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‘Catalyst Sessions’ recap: Giles Davies

Bill DeYoung

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As Caliban in "The Tempest," Jobsite Theater, 2018.


Wednesday’s Catalyst Sessions began on a lighthearted note, with actor Giles Davies reciting the quasi-Shakespearean “Madlib Sonnet” created by Jobsite Theater’s friends, fans and family members, as a sort of fun, fundraising contest, in late March.

“We’re all in a very peculiar situation,” the actor said, adding that the sonnet, which was later revealed via a hilarious backyard video, represented Jobsite’s ongoing efforts to stay connected. “The more we can do reach out do things for each other when we’re all alone, I think that’s very healthy,” he added.

Davies, one of the centerpiece thespians in Jobsite’s arsenal of talent, talked about his growing-up years in colonial Hong Kong, his family’s move to the States when he was 14, and the road he took to discovering that theater – interpretation and performance of the written word – was what he was destined to do.

Prior to his arrival in Tampa Bay late in the last decade, he was a member of the Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival (aka Cinci Shakes). “It was a company driven by actors, trying to find a way for actors to find a way to live,” Davies recalled. “It’s about the art. It’s about making cutting-edge theater that is viscerally stirring – not your stodgier fare. And that really plays to one, my strengths, and two, my aesthetic. And I love that company. It became family. But then it kind of ceased to be the same.”

He can’t say enough about Jobsite, where he has performed in a dozen Shakespeare plays – both dramatic and comedic – and lots more. “When I found something similar to that here, I was very thankful and lucky, and I hope it stays that way. It’s been a fruitful relationship for all involved.”

For all the silliness he can exude onstage, Giles Davies takes his job very, very seriously. “I do try to make it just about as hard on myself as I can,” he said. “If it feels easy, I’m not doing it right. I’m not putting enough out there.

“The higher the bar I set, the more work I get out of myself, and I think that drives my love for the craft – and it’s that love for the craft that allows the audience to love the work.”

Tonight (Thursday, April 16) on The Catalyst Sessions: Maureen McDole of Keep St. Pete Lit.

The interview program starts at 7 p.m. weeknights on the St. Pete Catalyst Facebook page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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