BWW Interview: Leslie Darcy and Nick Pascarella to star in THE TYPISTS at Bergen County Playhouse
Bergen County Playhouse presents The Typists written by Murray Schisgal. This production is directed by Jerry Pettinati and is starring Leslie Darcy as Sylvia and Nick Pascarella as Paul.
When Paul Cunningham reports for work addressing postcards for a mail order house, he makes it clear to fellow worker Sylvia Payton, that his employment is strictly temporary. Paul, a married man, is studying law at night, and with his uncle already in successful practice there is every hope that his future will be a promising one. Sylvia, the supervisor, of the two employee office, has a few dreams herself - mostly of the romantic variety often indulged in by not so young spinsters with widowed mothers to support. I sat down with both Leslie and Nick to discuss theater and their roles in this show.
What was your earliest interest in the performing arts?
L: Middle school playing Nancy in Oliver in the 5th grade and I was hooked. I continued on through college but my parents said you should have something to fall back on because this isn't going to pay your bills. So this is why we do community theater!
N: I was the mayor of munchkin land when I was in 8th grade and because I had to walk around on my knees, it hurt so I didn't like theater much after that. So then I became a musician and that was my passion for many years until I was very late in my life and I had a lot of jobs where I had to travel and when I finally didn't have a job where I was traveling I came here (Bergen County Playhouse) to audition and I figured "What the heck? I want to perform!" And I got hooked.
Has anyone in particular inspired your acting career?
L: Being part of a community theater where I get to watch a lot of talented actresses here makes me strive to perfect my craft even more.
N: To some degree, Al Pacino was always an inspiration for me. Glenn Gary Glenn Ross was always a role that I wanted to play the minute I ever started acting...but working with different people and watching other people bring their game inspires you to bring yours too.
What have been some challenges you have faced in your acting career?
L: I would say after pay your dues and you've played many trees in the corner or chorus parts, you get to a point where you want to play strong leading ladies but there's not that many of them and when they do come along, you're competing with excellent actresses... so that's always been a challenge. People constantly ask "When's your next show? What are you doing next?" You have to wait for the right show, the right part and you have to be cast. Just because you want to do it, doesn't mean you'll get to do it... Sometimes I'm fortunate enough to get the role and sometimes I'm not. There was a time in my life where I was doing show after show after show and then I started having a family and I had to put acting on the back burner and now I've returned to the stage after a 10 year hiatus and I'm not the ingenue anymore... So now I'm in a different category of roles that I can go out for... Because it's so time consuming and I'm passionate, I don't want to go back to playing the tree in the corner. I want to have something I can sink my teeth into that will broaden me and challenge me as an actress.
N: One of the biggest challenges that every actor faces is dealing with rejection especially when it's a role that you really really want because even though a lot of plays do have a habit of rearing their head two or three times in our area because we are blessed with a lot of community theaters, you can miss the boat in one theater and maybe catch it at another... But even then, you may not get it.
Can you tell us about the roles that you are playing?
L: Sylvia has big ambitions and big dreams. She wants the white picket fence and the husband and the 2.5 kids but she is stuck in this job and as the years go by, she realizes that her opportunities are becoming less and less and to make matters worse she just can't seem to get out of her own way... which is why she's still living at home with her mother after all of the years taking care of her mother and sister and the only person she isn't taking care of is herself so it's sort of a bittersweet look at parts that we all have within ourselves that hopefully most of us do something about but Sylvia just never did. I think she sees Paul as a way out. He has visions beyond that window and she would love to take advantage of that but at every step of the way reality comes knocking... He's married, he has children... So at the end of the day what they have is a beautiful friendship but it's sad that she's living the same day over and over and over again.
N: I think Paul has always just played the role, even if it was a role that he didn't want to play. He wanted to be a person that was not stifled, which I think he was constantly growing up. He got married young, he had kids right away...he played the role. He has horrible self-esteem and he likes to play the victim because it's an easy way to look at his life and just kept blaming his failures on everyone else... He was never confident enough...Everything he said he swore he would never do; he did because that's how he was conditioned. He never broke free from it and every dream he had just got crushed.
Bergen County Playhouse is located at 298 Kinderkamack Road Oradell, NJ 07649. The Typist runs Saturday June 8that 8 PM and Sunday June 9that 2 PM. Tickets can be purchased by visiting http://bcplayers.org/. All performances are $11.
Photo: Courtesy of Bergen County Playhouse