STAGE WRITE: Up-and-Coming: An Interview with Paul Davis Griffin by Teresa McCormick Ertel

Paul Davis Griffin

Paul Davis Griffin is a versatile and up-and-coming local actor currently appearing in Mobtown Players not to be missed production of Bent, based around the persecution of gays in Hitler’s Germany. There will be a special performance on June 10 at 4:00 PM to benefit Equality Maryland.

Here he discusses the play’s important message and his unexpected YouTube fame.

I had the pleasure of directing you in Glyndon Area Players’ 2011 production of Oklahoma! I was really impressed with your improv in scenes with little or no dialogue. How did you get your start in the performing arts?

I actually got started in a fairly abnormal way. I was a cross country runner for probably the first sixteen years of my life, until one day the daughter of the Winters Mill High School drama teacher stopped me in the hallways on my way to class and told me I would make a perfect Billy Bibbit in their upcoming production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and that I should audition. I got the part and have never looked back since.

You are currently working with Mobtown Players in Bent. What attracted you to the script?

I actually didn’t audition initially. Being a local to Westminster, I had never heard of this “Mobtown Players.” A friend of mine actually recommended me for the role of Rudy, and I was contacted by a member of the company, asking me to come and audition a bit late into the rehearsal process. After reading the script, I immediately fell in love with it. Homosexuals were treated horridly during the holocaust, at times worse than the Jewish community, and some people forget that. This play brings the stories of their community to light, and tells the story which is sometimes left untold.

The performance on June 10 benefits Equality Maryland. What do you hope audiences take from this theater experience?

What I really want is for the audience to learn that there is nothing wrong with love, and it is at times it is drastically warped to be something that it is not. Love is a fantastically incredible emotion that should never be looked down upon. Ever.

Shifting gears, you do comedy work as well and have developed a growing fan base on YouTube.. Tell us about your short films and the characters you’ve created.

I am currently a paid member of the YouTube community under the username of PaulDavisGriffin. I’ve always had a bit of a strange sense of humor, and I’ve found that creating skits out of that humor is a wonderful way to express myself and my individuality. Plus, it’s always nice to hear from fans and to know that I put a smile on their faces.

Do you prefer theater or film?

I personally prefer theatre. Though I love film, there will always be a special place in my heart for the stage. There is nothing quite like walking out in front of the audience and knowing that you are truly entertaining them.

What is coming up next for you?

Well I’m not quite sure [about] my next project. I may search for another show to audition for, or I may just focus on my YouTube channel for a few months. All I know for sure is that I am currently casted in the McDaniel College production of hairspray which will be put on this coming school year in our first slot. I have received the role of Wilbur. As far as theatre goes, I only have one rule. My rule is that when the school year arrives, I no longer accept any film or stage roles from outside McDaniel. During the school year, I focus on school. My education will always come first.

Max (Brian S. Kraszewski) and Rudy (Paul Davis Griffin) at home. Photo by Jack Sossman.

More information on Mobtown Players Bent, which runs through June 23, 2012

Check out Paul’s other work on YouTube:

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