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Interview: Daniel Petzold of AIRNESS at Park Square Theatre

Interview: Daniel Petzold of AIRNESS at Park Square Theatre

Where do five oddball rock fanatics go to express their inner shred genius? Dingy bars and cramped stages all across the nation vying for a place at the National Air Guitar Championship. Following them on their quest to achieve 'Airness' on the long road to qualification, this righteous and smile-inducing comedy shows how community is forged in unexpected places.

We chat with cast member Daniel Petzol who plays Facebender!

How does it feel to have live audiences and theatre back?

It's the absolute best. Theatre doesn't exist without an audience. And we all did our best with zoom readings and livestreams, but its about sharing the space. Sharing a single, intangible, never-quite-exactly-the-same moment with strangers. I really missed it and I'm really grateful for it.

How does your role compare to other roles you've played?

Facebender's a lover and I tend to play lovers. Sometime's I play sociopathic lovers that love so hard they murder people. Sometimes I play egotistical lovers who only really love themselves. But Facebender is a universal lover. He loves his fellow humans, his friendships, the precise moment he's in, and the beautiful artistry that is air guitar.

What was your process for developing your character?

I played around. Chelsea's characters all have such distinct voices and points of view that I just tried to embody what was written. And then, anything that felt right and was fun to do I tried to investigate a little further. And our lovely director Angie was all about playing and finding things we didn't expect. Also, to be honest, I grew a mustache and get to wear a sweet wig. Those basically play Facebender for me.

Interview: Daniel Petzold of AIRNESS at Park Square Theatre

Did you face any challenges with your role or the production?

The show walks a fine line between fun and playful humor and real honest connection. Finding where to lean into the absurdity and where to lean into the heart was a fun but sometimes challenging line to walk.

Do you have a favorite moment in the show?

I'm a pretty big fan of the very last moment in the show. But I wouldn't dare say what it is. I mean, just come see it. You know you want to.

Do you have a favorite song in the show?

I was a big Ramones fan as a teenager and a big Tom Waits fan in my twenties, so "I Don't Want To Grow Up" hits a lot of marks for me.

How was working with the cast and the creative team?

Awful. They're all talentless hacks...just kidding. It was lovely. They're kind, they're fun, they're brimming with artistry. Its Thursday afternoon and I haven't seen them since Sunday and I freaking miss them! Thank God for the group text.

What do you hope the audience takes away when you see Airness?

I hope they see it and want to express themselves. I hope they do some tiny, silly, just for fun, emotive, crazy, beautiful, joy-giving activity. If you want to do it, it's worth doing.

Favorite local spots?

Bar Brava, Black Walnut Bakery, and a tree stump by the creek at Utepils Brewing. There are always baby ducks there.

Thank you Daniel for your time! To see Daniel in Airness at Park Square Theatre, click here

Headshot courtesy of Daniel Petzold Press photo Dan Norman Photography

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