Meet Kevin Meehan

Azuka snagged the chance to ask a few Failure: A Love Story related questions of our cast and crew.
So…without further ado…

Meet Kevin Meehan (Mortimer Mortimer)

What is your favorite time of day?

The hour of the pearl. The moment between day and night when time seems to stop and examine itself. – for all you Steinbeck fans, a little nod.

Describe one thing you had to share with your siblings.

When we were both of age, my brother and I had to share the family car. It was an 1989 maroon Plymouth voyager. The thing lasted forever. But once I was able to drive it became somewhat a point of contention. Also it was the car my father used so his need trumped both of ours. Also this meant we had to drive my younger sister places.

What is one other book, film, song, or work of art that reminds you of ‘Failure’ and why?

Rothko paintings. They’re self contained and totally engulfing. You stand there and stare into the color and it wraps itself around you. Like a memory. And looking at a Rothko you only have the memory of the moment before which is the color and that leads you to the next moment which is the color. It’s like a snake eating its own tail.

What is your favorite moment when working on a new production?

When you get to the point where you know the piece well enough to know what you don’t know.

Any childhood pets?

Yeah – we had a bunch. At least 3 hamsters, hermit crabs, a turtle. But the dog I grew up with was the best. Her name was jasmine and she was this brown mutt with a weird lump on her head. She was calm and lovable and I was probably a little rough with her was I was little and wanted to play. I’ll never forget the day in the 5th grade when we had to put her down. She was just old and everything was failing her. We kids said our goodbyes and went to school while my dad took her to the vet.

Kevin Meehan (Mortimer Mortimer)

Kevin Meehan (Mortimer Mortimer)

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Meet Amanda Sharp

Azuka snagged the chance to ask a few Failure: A Love Story related questions of our cast and crew.
So…without further ado…

Meet Amanda Sharp (Costume Designer)

What is your favorite time of day?

Very early morning, around 4 am, when it’s still dark, but the birds start to wake up and greet the day.

Describe one thing you had to share with your siblings.

Only child, and I don’t know that I share very well.

What is one other book, film, song, or work of art that reminds you of ‘Failure’ and why?

The Peasall Sisters.*  They’re three sisters who sing folk music in beautiful 3 part harmony.  They are reminiscent of the place between dreams and reality much like the Fail Girls themselves. They have a haunting quality to their voices, and they seem of another place and time, which works well with the theme of memory and surrealism that we focused on so heavily while in process.

*Azuka Note: Here’s a link to YouTube for a video of the Peasall Sisters – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tg1CyWSJ7E4

What is your favorite moment when working on a new production?

More than anything else, I really love doing research.  Image research specifically.  I think feeling inspired is my favorite sensation, and when I do research, it gets really intense.  I hoard images of other people from other times, in old photographs or fashion plates. I bookmark what’s de mode in sub-sub cultures, and I rip out photo-editorials from big, thick, fashion magazines.  All the images help me see this person coming to life inside my mind.  Then it needs to be talked over and actualized.  It’s the most fun for me.

Any childhood pets?

I had a cat named Keke, I found her under the Christmas tree when I was two.  We were best friends, siblings even, and oh man did we love each other.  I used to cut baby doll clothes to fit her and push her around in a stroller.  Any cat that sticks around after that deserves sainthood. We were best friends until she died in 2009

I also had a Leopard Spotted gecko named Rizzo in fourth grade and my mom killed her by accident by leaving the window open on a cool spring day so that Rizzo could “Get some air”.  She froze.

Amanda Sharp (Costume Designer)

Amanda Sharp (Costume Designer)

Meet Brendan Dalton

Azuka snagged the chance to ask a few Failure: A Love Story related questions of our cast and crew.
So…without further ado…

Meet Brendan Dalton (John N. Fail)

What is your favorite time of day?

I love the dawn. There is something so calming about waking up before the rest of the world, and being completely overtaken by the stillness and the silence of the morning twilight.

Nap time is a winner as well. We’re starting to get reacquainted again, and it’s just wonderful.

Describe one thing you had to share with your siblings.

Sharing was a funny thing growing up with my brother, Sean. It seemed like everything I had, he wanted. And everything he had, I wanted. And we weren’t very good at having one thing at the same time, peacefully. I remember when my brother was going through his skateboarding phase… Guess who also had to have a skateboard: Brendan, the trumpet-playing chorus nerd. Though I think I ended up using it more as a luge than as an actual skateboard. I also remember using it as a sidewalk sled when I was still small enough to be tugged around by my puppy, Seamus.

