BWW Interview: ACTOR JOHN KEHOE
Acting and Improv!
John Kehoe Loves them both!
MCL: You've been in the Buffalo theater world for a while. When and where did you start acting?
JK: Back in 2004 I auditioned for and joined ComedySportz. That would be the start of it all. I did stand-up in my late teens- early 20's, but when I found improv, about 15 years later, I knew I found a home. A few years later, 2010, I got my first play, 3 roles in the Brecht play The Mother. Those two events really pushed me to where I am now.
MCL: What made you want to be on stage?
JK: What made me want to be on stage, well, I fell in love with laughter when I was a kid and have always wanted to make people laugh. It's kind of like an addiction. I learned from my dad how to tell a story and hold a room and I always wanted to do that. I thought it would be so amazing to be up on stage and be a stand-up comedian. I was for a little bit, then started writing more and got married and put it on a back burner.
MCL: Any mentors?
JK: As for mentors they are all over the map for so many odd reasons. Mr. Rogers, Bob Ross, Mel Tillis, Bill Hicks, George Carlin, Jonathan Winters, Tim Conway, Carol Burnett, Harvey Korman, Robyn Williams, They Might Be Giants, Morrisey, Peter Tosh, Frank Zappa, Andy Warhol, Jon Vermeer, Kurt Vonnegut, Terry Pratchett, and of course my dad and my mom.
MCL: Best advice you were given you still use on most shows?
JK: Best advice? That's tough; I think you use a lot of what you pick up along the way in all your work. I'm going to say it was... OK can't just do one. It would be - Trust yourself, live in the moment, give your all, have fun!
MCL: What roles turn you off and what kind do you look for?
JK: I like to play characters that are unique and quirky. Someone I can become. Not a fan of boring characters. I don't know how to explain it better. Some roles are just blah.
MCL: What role do you dream of playing and haven't?
JK: If they ever do a stage version of Blazing Saddles I want to do Hedley Lamarr!
Such a wonderful character. There really isn't any one role I'd like to do.
I would love to try being a bad guy once.
MCL: First role you played where you really felt like an actor?
JK: Improv is theater, so in my first ComedySportz match I felt like a actor. I was in The Mother and I got a nice review for my performance, that was another moment where I felt like I can do this!
MCL: You direct as well ... One piece you want to direct?
JK: Years ago I found some Lewis Black plays that I just loved. I would so like to do those!
MCL: Your favorite directing piece?
JK: I love directing 420 The Musical. I wrote it, I know it, I like it.
MCL: Do you prefer acting or directing?
JK: I enjoy each for different reasons. I have only directed 5 shows so I feel I'm still learning how to get it right. I really enjoy the process.
I have performed in well over 700 improv shows and in 10 plays since '04. I feel so comfortable on stage. I love creating something new. Acting is the love. That will always win out.
MCL:Finally, promote yourself. What are some of the things coming up for you this 1017/2018?
JK: Well, I perform most weekends, Friday or Saturday nights, with ComedySportz. Im doing my one man show, Anatomy of Something Unseen, at the Improv Festivus Festival in Richmond Va. on Dec. 8th.
420 The Musical has a Christmas show in NYC at the Kraine Theater on Dec. 20th and it will be performed in both Buffalo at Alleyway and NYC at the Kraine in April 2018.
FOR MORE INFORMATIION ON JOHN KEHOE: