Here is our third interview with the cast of Round House Theatre’s production of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross. Today – meet Jesse Terrill.
Joel: Introduce us to the character you play and tell us why you wanted to play him role.
Jesse: I play the role of James Lingk, the highly susceptible mark of the charismatic Richard Roma. I like Lingk because he is a complete outsider to the world of real estate so almost everything he experiences onstage is a new discovery, for good or bad.
How do you relate to James Lingk?
James is polite, kind and sensitive. I can relate to that. In the string quartet of life he’s the viola. The last instrument the composer writes for, with notes that are polite and necessary but never flashy. These other guys have huge virtuosic solos and he’s plugging away on the whole notes, until someone entices him with the chance to break out of the mold.
How has Mitchell Hebert helped you to shape your performance? What advice and suggestions did he give you that helped you with your performance?
Interestingly enough, Mitch is my acting professor from University of Maryland, almost 20 years ago. So he’s prepared me quite a bit with tips that I’ve incorporated into my professional acting life after college. The best direction I received, and something he taught years ago, is to not try to repeat each performance, but give in to it with all you’ve got, breathe, and let it happen. The breathing part is really essential.
Which character in the play is most like you and why and how?
Only James Lingk, actually. Which is lucky for me.
What is it about David Mamet’s script that you enjoy the most and what scenes/lines were the most challenging to learn?
When you first read a Mamet script and you see all the ellipses and repeated fragments, you think ‘this can’t work, what is this hot mess?’ But it does work. When the lines come together, the dialogue becomes this amazing tapestry of sounds, interjections and eloquent profanity.
What scene (s) that you are not in do you enjoy watching? And what is your favorite line that someone else recites in the play?
I love the scene where Shelly Levene describes his sale to his young protege, Ricky Roma. Poignant, crass and devastating all at once.
Have you worked with any of your fellow actors before and what do you admire the most about their performances in this production?
I’ve worked with everyone before as an actor or composer, except Mr. Martin. All these guys bring their ‘A-game’ to the stage. There’s no easing into the character. It’s my first time at Round House and at first I felt a little like a junior-member of the cast, but that changed right away with how eager the actors were to dive into the material and how welcome I was made to feel.
What does Glengarry Glen Ross have to say to 2013 audiences?
Ricky Roma says, ‘Where is the moment?’ Even if these guys are desperate and greedy, they are highly motivated. They’re living in the moment. They’re not sitting on their behinds letting life pass them by.
What are you doing next on the stage after this show?
Music and acting for Faction of Fools’ The Lady Becomes Him. A total turn-around: commedia dell’arte, plus live music!
What do you want audiences to take with them after seeing Glengarry Glen Ross?
I want them to have a fun time. I want them to acknowledge and be stunned and shocked by the human nature in this play. The kind of laugh this play elicits is the ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe I just laughed at that’ variety, and I want to hear that.
Part 1: ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ at Round House Theatre: Meet Director Mitchell Hébert.
Part 2: ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ at Round House Theatre: Meet Alexander Strain.
Part 3: ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ at Round House Theatre: Meet Stephen Patrick Martin.
David Friscic’s review of Glengarry Glen Ross on DCMetroTheaterArts.
Read other local reviews of Glengarry Glen Ross in ‘Other Reviews’ on DCMTA.