A chat with Cyrano cast member Blake Jenner

My name is Blake Jenner, and I play the
role of Christian Neuvillette. He’s a soldier, he’s a… he’s a great fighter,
swordsman, he was… was brought up to be, to be strong and have courage, be strong as
steel, not be afraid, but the only thing, the only chink in this guy’s armor is
that he cannot talk to the ladies. He does not know how to express himself.
It’s funny when you meet him, because he, at first, you meet like this version of
himself, that he takes pride in and then when there’s like a thought of love on
his mind or the possibility of speaking to a woman that he likes, he just kind of
crumbles, he doesn’t know what to say so that’s, that’s where Cyrano comes in, he
kind of helps him, you know, being… becoming this like, superhero version of
himself, through these letters. You know, it’s.. it’s a tale of unrequited love
focused on this… this poet and this soldier, Cyrano. The only way that he
finds confidence in him and himself to speak to the one that he loves is to do
it through.. through the heart of someone else and, but you know, masking his words
as the other person’s thoughts and feelings. Yeah, I was with it at Goodspeed
last year, and now we’re doing it with, with The New Group. I just wanna… I
couldn’t wait to get my hands on a comedy. I grew up doing improv and
practicing impressions in the mirror, and making my parents think I’m crazy
because I was just like, talking to myself and using all these voices, so I
mean, everything I’ve done up to this point, this is pretty fairly dramatic and
it, I really loved the idea of doing a romance and getting to… to juggle some
comedy with someone as talented as Peter obviously, and the whole… the whole cast
in general, like it really.. it lends itself to the funny in a lot of… in a lot
of moments in the play, so that’s what really attracted me to it, and also, I
just wanted to do theater. Since I left high school, I was always like I’m just
gonna stick to TV and film and it comes, I was afraid of it, and then I kind of
conquered that fear in.. in Connecticut over at Goodspeed and now… and then I was
just hooked, I was like I couldn’t wait to do it again. It’s, it’s kind of been
like a little, like a fun boot camp and one day, you know they’ll divvy us up,
some people go to, go to music with Mary Mitchell and we’re practicing our songs,
other people go with the Coopermans to.. to practice, you
know, to choreograph all these fights and these dances, and then we’ll be doing
scene work so it’s kind of… it’s cool and we’re kind of dipping our toes into
each avenue of this whole thing. The music works itself into the show in… in a
very non-jarring way, you know you don’t, you don’t just break out into dance or
anything, this is kind of like a non-musical musical, it’s just singing
how you feel as though you were just talking, and when I’m singing or when
anybody else is singing, it kind of seems like you’re still in the same scene, and
in the same conversation and nothing’s changed, and I think that’s something
that was really important to Erica, so that’s kind of different, there’s no…
there’s no huge dance numbers or anything like that, it’s very… it’s very
in the.. of the moment. It’s very.. it’s kind of like you’re still at the same rate of
someone’s heartbeat the entire time, and I really love the cast, I really love all
the creatives, I think Erica is an incredible director that you can talk to
about anything, you know she sets a really warm… sets up a really warm
environment for all the artists involved. It’s a tale of humor, it’s a tale of
heartbreak, it’s a tale of regret, but also longing, and I think that’s
something that everybody can find a bit of.. bit of themselves in.

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