There’s actually still a running joke between me and my brother about our sharing dilemma. I used to always find him wearing clothes that would mysteriously go missing from my closet, and he would try to convince me the items never belonged to me in the first place. Eventually, he told me I should just take it as a compliment on my “style”. Now every time I see him he always finds time to say, “Hey Brendan, nice shirt. Can I have it?”

What is one other book, film, song, or work of art that reminds you of ‘Failure’ and why?

The Royal Tenenbaums is one of my favorite films. And Wes Anderson is one of my favorite writers. I think there are quite a few similarities in these two works. Both writers really have an interesting and similar approach to telling stories, which I’m personally very drawn to, and both pieces also have very distinct and dark senses of humor, which I’m also very fond of. Also, there happen to be a few similarities between my character and Luke Wilson’s character inTenenbaums. That’s all I’m gonna say about that.

What is your favorite moment when working on a new production?

I love the first read-thru. I love hearing other people’s voices instead of my own, bringing the piece to life for the first time. There’s something sort of sacred about that first read – probably the first real moment of unity in the process, where you’re all truly on the same page (pun kind of intended). And you can feel it completely.

I also love getting the piece on its feet. Once you’re up on your feet, it feels like a million possibilities have just opened themselves up to you. You don’t have to think so much anymore. You just get to try things and it fully becomes an exploration.

Any childhood pets?

Oh boy, I hope I remember them all… Five goldfish whose names have escaped me. Three hermit crabs: Spike 1, Spike 2, and Crabby (I got to name that last one). One hamster named Skippy, who loved shirt pockets and yogurt drops. Two parakeets named Sunshine and Rainbow (Sunshine was mine, Rainbow was Sean’s). Two rabbits, Thumper and Lily (a dwarf rabbit), who just loved hopping up and down stairs (though Lily never quite got the hang of it, being small and all). And one very dear friend, brother, and canine named Seamus.

Also, I now have two blueberry dwarf hamsters, Plop and Mervyn, living with me in my South Philly apartment.

Brendan Dalton (John N.)

Brendan Dalton (John N.)

Meet Isa St. Clair

Azuka snagged the chance to ask a few Failure: A Love Story related questions of our cast and crew.
So…without further ado…

Meet Isa St. Clair (Gerty Fail)

What is your favorite time of day?

While there’s no number for my favorite time of day, there is a word for it: hypnagogic! The hypnagogic state takes place in that cloudy place between sleeping and waking, and it is my favorite time of day twice a day, both at the morning and at night.

Describe one thing you had to share with your siblings.

I was one of those younger siblings who, at least until teenager-hood, idolized her older brother. So sharing was awesome! Even though I had my own toys, my own spaces, my own schedule, I always wanted share whatever Paul had. I had my own room, but I shared his bunk bed. I had my own toys, but I made him share his chemistry set. I had the backyard fort I’d made myself, but I clambered into his treehouse and shared that too. When Paul did a cool school project, I did the same one at home. He once spent a week researching and capturing click beetles for the 5th grade Bug Fair; I spent that whole week combing the yard for beetles too. For me, sharing was a form of flattery. How better to tell Paul that he was the coolest older brother ever than to force myself into his world and make him share? Right?

What is one other book, film, song, or work of art that reminds you of ‘Failure’ and why?

When auditioning for Failure, we were asked to bring in a song. I chose to do a short ukulele rendition of Lisa Hannigan’s “Safe Travels,” a song that, to me, completely captures the sweet and tragic link between loving and dying. The lyrics caution safety in a series of escalating potential threats (we start with “please eat your greens” and end with “the gasoline pump’s not a toy), ending in a chorus of “Safe travels, don’t die.” It’s very funny, but also kind of heartbreaking. You worry about someone because you love them. And when you love someone, you can’t bear to lose them. But it happens. It does. And that’s just how it goes. So all we can hope for are safe travels.

Lisa Hannigan – Safe Travels (Official HD Video)

What is your favorite moment when working on a new production?

