BroadwayWorld is thrilled to present its latest feature series: The Performer of the Week! Get to know these amazing talents as they share a bit about themselves, their work and life!
David was raised in Kinderhook, NY, a small town upstate, and found from the early age of 9 that acting was his inevitable passion. Working in community and regional theaters in the upstate area (such as The Mac-Haydn Theatre and Cohoes Music Hall) from a young age prepared David for the life of a working actor, and solidified his love for the craft. He is currently a Sophomore BFA Acting major at PACE University in lower Manhattan. In addition to being in school, David is a working actor in and around New York City. Over the past year His work has been seen in venues including: The Irondale Center, The Abingdon Theatre Complex, Theater Row, and The Figment Festival on Governors Island. He has also been cast in the first NY productions of two plays (Henry Murray's 'Treefall', and Julia Cho
's 'How To Be A Good Son').
Aside from his theater work David has completed 3 short films to date, one of which was awarded the 2012 Best Undergraduate Drama Award at the IVY Film Awards ('The Sketch Artist', written and directed by Max Newman-Plotnick). He is a board member of Studio 501 - a student run theater company within PACE - as well as an Assistant to Director/TA of one of the freshman classes. He is also a trained hair/makeup designer as well as an aspiring playwright.
In all of his work David strives to find the visceral truth in each character that crosses his path, and delights in the idea of living a hundred different lives.
1) What are you working on right now?
I recently closed a production of Maria Irene Fornes' MUD, directed by Ellise Lesser, presented at Shaeberle Studio, performing the role of Lloyd.
Right now I am working behind the scenes on a few projects. One is "Flowing Through Our Hands Like Moonlight-The Higgs Boson Project" - a devised theater piece discussing the elusive particle that scientists around the world have been searching for, in order to complete our current understanding of what the world is made of. I am working as an Assistant to the Director and TA for the class of freshmen BA's that is creating the piece, Annie Levy is the Director/Creator. The second project I am developing is a new web series titled "Nineteen", following a group of 19 year olds living in New York and balancing school, work, families, romances and social life. I am a co-creator with Tyler Parker, and will be performing in it as well (project still in development phase).
I am always on the lookout for theater work, and would love to start devising/presenting pieces of my own writing this summer.
2) What has been your professional biggest accomplishment so far?
I would say my biggest professional accomplishment so far has been my off-off Broadway work in Our Lady Of 121st Street, by Stephen Adley Guirgis, performed at Theatre Row last spring, and in This Property Is Condemned, by Tennessee Williams, performed at the Abingdon Theatre Complex as part of "Something Wild-Three Tennessee Williams one acts". I played the over-the-top-flamboyant Gail in Our Lady, and the quiet, understated young man Tom in Property. The experience of performing in an off-off venue alone was exciting and thrilling for a young actor like me, and the quality of the texts I was lucky enough to work with just made those shows all the more gratifying.
3) Share your funniest or worst audition moment
My funniest audition moment must have been when I was in callbacks for the Nikki Silver show, Fat Men In Skirts (which was performed in rep with The Altruists at PACE in the fall). I was going in to read a scene from the play when my character's mother gives him a stick of lipstick to eat so that he will stop complaining about being hungry. The actress I was working with had lipstick on her which she was using as a prop in the scene. Well I said to the actress before going in "Do you love this lipstick?" and she said "No, I hate it." So we got in there and we're doing the scene and she gave me the lipstick and I opened it right up and took a big bite of it right off. Chewed it. Swallowed it. To the shock of the director and AD behind the table. After the scene was done the director looked at me and said "did you really just eat that?" My mouth was bright pink for about an hour till I could get home and brush my teeth. But you know, it didn't taste half bad, just like wax. I ended up being cast in the other Nikki Silver show, so I guess it wasn't worth it...oh well!
4) What's your dream role?
My dream role. I hate this question. Partially because the reason I do what I do is because I want to experience life in as many different skins as I can - I've always said I want to live a hundred lives - and so even in my dream role I would be waiting to see who I get to be next. But I've always had a deep affinity for the dark and misunderstood characters, and I love psychological texts. I would love to play Alan Strang in Eqqus. It's been one of my favorite shows for years and I think it would be not only challenging, but very rewarding to play Alan. I've also always wanted to tackle the role of Father Brendan Flynn in Doubt - although that would have to be some time in the future - it stands as one of my absolute favorite scripts ever written, and the complexity of that character's motives just astounds me.
5) If you weren't a performer, what would you be?
If I was not a performer, I think I would have trouble choosing what to be. Not because I can only see myself Acting, but actually for the opposite reason, I have so many deep interests that I would want to do too much, I already do. I would love to be a chef/restaurant owner, or a writer, or a filmmaker, or a visual artist, or a scientist, and the list goes on... I think one of the reasons I act is so that I can explore as many professions as characters I get to play. I truly love all of the things I just mentioned and so to choose one seems impossible. The fact that Acting stands out among the rest keeps me focused on that ultimate goal while I get to dabble in all of these other things as much as I want. In short if I wasn't an actor I'd be a mess.
6) Where do you see yourself in 5, 10 years?
In 5 or 10 years what I would absolutely love to be doing is continuing working as a stage actor in New York, as well be working in the indie film circuit. I have a great interest in film, the little film work that I've done I have loved every second of, and I want to keep increasing my experience there as much as possible. I would also like to be producing some of my own plays and films in 10 years. Being a theatre and film director has become one of my long-term goals in addition to performing. I think there is so much to explore in creating a whole world from scratch, whether it be on stage or on screen. And although I am a part of that as an actor, I want to have more control; I want to be the one creating that world around the actors as well. I have recently been very involved in devised theater pieces (creating theater with no or little text starting out) and that remains one of my big interests as well. And hopefully in 5 years I will have some sort of representation on my side too. But honestly what's most important to me in the coming years is getting my name out there with work that I am proud of and that people respect. I want to start changing people's minds or showing them a meaningful truth as soon as I can, I hope I already have.
7) Where can people find you online?
I am currently looking for representation. To contact me, or find out more about me and my work online you can go to my professional website: http://davidarmanino.wix.com/davidarmanino
Photo credit: Mellissa Hamburg; Ellise Lesser Photography; Tom Henning Photography.