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STARTING OUT

How did you get started in theater?
I've wanted to act since I was a child.It took my 30th birthday to finally make me realize, "What am I waiting for!"  I realized the life I dreamed about as I was lying in bed at night was attainable,but I had to go and get it.

What hooked you?
The very 1st time I walked onstage, I felt at home, like I belonged there.

What was the first play you ever saw?Ever performed in?
1st play saw...hmm...a bad children's show when I was a kid something like "Tooth decay- the real enemy"! The 1st "stage show" I ever performed in was "Arsenic and Old Lace"

Did you study acting?
Yes, I studied for 2 1/2 years with Deborah Dotson-Livering at the Performing Arts Studio of NY.

What was your 1st audition?
1st audition was "A Christmas Carol" at Theatre three in '99. I literally choked on stage! But it was a great learning experience.I figured if I'm going to let nerves sabotage me, I should quit.I 've never been nervous at an audition since. I still have my rejection
letter and am proud to say I've done 5 shows there since.

How do you choose what play you will audition for? The piece itself,the  director, theater, you were precast,etc.
All of the above.They're all equally important.You could get involved with a show that's great, but if you know it's going to be done half-assed, what's the point.

Speaking of pre-casting, tell us how you really feel about the subject.
I understand it.

What types of parts do you normally play? Do you feel typecast?
I've been fortunate enough to play a lot of different types of parts.From a guy who thinks he's Teddy Roosevelt to a pig who dances the hucklebuck!! I definitely don't feel typecast.


CHARACTERIZATION

What is your approach to developing your character?
Well, I read it a couple of times to get to know the person.Then the homework begins.I know a lot of people think it's silly, but I think finding your character's history makes your choices come much more natural.

Of all the characters you have portrayed, who is your favorite?
No question, Teddy in "Arsenic & Old Lace."

What do you think were your best roles? your worst.
See above. Worst..hmm...don't have one really, you can always learn from any character.

What roles offered you the greatest challenge and why? How well do you think you met the challenge?
Vito in "It Had To Be You" because even though the guy was right up my alley, it was the biggest role, to date, and, frankly I didn't want to screw it up. Thankfully,I feel I met the challenge well. The audiences and critics enjoyed it.

What role do you wish you could have a second shot at and get it right this time?
Anne Romano in "One Day At A Time." Wait a minute, that's not me, that's Bonnie Franklin!

What types of roles would you most like to play in the future?
Extremely lucrative ones! Seriously, anything that would offer me the opportunity of emotional range but I'm leaning heavily towards comedy.


MOTIVATION

What motivates you to keep doing what you're doing?
I love to act.  I really don't have any other choice.

During opening night jitters each one of us has said, "Why do I do this to myself?" Why do you do it?
Pure love.


SHARING

Did you ever miss an entrance, drop enough lines for it to be noticeable, crack up on stage?
No, maybe, almost!!

What was the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you on stage?
During an opening night, realizing there was a line to be said (not mine) and realizing no one else had a clue as to what it is. I made a choice to say it, and tried to get it back together, but the show was a train wreck.


OTHERS

Why do you perform at the theaters you do?
They take it seriously, treat the actors well, and above all do good work.

Do you think regional theater will continue to grow on L.I?
Yes! There is an incredible amount of talent here.

Who is your favorite performer? L.I performer?
Favorite of all time, Jackie Gleason, current Kevin Spacey. L.I performers...Hmm...Well, to be honest, I did a show w/Brian McCready and thought he was great. As for actresses, I think both Deborah Engle and Julie Stiso are incredible.  


LIFE ISSUES

How do you maintain your career and do theater?
What career!

Do you find your family supports your love of theater?
Absolutely. Without them I'd be lost.


FUN

What brings you the greatest joy?
Applause and the feeling of a well-done performance.

What really irks you?
Inconsiderate people.

If you won LOTTO tomorrow you would...
Get a good financial advisor!

Is it true you'd rather be rich than good looking?
YES!!

What's your favorite word?
Yes

Assuming there is a heaven, What do you want to here when you get there?
You did good, now wash up, Grandma's been cooking!
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An Interview with Ed McKeown