BWW Interviews: Actor & Spoken Word Artist Don Capers
Don Capers is a Buffalo actor and spoken word artist.
He took the time to answer a few questions.
MCL: You do both Spoken Woes and Theater. How did you get into each?
DC: First came Theater. I joined a traveling peer education group. They did skits to be more interesting than a lecture. Spoken word came from the balance between: lack of resources, storytelling and hip hop. I wanted to rap but I didn't get any support to do that. I never used music anyway so I recited parts of other artists songs to teach students and peers. When I stepped out of that profession, I started writing and reciting my own piece.
MCL: If you had to choose only one which would it be?
DC: Theater. Actors can be anything in a fantasy world, and I have decided to accept that in reality. I can be whatever I want. I can do Shakespeare and that is spoken word.
MCL: What are some of the Theatre productions you've been involved in?
DC: I was a company member at Ujima Theater, Inc., I worked with: Paul Robersin, New Pheonix Theater, Theater for Change, Subversive Theater, and with a variety of traveling companies. I've performed in a number of shows: And bid him sing, Godspell, Green Pastures, The Day Jack London Got Pinched, Blue Orange, Mule Bone, and Remembering the Amastad to name a few.
MCL: Favorite theater productions?
DC: Pinched. It was the only show I have been able to say was flawless. The rehearsal, run of the show, and overall experience flawless. It was directed by Drew Kahn at Buffalo State College. There were five men playing the same guy. Epic.
MCL: Theater mentors?
DC: Lorna C Hill, Drew Kahn, Willie Judson, Darleen Humbert are just a few mentors.
MCL: How about Spoken Word? Venues you loved working at?
DC: I enjoy working with a variety of talented people and organizations: The Anne Frank Project, Buffalo New Generations, Street poets.com, and 4 Quarters. I love great venues like the Metropolitan, The Oakk Room, Buffalo State, The Smiths Theater, and Gypse Parlour.
MCL: Spoken Word mentors? Why?
DC: Ian Kamau inspired me to put all of my crafts together. His projects were real and smart. I saw him live. Phanatik from the Cross Movement. He told amazing stories and kept the message of the gospel real and applicable.
MCL: Describe your Spoken Word style.
DC: I have an actor style of spoken word. I can be anyone and speak in any tone, language, topic. I am live artwork.
MCL: What do you try to accomplish by the end of each performance.
DC: To inspire listened thought and personal growth. If like them to get over some of life's ills most people never deal with.
MCL: How is Theater and Spoken Word in the Buffalo area? Good? Growing? What could be better?
DC: All of the above. No matter who you are or where you go, you can make an impact. Buffalo's art scene is vast. There are more than enough preestablished events and places to do art. But more importantly, there is still so much work that can be done all over the area.
MCL: What is Teen Reality and what was your part in it?
DC: Teen Reality is a prevention program I joined in 1999. We used theater as a way to teach about teen issues. I stayed with the program long enough to become the Director of Teen Reality in 2006. I wrote, directed, filmed, performed, advocated, lobbied, whatever it took.
MCL: Don, time to promote yourself.
What's coming up? What do you want the readers to know about you?
DC: Next up:
Alemaedae Theater Productions,
Lmfao Comedy show, August 2nd at 4pm at the Metropolitan on main street
Life, Compost Pile
Spoken Word at Cazenovia Park.
For more information on Don Capers: