Timothy Patrick Walsh: Actor, Artistic Director of StreetLamp Productions, and Playwright of the new work, Comfort in Silence (A Coming of Age Story for Forty Somethings), part at the American Theatre of Actors’ 41 season. The ATA is located at 314 West 54th Street, between 8th and 9th avenues in NYC.
Comfort in Silence
Preview: Thursday, September 22 @ 7:00pm (special preview price $15)
Opening: Friday, September 23 @ 7:00pm
Running: Saturday, September 24 @ 3 & 7pm
Sunday, September 25 @ 3pm (ASL Interpreted) & 7pm
Thursday, September 29 & Friday, September 30 @ 7pm
Saturday, October 1 @ 3 pm (ASL Interpreted) & 7 pm
Sunday, October 2 @ 3 pm
We chatted with Tim before things got crazy for him with his impending opening.
We hear a lot about inspiration – or Muse – that drives an artist. What inspires you?
Seeing great work by amazing artists. When I see a performance that moves me emotionally, either makes me cry or laugh. When it effects me at a deeper level…emotionally or spiritually…I think…”Yea…I want to do that!…I want to move people!”
Tell us about The Play – Comfort In Silence (A Coming of Age Story for Forty Somethings)
In Comfort in Silence, three friends since high school, have spent their lives wearing masks to run and hide from their inner fears and insecurities (fighting adulthood every step of the way). Now, in their forties, they are faced with the decision of finally growing up and embracing a path of love, forgiveness and true happiness.
Patty, Stevie, and Mary have been best friends forever. They have shared everything with each other but, no matter how well you think you know a person… you never really knows what goes on behind closed doors. Each have battled, suppressed, or just ignored issues that have consciously or subconsciously held them back from living a complete, loving, fulfilled lives … instead of the superficial, alcohol-induced existences they have come to accept. It all began when Patty went to a shrink.
Why did you write it?
This story came out of a conversation I had with a close friend on a road trip a few years ago. We grew up together and were now in our 40’s. We started talking about different friends that we grew up with and realizing that you really don’t know everything about a person, no matter how close you think you are. On the outside, they are always laughing, smiling…a perfect life…But behind closed doors…there is pain, things they don’t share even with the ones closest to them. We all have our little insecurities, private pain but others have deep emotional scars that are held and kept locked away inside, running from them, burying them deep inside…so deep that we forget about them. This is a story about how holding onto pain can manifest itself in destructive ways (heavy drinking, sleeping around, creating a false identity…) and how, finally, facing those demons, can be freeing and opening yourself up to an amazing, fulfilling life full of success and love.
How about you as an actor… how do approach your characters?
Patty has been hurt so deeply and has a strong sense of betrayal. He has been carrying around a lifetime of guilt. He feels as if he is responsible for all the pain, unhappiness, anger and the fate of those he didn’t trust to be honest with. “If only I was strong enough…” There is a lot of anger in Patty and it would be so easy, as an actor, to fall into the trap of acting ‘ANGRY’ with each line. But, Patty has become a Master at hiding his true feelings and masking them with either drinking, losing himself in work or creating an imagined lifestyle full of love.
I approach this role trying to find a fine balance of portraying his inner anger and guilt with that of a ‘normal’ person who just wants to make some minor adjustments in his life.
What do you want most in your chosen profession?
To be able to make a living as an Actor. To have the respect and admiration from colleagues as well as those who pay to sit in the audience. To create work that move people emotionally and spiritually….oh…and yea….fame and fortune would be nice.
Sally Field and Paul Newman both said of their profession… “it’s all I can do.” Is this all you can do?
I was born for this…As long as I can remember, before I even could name what ‘it’ was…I knew I was/am meant to be an actor.
Along those lines, if you couldn’t so this, what would you do?
I would become an ASL Interpreter and bring Deaf children and hearing children together and teach them all about Theatre and Acting.
How do you want [legit] history to remember you?
He was one of my bestest friends who could always make me laugh.