!]
AN: "Yoski", a way to greet a friend

NV: Something interesting/unique others may not know about you?
KM: I love maple candy and trying out local beers when I’m on tour.
AN: I love to sample music. Some would argue that it’s music production; others call it stealing.

NV: Do you do anything else to earn a living?
KM: I teach aerial trapeze and aerial fitness in Los Angeles.
AN: Immitter.com, immitter.com, immitter.com

NV: What is your educational background? Training background?
KM: I have a BA in East Asian Studies and Mandarin Language from Middlebury College.
AN: High School Diploma and a certified audio engineer. As for performing I was on the Canadian National Team for gymnastics, danced as a youngster and drama class throughout high school. Kinda like Glee without the singing.

NV: What is your cultural heritage? Has it influenced your work, and if so, how?
KM: European ancestry
AN: My background is the West Indian. I can't say that the West Indies has influenced me other than the way I was raised by my parents, who did an amazing job if I do say so myself!

NV: Which 3 people have influenced you the most?
KM: Jackie Davis, professional mime and youth circus educator, first introduced me to circus in 5th grade.
Rob Mermin, founder and director of Circus Smirkus, gave me the opportunity to develop my performance and always helped me remember how special it is to perform in the circus ring.
My parents-- they have supported me through all journeys, circus and not.
AN: My mom, Dad and best friend Jermaine thus far, but life is funny that way because influences come from any and everything. That's why everything I'm not made me everything I am. (thanks Kanye)

NV: Why do you like performing at the New Vic?
KM: Don’t know yet...I imagine being near Times Square is great.
AN: I know I like that the New Vic is just off Broadway! I never performed there before, but I hear great things!

Boom Town runs at The New Victory from April 8 - 24. Buy your tickets here! Have you watched the new trailer yet?

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