An Interview with...Dino Castelli

How did you get started in theater?
I took a class in college and never really
pursued it.  Then 3 years ago I started to feel
that acting bug.

What hooked you? Was it your first school
play-movie-first time seeing a Broadway
Show?  What inspired you to be where you
are today?
Watching films with bad actors was a great inspiration.  If they could to it, why not me?

What was the first play you ever saw?  Ever performed in?
The first play I Ever performed in was Picnic by William Inge.

Did you study acting?  If not, how did you get into it?
I studied acting in college and took some classes at Arena Players.


What was your first audition?
My first audition was for Run For Your Wife by Ray Cooney at The Stage in Merrick. 

How do you choose what play you will audition for?  The piece itself,  the director, theater, you were pre-cast, etc.
Usually it's the play itself.  If I can read it and really start visualizing the set and the characters, then I know I want to be involved.

Speaking of pre-casting, tell us how you really feel about the subject.
I don't really believe pre-casting, but I have done it.  Sometimes you work with someone and you know what he or she is capable of.  I'm not completely against it, but I don't think a show should be fully cast with
people you know.  There is a lot of talent on Long Island and those people should be given a chance. 

What types of parts do you normally play?  Do you feel typecast?
Nerds, Everyday Joes, Italian characters, and Supernatural Characters.  I really don't feel typecast.  I audition and go for different parts to challenge myself.  I push myself not to be typecast.

Looking back on the roles you've been cast in, do you think there's a
certain kind of role you get cast in repeatedly?  When directors look at a certain role, what do you think they see as a "Dino Castelli" type?
It is very easy for me to fall into the nervous type or Woody Allen - nerd type, but I like to push myself in other directions.


What is your approach to developing your character?
First I ask myself, "What does this person want?" "What is his purpose in the scene or the whole play?" Then I go from there.  I start to attach emotions to the words.

Of all the characters you have portrayed, who is your favorite?

What do you think were your best roles?  your worst?
Best: Dr. Carelli in Agatha Christie's Black Coffee
Dracula in Dracula by Steven Dietz
Geoff in Bedside Manners by Derek Benfield

What roles offered you the greatest challenge and why?  How well do you
think you met the challenge?
I think my role as Dracula and the Director of that play was a great challenge. I met the challenge pretty well.  I had a great cast that was very supportive and I was given a great opportunity.

What roles or types of roles would you most like to play in the future?
I would love to play criminals, love interests and many comedic roles.  But right now I am mostly focusing on directing.


How do you feel when you perform?
I feel alive!

What motivates you to keep on doing what you're doing?
Acting, I feel, is the purest art form because you don't need anything but yourself to do it.  This is what keeps me going.

During opening night jitters each one of us has said, "Why do I do this
to myself?"  Why do you do it?
To make the audience feel something and connect as well as fulfilling something inside yourself.


Did you ever miss an entrance, drop enough lines for it to be noticeable, crack up on stage?
I have definitely missed some lines on stage, but not too noticeable to the audience.  I think?


Why do you perform at the theaters you do?
The people are supportive and open to suggestions.

Do you think regional theater will continue to grow on L.I.?
Long Island Theater is a great place to perform.  But there is too much focus on Musicals.  Long Island needs more Dramas, Comedies and experimental theater.

Who are some of the actors you've most admired or who have been
particularly rewarding to work with?
Shawn Morrill, not only as an actor, but also as the owner and producer at 2 Fools Productions for giving me the opportunity to direct, act and suggest good plays at the Morrill Theater.


How do you maintain your career and do theater?
A day job always helps.  9 to 5 to keep us alive.

Why do you spend so much time toiling in L.I. Theater?
It is really rewarding.

Do you find that your family supports your love of theater?
To an extent.

How has performing enriched your life?
I feel like I have found things inside myself that I wouldn't have found without exploring theater.


What brings you the greatest joy?
Playing Drums and Music in general.

What really irks you?

If you won LOTTO tomorrow you would.
Become a member of SAG/AFTRA and get the hell out there and pursue this thing professionally.

Is it true that you'd really rather be rich than good looking?
I don't want to be either.

What's your favorite word?

When you reach the pearly gates what do you want St. Peter to say?
Not You!


Do you have any projects on the horizon that you want the readers to be aware of? Please give details)
I will be directing Glengarry Glen Ross at 2 Fools Productions at the Morrill Theater.  Thanks to Shawn Morrill.  The show opens on Friday, May 25th at 8pm and will run until June 17th.  Call 631.979.5942 for more info or visit the website at http://www.2fools.8k.com.

Given your choice of parts in plays, which play and role is your heart's desire?
I have two:
1. Tom in The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
2. Austin in True West by Sam Shepard