Playing Stephen in the 50th Anniversary cast of LINE as a New York debut is NOT TOO SHABBY for Danny Berger. Across the river, however, in New Jersey, he’s a prominent figure with credits that include Samuel Beckett’s The Lost Ones. Before he is too famous in NYC for us, we grabbed him for a few thoughts.
We hear a lot about inspiration – or Muse – that drives an artist. What inspires you?
What inspires me is the opportunity to do something that a lot of people dream of doing, but only a select few actually follow through with. Inspiration comes in many shapes and forms but it’s this intangible supply of something that only becomes an entity once you put in the work to make it become real. I was inspired all throughout my high school and college career to become an actor, but it wasn’t until I decided to just go out and start auditioning that anything really happened. Inspiration, to me, is a formula made up of 10% wanting something and the other 90% is the action you will take to make that something happen.
What is your vision and process for the play/part
My vision for the part is just to embody somebody who wears a variety of masks to somehow fit in. Stephen is a snake in the grass, which I love to play, but he also is an intelligent human who feels the need to change himself to fit in, or to understand others. He knows analytically how and why people do things, and wants to enlighten others to show them their true nature. As far as the play goes, my vision is to show the audience just how easy it is to take the constructs society has created for us and flip them on end. Because as Stephen says, “First. It’s just a word. Strip the letters around you get strif.” To have the kind of premonition that nothing in this world is set in stone can be a scary one, especially when you’re the only one who seems to know it.
What do you want most in your chosen profession? It’s OK to say “fame” or “wealth.”
To be completely honest, I just want people to know my name. I want audiences to come and see this kid who was born into an average family in South Jersey who somehow beat the odds of “becoming famous” without just “knowing the right people”. I want a kid in middle school to watch me in a movie or play and think that if I can do it so can she. This profession, for a lot of people, is great when it comes to exposure and money, but I believe that it can be used to encourage people everywhere to pursue their own dreams, no matter how impossible they seem. And of course, I want to make a steady enough living to get my own house in this crazy economy we’ve created
Sally Field and Paul Newman both said of their profession… “it’s all I can do.” Is this all you can do?
In a way this is all I need to know how to do. Acting has opened so many doors for me. I can communicate with people in multiple ways. I am able to learn about a variety of fields in order to really understand the minds of people in any industry. I have even used my skills in acting to start my own video production business because I was able to teach myself how a business is run (it’s almost like studying lines) and how to reach out and connect to people that I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise if I had never learned how to interact with people through acting. I can trace all of my strengths back to the art of acting really. So in a way, yes, this is all I can do. But within that sentence the possibilities are endless, just like in acting.
Along those lines, if you couldn’t so this, what would you do?
If I couldn’t do this I would probably just suck it up and get back into college to get my computer science degree. At the very least I could afford a small town house and make enough money to feed my family. But who needs a plan B when plan A is working so far?
How do you want [legit] history to remember you?
I want history to remember me as the guy who did exactly what he wanted to in life. I want them to trace my journey from my small roots in a tiny town delivering pizzas all the way to moment he decided to quit his full time job to pursue acting and his own career. Ultimately, I want to be the person people put on their vision boards as an example of what you can achieve with a whole lot of dedication and persistence. It would also be nice to have a Wiki page about me and for it to include all of my roles in A list movies. Everybody’s got a dream!
Considering I’m not dying yet, no last words. This guys is still kicking so I’ll still have words for many years to come. (That was just a really bad joke).