Last week, we talked with Alfredo Narciso, the protagonist in Greg Keller's comedy The Seduction Community which will be presented by Partial Comfort next Monday, August 16th. This week, to prepare us fully for the madness in Greg's comedy, we're talking with Matt D'Amico who will be playing the role of Baller.
Matt joined Partial Comfort this last season. Before joining the company, Matt performed with a number of regional theaters across the country, including the O'Neill (in their National Playwrights' Conference), Alabama Shakespeare Festival, St. Louis Rep, South Coast Rep, and even Actors' Theatre of Louisville. He recently appeared as Slank in a reading of Peter and the Starcatchers at New York Theater Workshop.
As Baller, we can expect something a little unusual from Matt. Baller - as in "one who balls" - is everything that the modern woman rejects, but he still manages to get results from the ladies (or at least that's what he'd like us to believe). So much so that he teaches a class for average PUA's (pick-up artists) to prevent them from becoming AFC's (average frustrated chumps). This philosophy is more about deception than romance and more about preying on a woman's weakness than wooing her. Nevertheless, he manages to be pretty effing funny about it, and so does Matt in his performance.
Here's a little of what Matt had to say about The Seduction Community and Partial Comfort.
Matt, can you breakdown Baller's philosophy for those of us who are a little confused by it?
Let's see...to break it down to it's essence, it's probably: GG (Get In and Get Out) and also...um...RHYDI (Remember How You Did It). He uses all these ridiculous acronyms that make things sound so...MMITTAA (Much More Important Than They Actually Are).
You're really nothing like Baller, are you? I hope?
No, no, no, I am nothing, absolutely nothing like Baller. I really don't have any confidence whatsoever with women. I remember when I was little I would watch "A Different World," you know that spin-off of The Cosby Show, and I was always so awed by Dwayne Wayne. He would hit on Denise every episode, get shot down numerous times and come back to do it all again on the next episode - the very next episode! So, I guess I'm saying the kind of many who can deal with that sort of rejection and come back fighting is - well, I have to admit a certain fascination with that.
What do you think he's done to inspire all of these guys to learn from him and follow him along? Do you think he's just a natural?
Gosh no, he's worked hard to get where he is! I don't want to give too much away here because Greg has written such an incredible and hilarious history of Baller in the play, but no, no, he has literally put in years of intensive training with the best of the best. And as far as the guys who attend his class - well, don't tell them I said this, but they ain't the brightest bulbs.
Changing topics - talk to us about your experience with Partial Comfort. You recently joined the company this past year. How did you come to know about PCP and its members and what made you decide to join?
I met Chris VanDijk when we were both actors at The Alabama Shakespeare Festival together. We really hit it off as friends and when we talked about what we wanted in an artistic community, he kept bringing up Partial Comfort as a company that he thought I'd love. Fast forward to the next year when somebody couldn't make it to the retreat at the last minute, and they contacted me upon Chris' recommendation. I decided to cancel every plan for the next week and jumped in a van the very next day to travel to upstate NY! When I got there I had such an invigorating, inspiring week and it was so beyond what I had envisioned that I knew instantly I wanted to be a member...and that I eventually want a house in upstate NY.
Is this your first experience as a member of an ensemble? What makes it unique for you?
I started a theater company with some friends years ago and unfortunately, it didn't work out. It's so difficult in so many ways, financially being one of the biggest, but it's even more important than that to have a core leadership that commits with everything they've got to the health and success of the company. So I mean, thank God for Molly and Chad - they're really what makes this a unique experience for me. Because what happens then, I mean when you start with them at the top is that the same drive - the dedication they have - affects everyone in the company and you start to feel like we're truly all in this together. So then when they say the word "family" sometimes, it doesn't ever ring false because that's what we've become by virtue of the fact that we all care so much about this and about each other.
Any highlights from this past year as a member?
Well to be honest, I was out of town for most of this past year at an acting job, so I regrettably missed The Welcome Mat. I have to say though, seeing Thomas Bradshaw's play The Bereaved this last fall, with a cast that had knocked my socks off at last year's retreat, was pretty fantastic! I love projects that defy easy categorization, and I think Thomas' play was definitely one of the those! Hey can I also make this workshop of The Seduction Community a highlight yet? I know it hasn't passed yet so this may not be fair, but you know what, I'm highlighting it anyway. There! Highlighted! Done! Take that...laws of...highlighting stuff...
Tell us what you've been working on this year. Anything that we can look forward to seeing you in in the coming months?
This year I played Parolles in All's Well That Ends Well and Horatio in Hamlet at The Alabama Shakespeare Festival from January to May in their repertory season. I came back and did a workshop of Peter and the Starcatchers at NYTW, and now I'm getting ready to shoot a feature film called The Green on Saturday. It won't be out for some time, but it's gonna be a great film in my humble opinion. Plus, I met an amazing gal and we're madly in love. It's been a pretty great year so far!
Thank you, Matt!
Come check out Matt D'Amico's performance in The Seduction Community. It's not to be missed!