My first instinct is to say that my favorite moments of working on a show are the big unifying moments – having an audience in the room for the first time, or seeing the tech components light up our ideas for the first time, but I think it’s actually a little simpler than that. I think my favorite moment of working on a show is the first read through. There is nothing quite like being in a room with the artistic team and saying the words out loud for the first time. The incredible possibility is palpable. And that’s what I love: the first steps of the journey. Don’t get me wrong, the rest of the journey is incredible as well. But a first read has the magic of beginning. And for a play like Failure, which explores the beginning inherent in every ending, there’s something deeply beautiful in the first beginning.

Any childhood pets?

My brother and I were always animal lovers, both of us more like John N. than any other character in Failure. We had your standards – a dog and a cat – but we also went through three hooded rats, a cockatiel, a herd of hermit crabs, and a ferret, not to mention the efts, beetles, and garter snakes that we would temporarily abduct from the backyard and house in one of our many terraria. Each of these animal friends (with the exception of the hermit crabs… there’s just not a whole lot going on there) had such a distinct personality that I can remember our relationship vividly.

Isa St. Clair (Gerty Fail)

Isa St. Clair (Gerty Fail)

ruminations on pieces of time. linking memory. history. story. purpose. loss. love. practicality. wayward ticking and the digital age. unfortunately no sundials.

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this thing cooks food quickly and reheats cold coffee.  it also is the only thing that tells the time in my kitchen.  it is a replacement to the old microwave oven that no longer rotated.  however, since my household is a fan of cast iron skillets, this thing doesn’t get much use. but it is a nice way to try and recapture the deliciousness of that fantastic meal from the day before.

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a 2008 christmas gift from an ex-girlfriend. one of two wristwatches i received that holiday. it is a skeleton watch, which means you can see all of the moving parts. it is kinetic, which means it winds itself when you wear it. i first read about these types of watches in a magazine. then saw it in macy’s with my then girlfriend after having traveled back in time to dickens’ village and observed scrooge face his own past in the present for the sake of his future. i commented on the watch in passing and quickly forgot about it. my then girlfriend remembered.

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this was the other watch i received that year. my brother gave it to me. it is digital and has a stop watch/timer. this was important because i was beginning to train for the philly triathlon and this was to help track my mile time while running. i didn’t end up doing the race that spring. i was hit by a car while riding my bike and fractured my coccyx, which halted my training for a length of time. this piece needs a new battery and wristband.

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year of clock unknown and not important. my grandfather passed away this past fall. he is a major reason this blog post even exists. this this small clock is one of the few things i claimed from his house. whenever i would spend the night, i would sleep in what was my uncle’s room growing up. this clock was on the night stand. i always liked it. now it lives in my apartment. my family is currently in the process of selling his house. without being able to just go there and sit and smell, i am concerned for the integrity of my memories.

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year of clock unknown and not important. this clock is awesome. this past october i got a new awesome roommate named amanda and this old awesome clock. when she moved in she brought a ton of fantastic decor. i like its aesthetic and the fact that it still works. she dislikes it. she dislikes clocks in general. she says she doesn’t like the pressure she feels from seeing time tick by. it is a quirk but i understand the sentiment. so for her sake, i’ve tried to place the clocks in my apartment in places that aren’t directly in the line of vision.

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like most folks, i check the time on my personal cellular phone often. i am the proud owner of a non-smart phone and i am fighting the good fight. finding time is difficult; i don’t get a chance to see my sweet nephew as often as i’d like. so i set a pic of his smiling face as my background. he is 7 months old. also, has anyone noticed that in this age of the cellphone we have reverted back to the pocket watch?

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actual pocket watch. originally used by my great grandfather who worked on trains. then it was my grandfather’s (the other one). then it became mine after he passed away my sophmore year of high school. he was a beautiful quiet man who gave his right leg in the korean war. i liked watching him swim. sadly my memory of this grandfather has grown thin. at the end of this watch chain used to be two pieces of turquoise that he had clipped on for weight. my brother got married in may 2009. for his 2008 christmas gift i had those turquoise pieces fashioned into handmade cuff-links to wear on his wedding day.

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the clock on my HP mini netbook computer on which i am currently typing. it is the first “new” computer i have ever owned. but it has been a number of years now since i bought it and i can tell that it is dying. at this point, it’s just a matter of time.

– Kevin Meehan

Kevin Meehan (Mortimer Mortimer)

Kevin Meehan
(Mortimer Mortimer)