Actor Daniel Doheny jumped straight out of college and on to the BMO Mainstage this year where he is playing no less than six roles in Hamlet and Twelfth Night. Was it luck? Hard work? Good timing? We asked Daniel how he got the gig, and what it’s like to be a young newbie at Bard on the Beach.
It’s your first time performing at Bard; how are things going so far? Is it all that you expected and more?
It’s surreal. I feel very lucky to be here, it really feels like luck. I never thought I’d be learning from some of the best actors in Canada day to day – trying bringing myself up to their level. I feel like a back-yard hockey player who just got thrown on the ice with the Canucks. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve done, but one of the most fun and rewarding too. Most important to me: I’m learning a whole lot everyday. My mother’s also very proud, did I mention that? She mentions it a lot.
Christopher (Gaze) auditioned you at Langara College’s Studio 58. Can you talk a bit about that experience?
I remember walking into the studio theatre, which was just a black box at the time, shaking Christopher’s hand, doing the monologues like I rehearsed them and walking out. It was really simple in my head. My favourite memory was walking home, I realized I achieved a huge goal of mine by auditioning for Bard, I wasn’t even thinking about whether I’d get called, I was pretty content. The call-back audition was more memorable actually, all the directors were there, but I had no idea who any of them were at the time. I also did a scene with Jonathon (Young) at the auditions but I had no idea who he was either. It was only after I walked out I realized the guy I did a scene with was Hamlet.
Do you have any advice for aspiring actors still in school?
I’m barely able to make my own decisions… I’ll say this. I think 99% of successful people are successful for one reason; they work really hard.
Everyone asks us how the actors can play two roles at once. How do you do it?
I technically play six roles: Sebastian, Mover, Voltimand, Butler, Player and Fortinbras. Some of those characters might not do much, but some directors (i.e. Kim “Kubrick” Collier”) look for really specific work, so I tried to make them all different. I guess every actor has their own way of getting in and out of character. To be honest I learn something new every show, and make mistakes every show, so I haven’t refined any sort of perfect technique. I just try to make them think, or move differently. I like cartoons and comedy, so doing multiple characters is my bag.
What’s been your favourite moment so far in the process?
Learning to walk in heels (for Hamlet) was a beautiful thing. It gave my feet appreciation for what girls have to do at parties. I couldn’t say my one favourite thing. It’s a combination of the wonderful family of people here and the random events that take place between us, I’d have to write a poem about it or something. But nothing beats working outside at Bard’s location. Nothing.
Do you know what you’ll be doing after the Bard season?
I never expect to get paid acting work, so I usually plan on making my own stuff and if work comes along it’s an added bonus. But I’ll definitely be performing something, whether it’s written by me or someone else. Other than theatre, a few friends and I are working on getting a TV show we’ve written developed. We’re doing the ad campaign in support of “Sensible B.C.” to gain some exposure right now. The show is called “HumanTown” and you can check us out on Youtube!
[Header image: Daniel Doheny and Jennifer Lines in Twelfth Night. Photo credit: David Blue]