Sometimes a fag just needs to flame. But in the world of acting, gays typically have to ditch the fey if they want to work. That’s part of why actor Nick Green is so pumped for his role in Sky Gilbert’s Dancing Queen.
“For most of my career I’ve put in a lot of effort coming off as straight,” the Vancouver expat by way of Edmonton says. “It’s refreshing to have a role where I can really turn up the fag. Acting is a lot like the gay community, where being able to perform a straight identity is valued. My character is quite flaming, which is something I wish I had the confidence to be more often.”
The play follows Alan (Green), a small-town boy who’s come to the city with dreams of making it as a writer. He soon meets Bart (David-Benjamin Tomlinson), a slightly lascivious older guy with a taste for fresh meat, and Calder (Ryan Kelly), a rather famous writer, whom Alan hopes can give his career a boost. Like a lot of young homos who make their way to the Big Smoke every year, Alan is primed for the perks of a city ripe with potential partners but at the same time shuns much of what gay life has to offer.
“He has a loathing for stereotypical aspects of gay culture but hasn’t yet connected with anything outside the most conventional gay scene,” Green says. “He goes to fly but then complains how much he hates it. He wants to be married and monogamous but isn’t ready to go through the necessary fucking around to find that person.”
The production will mark Green’s second turn with Gilbert; the first was a role in 2010’s Hamilton Bus Stop. Green had been touring with Edmonton troupe Catalyst Theatre’s production of Frankenstein and found himself in Toronto in 2009. Working on a side project about the Alberta bathhouse raids, he contacted Gilbert to discuss being gay in the 1980s (a subject on which Gilbert is, no doubt, an expert). Sometime later, he was offered the role in Hamilton, which left him so jazzed he proposed Gilbert write a play specifically for him.
“He sent a very nice but non-committal ‘no thanks’ email,” Green says. “Two months later, I found the script in my inbox with a note saying it was being produced at Buddies this year and he hoped I was available.”
As a relative newcomer to Toronto theatre, the pieces of Green’s career are falling into place remarkably quickly. His play about The Body Politic (the publication that birthed Xtra) will show over Pride, and he features in Alistair Newton’s Lady Gaga musical Of a Monstrous Child on Buddies main stage next year. But despite being in a sweet spot work-wise, he hopes this show may bring the final part of life’s puzzle.
“My goal with this character is that every single man in the audience wants to take me home at the end of the night,” he laughs. “Did I mention I’m single?”
Wed, April 18-Sun, April 29
Buddies in Bad Times Theatre
12 Alexander St
12 Alexander St