by Lorie Lewis Ham
Marc Gonzalez has been creating quite the chatter in the Fresno/Visalia theatre community with his quest to see and review 1000 shows on his blog. We sat down and chatted with Marc to get to know a little more about his background and his quest.
KRL: Are you originally from Fresno? If not, where are you from and how did you end up here?
Marc: I am not originally from Fresno. I was born and raised in San Bruno, CA up in the Bay Area. I moved to Fresno in Fall 2006 to attend Fresno State.
KRL: I see that you are an actor–-how did you first get into acting?
Marc: I first got into acting in 2004, my Junior Year of high school. Our football coach told us that Drama class was an easy A, so I took that class. After auditioning and being cast in my first play, I was hooked.
KRL: What companies have you performed with locally? Roles?
Marc: Locally, I have performed with Good Company Players, Children’s Musical Theaterworks, Playhouse Merced, Artists’ Repertory Theatre, and currently with Woodward Shakespeare. My recent roles included Jake in Paint Your Wagon, a Phantom in The Rocky Horror Show, and next month I will be playing E.K. Hornbeck in Woodward Shakespeare Festival’s production of Inherit the Wind.
KRL: Have you been involved with theatre in other ways?
Marc: I am involved with theatre as a choreographer as well. I have choreographed several shows for local high schools, and companies. I also direct and choreograph the Junior Company at Roger Rocka’s Dinner Theater several shows a year.
KRL: Have you written before the blog?
Marc: Before the blog I only wrote school assignments, never any critiques. But I always wrote little blurbs on Facebook about them, so it sort of grew from there.
KRL: So tell us about your blog and how it came to be?
Marc: The blog came because of several people’s suggestions. I wanted to start blogging about my “Road to 1,000” shows and was trying to conjure up the most public way to do that. So several of my friends suggested Tumblr and I organized my weekly post ideas into Musical Mondays, Season Announcement Wednesdays, and my reviews for each show I see. I’ve been “officially” counting my shows since 2009, and my earliest dated program I found is from 2004.
KRL: When did you start it?
Marc: I started the blog and reviewing shows the final week of December in 2011
KRL: Why 1000 shows?
Marc: I picked 1,000 shows because at the time I started counting my programs I was in the 60s and figured 1,000 was a cool number that wasn’t impossible to reach but would definitely take me awhile to reach.
KRL: How many have you seen as of this interview?
Marc: As of this interview I am currently sitting at 357 shows, the last being A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Woodward Shakespeare Festival.
KRL: How many do you typically see in a month?
Marc: If I am not performing/rehearsing a show I can generally get in 5-7 shows per month. The most I have ever logged was July 2012 where I saw 15 shows in that one month.
KRL: How did you end up going to New York?
Marc: New York was a trip I always wanted to make, so in February 2012 I went and loved it. I decided it had to be an annual trip, so I went back in January of this year. Then, my mom, as a birthday gift, paid for another trip this past June.
KRL: What was it like seeing Broadway shows & being at the Tonys?
Marc: The Broadway shows are so much fun to watch. The level of talent is ridiculous and this past season was a great season for musicals and especially plays. The Tony Awards were every bit of amazing as I imagined. Being in the same hall as the stars was an honor and too much fun.
KRL: What did you see on Broadway?
Marc: This past trip to New York I saw Kinky Boots, Lucky Guy, The Nance, Matilda, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Cinderella, and Chicago.
KRL: How did you end up getting to attend the Tonys?
Marc: The Tony Awards committee held a student lottery a few days leading up to the Tonys at the Helen Hayes Theater. Pretty much you just put your name into a box and if they pick you get tickets for $40. I was about the 20th name picked, and I was ecstatic. About 10-15 names later my friend and local Valley performer Daniel Hernandez also had his name picked so we all got to go.
KRL: Have you mostly seen shows in the Valley? If not, where all have you gone?
Marc: Having mainly lived in the Valley these past seven years I have more Valley credits as an audience member than any other region. Good Company Players currently has the most of my list. However, up in the Bay Area I have my favorite companies that I try and see at least one show a season with such as Broadway by the Bay, Center REP, Theatreworks, and South Bay Music Theatre. Southern California favorites include La Jolla Playhouse and anything touring at the Pantages Theater.
KRL: What has this adventure been like?
Marc: This adventure has been so much fun. I have had the opportunity to spread the name of theatre and promote a lot of companies and shows that not everyone knows about. The people I have talked to and met have been very supportive and like that some crazy theatre nerd actually finds passion in seeing all shows everywhere.
KRL: What have you enjoyed the most?
Marc: Thus far, I have enjoyed being recognized by a few companies, either via Twitter or receiving Press Tickets for their shows. I never really knew where the blog would go, but it’s always nice to be featured and recognized. This interview in and of itself is very fun and I am sincerely appreciative for the highlight.
KRL: What has been the hardest or most frustrating?
Marc: The hardest is when people I am friends with are in a show that is not good. While I am not trying to be a “typical critic” and be mean just to be mean, I also don’t want to say something is fantastic when it’s not. So trying to find the balance between fair and accurate is a constant struggle.
KRL: What happens once you hit 1000?
Marc: Once I hit 1,000 I will probably faint! I definitely want show #1,000 to be a buyout and for the ticket proceeds to go to some foundation supporting the arts. My next adventure will be seeing a show in every state.
KRL: Besides, the blog and acting–what is your day job?
Marc: My day job consists of student (Fresno State Teaching Credential program), being a shift lead at Chick-Fil-A, and teaching Zumba at Blast Fitness and GB3 in Fresno and Clovis.
KRL: Anything else you would like to add?
Marc: I just want to add that theatre is everywhere, and everyone can contribute in some form. You can audition, direct, be an audience member (who turns their phone off!!), a donor, etc. There is never an excuse to not support the arts and that’s the foundation of the blog. To spread the word of theatre and for everybody to support it in some way.
KRL: Where can people find you online?
Marc: You can find my blog at: www.brothermarc7theatre.tumblr.com
You can check out KRL’s local theatre reviews in our A & E section!