Actor Nick Dorado made his 2nd Act Players’ debut online last fall in our 60 is the New 40 Play Festival, playing a variety of characters in several short plays. He’ll be returning to our virtual stage this spring in two plays, [Brackets], in which he plays a curmudgeonly editor dealing with the losses Covid has brought into his life; and someone trying online dating in To the Zoom and Back.
Here, Nick, a Covid survivor himself, talks about the challenges of online acting and his hopes for a post-Covid theater world.
1. What is the biggest challenge for you of transitioning from acting on a stage to acting online?
Learning to act on a green screen has been the biggest challenge and acting opposite someone who is not in the same room as you. Staring at the wall and expressing emotion to someone over an online conference call is very different than having the emotions and presence of one of our wonderful actors in the same room with you.
2. How do you deal with the challenge of playing multiple characters in multiple plays in this production?
Between the current plays and the plays of last fall, I have had an age range of my age up to almost 80, a man with dementia, a man seeking “maximum bliss”, online dating in the time of COVID and a man who loses the most important things to him in the current world. I approach each character as a blank canvas so I can find something unique in each character. It’s important to me that each one is distinctive from the others, otherwise I think they will blend together in the eyes of the audience. Whether it is Egil Foss’ laugh last fall, or Thomas’ air of superiority that peels away in this Spring’s plays, I like to bring each one to life in their own way.
3. What has been the biggest challenge the pandemic has presented you and how have you coped with it?
I think having had COVID twice and getting through it is enough. It’s been a tough year for everyone but we have to just push through, get a vaccine and
WEAR A MASK.
4. What do you think theater will look like in the post-pandemic world?
In a true post-pandemic world, it will look very much like it did before, we’ll just have to show proof of vaccinations. If that’s the worst we have to do, we will all be in a better place.