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Brent Moser: A Local Actor/Director Who Just Wants To Tell A Great Story

IN THE December 15 ISSUE

FROM THE 2012 Articles,
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by Lorie Lewis Ham

Here at KRL we love to put the spotlight on the tremendous amount of talent in Valley theatre. This week we are profiling Fresno boy Brent Moser, who has been acting and directing locally for many years.

Born and raised in the Fresno/Clovis area, Brent had his first taste of theatre in the fourth grade and has been involved in the arts ever since. “I was mesmerized and awestruck by a little elementary melodrama skit in the 4th grade and I always try to make the audiences feel like I felt that day,” said Brent.

His first real part was in the 8th grade when he played Mr. Webb in a production of Our Town, directed by Brian Roberts. “Still one of my favorite plays,” continued Brent.

Brent in Pump Boys 1989 FSU

The first “real” show he directed was as a student teacher at Clovis High. “I directed a production of Romeo and Juliet that I was really proud of. Later that year I directed my first musical as a first year teacher, The Music Man, as a combined musical for Clovis High and Clark Intermediate. Cast, crew and orchestra totalled over 120 students. I was 24 years old at the time and I had a three month old at home!”

When asked about the roles he’s had since that first eighth grade part, he says at his age he’s been in too many to list. Some of his many favorites are Romeo and Juliet (Mercutio- Courtyard Shakespeare Festival), Hay Fever (Sandy Tyrell- GCP), The Philadelphia Story (Mike Connor- GCP), Anything Goes (Billy Crocker- GCP) and The Music Man (Harold Hill- CenterStage).

Brent in the middle in Philadelphia Story at The 2nd Space with Paddy Myers and Laurie Pessano in 1993

Local actress Shannah Estep first worked with Brent in 1983 in Bye Bye Birdie. More recently she worked with him on stage in Ragtime, presented by StageWorks Fresno. “He brought such dedication and passion to the role of Tateh. He really was a joy to watch on stage every night. He worked so hard to get that character right.”

Shannah also worked with him as a vocal coach when he directed Jekyll and Hyde for CMT this summer. “I absolutely loved working with him on his production team! I felt like we were a great team and would vocal coach for him again in a heartbeat….plus he’s just really fun to be around!”

Ragtime cast 2011

Sarah Waxman worked with Brent for the first time in Ragtime, and he was the reason she auditioned for Jekyll and Hyde (Sarah played Lucy). “He was amazing to work with. I feel like I grew and learned so much from him. He took so much time outside of rehearsal time to meet with us all and really help understand and develop our characters.”

Among Brent’s many favorite shows that he has directed are Amadeus, Evita, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (twice!)- (all at Buchanan High), Guys and Dolls, Taming of the Shrew, Beauty and the Beast (all at CenterStage) and Jekyll and Hyde (CMT). With Jeckyll and Hyde this summer he directed his son Bryce.

“I love being directed by my dad because he really lets his actors explore their characters,” shared Bryce Moser. “Not just with him, but with the other actors as well. I think this is important to the overall show for the actors to know how the other characters perceive each other.”

Bryce Moser in Jekyll and Hyde

While Brent has never pushed his kids into being involved in theatre, growing up around it he says they were drawn in like moths to a flame. “I have been very fortunate to both act with and direct both Bryce (age 20) and Hannah (age 17). I have been in shows separately with them (Ragtime with Bryce, Handler with Hannah) and my favorite was when we were all three in The Music Man together. My most enjoyable theatre experiences ever have been watching them perform on stage in shows I had nothing to do with. When I got to just watch as a proud dad.”

Brent in The Music Man 2008

As to what Brent loves most about acting and directing, “I love telling a story to an audience and transporting them to another time or place.” He doesn’t really have a favorite type of show to act in or direct, but is always looking for interesting characters and a story that he feels is worth telling. “This is all we are really doing in the theatre…telling stories to an audience in a very elaborate fashion.”

Brent has been fortunate to have already played his dream role, Harold Hill, in The Music Man a few years back, though currently he would love to play any role in Les Miserables. One of his dream shows to direct was Evita, and he has always wanted to direct Shakespeare’s King Henry V, Part II.

While Brent loves doing both, he finds directing by far more difficult than acting. “The scope and process are about 10 times in work in my book.” However he has always felt the most passionate about directing, and feels that he grew the most as an actor after the first time he directed. “I feel I was so miopic before then and so ego-driven as far as the process. Directing helped me to see the really big picture and how each part fits into the whole.”

His advice to those wanting to be involved in theatre is to just do it, but beware that it is extremely addicting. “The great thing about our community now is that there are SO MANY companies producing amazing theatre and film projects. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved.”

Since his current job as the Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator for Clovis Unified School District allows him to be involved in the arts at work, he feels blessed. “I love my job.” But finding time for theatre beyond that can be a challenge.

Currently he is in A Year With Frog and Toad presented by StageWorks Fresno and he encourages people to come out to see it during this its closing weekend. “Truly one of the most talented casts I have ever worked with and a great show for the whole family.”

Brent and Joel in A Year With Frog and Toad

“Working with Brent is like coming home; so comfortable and encouraging,” shared Brent’s costar in Frog and Toad, and StageWorks Fresno’s artistic director, Joel Abels. “Going to rehearsal and being on stage with him is such a joy. I know he has my back as I have his. He is the consummate professional and I hope we don’t wait another 26 years to do it again!”

“Brent is such a fantastic performer, and one of those people that you want to work with over and over,” said local actor Terry Lewis. “We’ve worked together in many capacities, and every single time it’s a great experience. He’s a consummate professional, is always prepared and ready to go as an actor. But he also knows how to have fun and enjoy the process, which makes him such a great guy to work with.”

Brent’s future goals are to stay happy and healthy and active in the arts for a long time. He also looks forward to seeing his kids grow up and be successful in whatever they choose to do in life.

A Year With Frog and Toad closes this weekend! Don’t miss your chance to catch Brent in this show. Learn more in the KRL review.

Lorie Lewis Ham is our Editor-in-Chief and an enthusiastic contributor to various sections, coupling her journalism experience with her connection to the literary and entertainment worlds. Explore Lorie’s mystery writing at Mysteryrat’s Closet.

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