Today, we shine the spotlight on David Blackburn, who plays the role of Oscar in our upcoming mainstage production of Sweet Charity.
From Hero to Speed then to Nathan & Boo Radley and now finally to Oscar. David would like to thank Erica Abrahamson for seeing something in him a year ago…in this very role…and encouraging him to make the jump from Michigan to California. In fact, much love to the entire Abrahamson fam…and to the Hillbarn fam…and to God. He’s just so grateful, all the way around. #lethererfarmsislife
What inspired you to accept a role in Sweet Charity?
This is one of my absolutely favorite roles with one of my absolutely favorite directors, so the decision was super easy. I just feel lucky to be a part of this amazing cast and crew, which I know is like the most COMPLETELY cliché thing to say in a theatre interview so here I am acknowledging that, but it’s true! They’re all so talented. I love that I don’t come in until the end of Act 1. It just means I get to sit and enjoy their art for an hour.
What do you think the audience will be discussing on their way home after seeing Sweet Charity?
Probably Monique Hafen (Charity). She’s been coming up with some truly beautiful things in rehearsal and I just can’t wait for the audience to get a load of her performance. Oh, and the dancing. It’s mesmerizing.
When did you discover your love for the theatre?
I think I was like 10 years old and my parents took me to see a production of The Wizard of Oz that came through Detroit on its national tour. From the first moment that curtain went up I was in heaven…ugh, and that tornado sequence…dead.
How did you get started in theatre?
I did a few musicals in church, maybe you’ve heard of them? Giddyup Giddalong Gideon? No? Well, it had the crowd on their feet let me tell you. I did a few of those and then moved onto some school productions. But the fire was lit when I first donned that cowboy hat and boots.
What do you love about performing on stage?
I love the feeling of being set somewhere new. I feel like it gives me an opportunity to explore. It makes me feel like an adventurer.
What is your favorite and most memorable role you ever played? Why?
I would probably say Trumpeter 4 in the “SpectroMagic” parade at Walt Disney World. I was lucky enough to visit quite a bit as a kid and the prospect of working at Disney always seemed unattainable. I guess I just thought it was like this super exclusive thing that you had to be born into or something. So then when I was cast as a performer and given the opportunity to work on one of their parades I was a hot mess. I own that. I remember the night I did my very first run. I got to be on the first float that went out onto the parade route so they had us positioned right behind the parade doors. You could hear the crowd waiting just outside. Then all of the sudden every float and costume came to life with light and Jimmy Cricket’s started the parade’s prologue. “Lady and Gentlemen…SpectroMagic.” Just as he finished, the parade doors swung open and I swear I could literally feel the crowd’s collective inhale. Ugh, I did that whole parade on pure adrenaline that night.
If you could pick one actor/actress to perform with on Broadway, who would it be?
I’m on Broadway so I’m not gonna be picky—whoever I’m cast alongside will be just fine.
Do you have any wacky rituals you do before curtain call?
I’m having a hard time thinking of something. I usually will try to sneak a peek at the crowd, which is like something a totally novice does I know, but hey, whatevs.
What is one thing you are incredibly proud of?
The people in my life. I am surrounded by truly wonderful, beautiful people that I feel privileged to share life with on the regular.
What is one fact or fun thing or special/hidden talent that we don’t know about you?
I love to draw. I have ever since I was little. When I went in for my kindergarten interview, the teacher asked me to draw a picture of a myself…I instead drew a VERY detailed picture of a mermaid. That was the moment my parents knew I was special.
Don’t miss your chance to see David Blackburn in Sweet Charity May 5-29, at the historic Hillbarn Theatre in Foster City. Tickets available at hillbarntheatre.org