Wisdom from a Fool

October 14, 2008

Jim Poulos, who plays Feste in Illyria, answers some of our (now) favorite questions.  Enjoy!
1.)  What has been the most challenging part of rehearsals for you so far?
Learning Cakes and Ale was crazy!  It’s a great number, with great choreography, but it’s so tricky because the lyrics and melody never quite go the same way rhythmically or melodically.  So  I think particularly Dan, Ryan, Christine and I hit the wall a few times with this number.

2.)  What is your favorite moment in Illyria (either involving you or someone else)?
There are many.  Ryan’s first entrance.  Jessica, Laura, and Brandon singing Save One.  A great scene between Brandon and Jessica, leading into Jessica’s beautiful rendition of Patience.  Devilishly plotting against Malvolio with my fellow clowns in The Man Is Mine.  I can safely say, now, that Cakes and Ale is close to my favorite.  I could go on and on.  But my very favorite moment is more personal.  When Feste first returns to Olivia’s house after “some years” have passed, he reconnects with Maria.  Tina Stafford, who plays Maria, has been a friend of mine for longer than either one of us probably cares to mention. Among other shows, we were in  productions of West Side Story and The Grapes of Wrath that still rank among my most satisfying theater experiences.  Although we’ve seen each other over the years, Tina and I haven’t worked together in a long time.   And when Feste and Maria hug each other, it just feels so right. Just like old friends.  Easy.  It’s been a real treat to share the stage with her again.  She’s just so talented and gracious.
3.)  Put your iPod on shuffle.  What are the first five songs that come up?
Uhh….  well, since I learn my music for the show from iPod recordings……  The Lunatic slow.  The Lunatic at tempo.  “Judge” section of Lunatic slow.  “Judge” section of Lunatic at tempo.  “All together” section of Lunatic slow……  But you know, once you get past that, then it’s…  “Man Is Mine” harmony slow, “Man Is Mine” harmony at tempo….
4.)  What is the strangest job you’ve ever had (non-theater related)?
I had to dress up as the Easter Bunny once for extra cash while working as a temp back home in California. This lady took me to surprise her kids, one in kindergarten….. one in middle school.  Kindergartner loved me.  Middle school kid punched me.
5.)  If I asked your mom to tell me one weird thing about you what would she say?
I used to drink garlic flavored red-wine vinegar out of the bottle as a kid.
6.)  How closely can you relate with either your character or an individual storyline in Illyria?
Feste is a wise clown.  Like all clowns, I think, his humor comes from some kind of pain.  I can relate to that. The trick is to keep it light, and keep it real at the same time.
7.)  Can you juggle?  And if so what’s the largest quantity that you can juggle at a time?
I can juggle.  Four is my max, but I usually only go for three.  I learned to juggle balls, rings, pins, scarves, bricks doing Barnum many years ago.  I played Tom Thumb.
8.)  Have you ever written and/or received a love letter from a secret admirer?
I probably wrote one in like, the fifth grade?  I receive them daily.
9.)  Best part of being involved in theater?
The people.  It’s a big family.
10) What color would your aura be?
Not sure.  But I usually gravitate to green or orange highlighters.  I think those are cool colors for lightsabers as well.
11) What is your favorite place to eat in the city?
Melissa and I usually go to Hell’s Kitchen for celebratory dinners.  The food’s amazing and so are the margaritas.  We order from Thai Thai for, well, Thai.  And we get our wine delivered from 54 Wine & Liquor.  He’s our wine guy.  He never misses with his recommendations.

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