DTC’s Brierley Resident Acting Company has a new member. Brandon Potter is a recent MFA grad from Southern Methodist University. Take a few minutes to get to know him here.
Tell us a little about yourself – where did you grow up, what was your favorite childhood cereal, siblings, and the like…
I grew up in Weatherford, Texas, a small town about 60 miles west of Dallas. We lived out in the country and there wasn’t a whole lot to do, so like many bored youngsters I used my imagination to entertain myself. I guess I never really stopped; nowadays I make my living with it! My parents were musicians when they were younger so they always understood my artistic inclinations which is a real blessing. I know many artists whose parents pressure them “to get a real job.” I think those parents’ hearts are in the right place, but art is “a real job” too. I have two younger siblings who are a little bit more practical than me, which is good. I think one hopeless creative per batch of kids is enough. Although my parents have always been supportive, I bet they would agree with that 🙂
How did you find your way into acting?
During high school I didn’t have a whole lot of choice as far as electives and extracurricular activities went. There were no more spots on the football team so I signed up for the drama club. During my first play (Daddy’s Dyin’ Who’s Got the Will? Oh yeah, I remember!) I landed a few jokes, there’s no better sound than a room full of laughter. More importantly, I got to kiss a couple of pretty girls in the play. Needless to say teenage Brandon was hooked. As my knowledge and career developed I fell in love with other aspects of the craft like trying to truly understand your characters perspective.
What landed you at SMU for grad school?
After undergrad I became a voice actor doing cartoons, videos games, and commercials. I focused on that aspect of acting for years, eventually I realized that I had been neglecting the thing that got me into acting in the first place. I thought grad school would be a good place to sharpen those skills. I was accepted to several schools, but after meeting with Jack Greenman and Kieran Michael Connolly I realized that SMU was the place for me. Michael is an incredible teacher, especially of Shakespeare, which was something I was interested in learning more about. As an added bonus, my family is from the area and wife’s family had recently moved to the area. So all signs pointed to SMU, and I couldn’t be happier with my choice. It’s an incredible community that provided me with a ton of opportunities.
Where might people in Dallas have seen you on stage?
I appeared onstage at the MAC in White Rabbit, Red Rabbit, I did a reading with the Undermain Theater at the DMA, I appeared in a few readings at Noveau 47, I also appeared in the Trinity Shakespeare Festival’s productions of Julius Caesar and Taming of the Shrew. At DTC I was in A Christmas Carol and King Lear.
First reaction at being offered a spot in DTC’s Acting Company…
Well I was floored. I found it hard to imagine myself as a colleague of Michael’s, or Christie’s, or Hassan’s. They’re folks I look up to and to be in the same room with them on a regular basis seemed unreal. Aside from just the Brierley Resident Acting Company, being a part of the greater DTC organization is quite an honor. What they’ve done with the education and community outreach stuff is pretty incredible. The opportunity to participate in programs that make a real difference in kids lives is rare and amazing. I think now when I reflect on it, I just hope I live up to my potential, and ultimately the needs of the Brierley Resident Acting Company and DTC as a whole.
I’m a sucker for O’Neill. The Iceman Cometh is hard to beat. And as far as musicals go… Give me Disney or give me death! As a young man I babysat my sister and she and I would watch and sing along to tapes of hers. Soon enough I was happily humming the melodies. I still love animated Disney films.
Gosh I love sooooo many actors! I like a lot of the RSC actors from the 70’s like Alan Howard, and David Suchet. For contemporary stuff Phil Hoffman was incredible. Anytime I see Marcia Gay-Harden onstage or in film I’m blown away by how clear her actions and objectives are. I strive for that in my own acting. I really admire Louis CK and his ability to generate material. The list goes on… I’ll spare you an acting nerd diatribe.
Dream role is…
Hickey from The Iceman Cometh. Hands down.
Top: Brandon Potter (center) in King Lear, 2012-2013 season. Photo by Karen Almond