A Conversation with Actor: Danny Burstein
TS: What kind of research will you have to do to prepare to play Matt?
DB: I've been researching the time. I have actually already done that with Golden Boy-from the depression into World War II and how it affected the country. It has great impact on this play, actually-being that Sally works in a hospital and takes care of wounded soldiers coming back from the war. Matt's not directly involved in the war, but world events have influenced his life as well as hers. So it's very important to know the history and region going into it. His family probably bounced around a lot when he was a young man-I figure he can speak at least four or five languages. The fact that he speaks English so well is an amazing thing, too. He's a super bright person and I hope I can live up to the role.
TS: I want to talk to you about doing a two-hander, a play with only two characters. Have you ever done one before?
DB: The last time I did a two-hander wasin schoolwhen I did Christopher Durang's play Laughing Wild. In a two-hander, it's just you and someone else out there, who you've got to trust 100 percent. Your concentration can't let up for one second. It's not like there's a big ensemble to carry you if something happens. I think it's going to be the most difficult role I've ever done.
TS: What about this role do you sense will be your biggest challenge?
DB: I honestly don't know. I try to make all my work as honest as possible. I want the audience to feel like they're watching two people talking-having a conversation-as opposed to watching actors fake it. I want the audience to get lost in the fact that this is so good it could be real.
TS: Do you want the audience to feel as if they're eavesdropping?
DB: Exactly. But this is an unusual piece because Matt talks to the audience at the very beginning of the show and invites them into his predicament. He asks for the audience's patience and tells them to root for him. I think it's a terrific way to start this romantic play.
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