By Byrne Harrison
You have a fascinating background - teacher, actor, writer, Gulf War veteran. How long have you been involved in theatre?
Yes, my background is diverse; I am very fortunate. I've been involved with the artistic community for over 15 years. I started acting professionally in 1996, in a play called The Tranny Chase.
Your current show, Indiosyncracy, is part of this year's Downtown Urban Theatre Festival. Tell me a little about it.
Indiosyncrasy is my autobiographical coming out story and my experiences as I tried to define who I am as a man, a father, and a son. Indiosyncrasy is about stereotypes, internalized homophobia, homophobia and heterosexism. And love and faith to ground you.
I'm intrigued by the fact that it incorporates Afro-Cuban song and dance, monologue, verse... a variety of different styles. What made you decide to work these different aspects into your show?
How did you come up with the different characters in your show?
The characters in my show are people I know. My mother, who is homophobic and how she affected my coming out. Cinammon, the very effeminate family friend who I made fun of and ultimately saves me. And "Id" who made me do some of the craziest things ever.
What's next for you in 2011?
I'm currently in rehearsal for Carlos Serrano's new play at Repertorio Espanol titled No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy. I hope that Indiosyncrasy will have a life of its own. I believe there's a powerful message people sometimes have to be reminded of.
By Indio Melendez
Downtown Urban Theatre Festival
at MMAC Theater
248 West 60th Street
Friday, April 15, 8 PM