BWW Interview: ACTOR BILL BALDWIN
I first met Bill Baldwin around twenty years ago.
I was lucky enough to get him as an actor in a play I wrote and was directing. It was my first play and he was willing to take chances with new material.
I had a positive experience all around.
It's been several years later and we have kept in touch but not seen much of each other.
Bill Baldwin has been busy.
You may have seen him on one of the many theater stages of Western New York.
You may have seen him in a wonderful Wild West show as a nasty cowboy.
He also has another gig. A real "cool" gig. He is a clown. No. Not like me.
He is a "professional clown". A real circus clown.
Didn't I tell you it was "cool"?
Recently Bill and I had time to chat a bit.
Bill, you've been a part of theater for a while. How did it start for you?
I got a late start in Theater. I didn't start performing on stage till I was in my 20's. My girlfriend at the time was into theater and a friend was directing "Harvey". I always loved the movie so I tried out and actually got the part of Elwood.
And that as they say is that.
What was the first show you did when you realized it was something you had to do?
The show that sealed it for me was "My 3 Angels". I played the Paul who is very naive, but do to circumstances becomes as hardened and mean as his Uncle. It taught me all about developing a character and using emotions.
What are some of your favorite shows and why?
My favorite show I ever did was "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged". It's all 37 of the plays in 2 acts with 3 actors. My character (Adam) is the nitwitted member who kept getting things wrong and very physical and was so much fun to do. The best part was getting to play the wild and crazy version of some of the greatest characters in theater.
What role do you want to do and haven't?
Of course i would love to play numerous roles in several musicals and plays. Henry Jekyll (Jekyll and Hyde), Roger (RENT) and Oscar or Felix (Odd Couple)
You're also known as a professional Clown. Impressive. How did that start?
It started in a youth group to go visit senior homes and Children's Hospital. Soon after that I joined the local Clown Alley which opened up opportunities to better my skills. This lead to my auditioning for the Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Clown College in 1987.
You're about to be in a Play performed outdoors. Please tell us more.
I love the idea of outdoor theater. There are several "Shakespeare in the Park" across the US including here in Buffalo. I was a part of a Western stunt show at a local Amusement park, Fantasy Island, for several years. There is something about being out in the elements. This show "The Somewhat True Story of Robin Hood" is the second annual summer show at Hamlin Park put on by the Aurora Players in East Aurora. It's a free show on a little hillside Amphitheater. The audience brings their blankets and chairs and even bring some snacks and make themselves comfortable to enjoy the show. Basically it's a drive in feel for theater.
What drew you to this show? Why should people see this?
What drew me to this show was the description in the audition notice...a cross between Monty Python and Men in Tights... and it is that and more. It is such a crazy fun show show. Our director Justyn Harris, put together an amazing ensamble of people that brings this show to life. I get to play the EVIL PRINCE JOHN!!!!! (BOO HISS!! BOO HISS!!) It's another one of those great characters to play. Most importantly this show and "theater" is family friendly!!
Time to promote ... What else is coming up for you in 2019
For me, I am always out performing with my company, Center Ring Entertainment, either clowning, stilt walking,balloon sculpture and all kinds of family fun. Plus I will be performing at several festivals around the Buffalo area, including the Music is Art Festival put on by Buffalo's own Robby Takac of the Goo Goo Dolls. Of course I hope to be doing a bunch of theater, whether on stage or behind the scenes. I also work with one of the country's top Haunted attractions Castle Blood down in Monessan, Pa.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON BILL BALDWIN:
You can contact Bill Baldwin on his Facebook page or his Center Ring Entertainment page.