Charles Baran will be presenting his one-man show Saint Valentine's Day Massacred! on February 14, 2014, at 9:30pm at Sophie's in New York City (318 West 53rd Street). With special guests and some great surprises, come help Charles spread the love around as he serves up an evening of comedy and song! Click here for tickets!
For more on Charles be sure to follow him on Twitter!
1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? Hi Adam! Your first question is an easy one for me! Without a doubt, hands down, no contest, the Divine Miss M herself, Bette Midler. I was there at the Palace when she came down a giant high heel at the top of Act II with Barry Manilow on the ivories. I must have seen Calms on the Half Shell 9 times! OK, I'll come clean. I used to sit on the stoop across from her apartment on Barrow Street in the Village and watch her come and go. She'd run the other way when she saw me! Hey - that makes me the original stalker! I was 14 or 15 at the time I think.
2. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? I would have loved to work with Lucille Ball. She was brilliant and I suspect generous to her fellow actors. She always let her co-stars shine. An ensemble player and I like that! I'd also like to work with Sandra Bernhard. Her shows are always so hip and cool! She does concept shows really well and I love that!
3. On Valentine's Day (February 14), you are presenting your show Saint Valentine's Day Massacred! at Sophie's in NYC. What made you want to create this show? I grew up in Queens in front of a TV set watching Carol Burnett, Flip Wilson, Laugh-In and Jonathan Winters. I love the idea of a variety show, bringing an audience a total entertainment, music, comedy, maybe an animal act thrown in! I want to bring that back. I always wanted to be Carol Burnett. Watching her show was like watching a big party and everyone was invited.
4. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing Saint Valentine's Day Massacred!? A smile on their face! My goal is they have a good time and laugh from beginning to end. No sad songs in a Charles Baran production!
5. Why is now the right time to debut Saint Valentine's Day Massacred!? It's been a long and cold winter, hasn't it? We can all use a break from the winter blues. I want to bring in a little sunshine!
6. What made Sophie's the right venue for your show? I met Sophie in August and from the moment we met we hit it off. She has been so welcoming and supportive to me that I couldn't think of doing my show anyplace else.
7. I read that you started acting later in life. What made you finally be able to take the leap forward? What do you think held you back when you were younger? How do you feel your life has changed since taking this leap? First, I want to say that I don't have any regrets or complaints. My life has been a wonderful journey to this place in life. But I never really felt that I had found my calling until I took my first acting class a few short years back, on a whim mind you. After a few classes, maybe one, I had a "Ta-Da" moment. I knew I was where I should be. I really don't think it would have been right if I had gone this route earlier in life. I was busy doing other things. How has my life changed since I started performing? Well let's just say that last year was the best year of my life.
8. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? Being a performer has given me such confidence in my day to day life. I am much more sure of myself than I ever was. All my friends have noticed the change. My energy is fantastic. I can't wait to get up each day and tackle a new project or make an idea real.
9. What's the best advice you've ever received? The best advice that I ever received, and that I live by every day, is to remember to be grateful for every part, every opportunity, every chance you are given to do what you love. Each time a director casts me in a production I feel blessed. I never want to loose that feeling of gratitude and thankfulness. Oh - and be prepared, know your lines, show up on time and don't cause trouble!
10. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? I'd love to be able to snap my fingers like "Endora" on Bewitched and make wondrous things happen. I'd love to be able to jump from place to place with a finger snap. I think living in New York we all could use that! Going from uptown to the lower East Side in a spilt second would be great, don't you think?
Thanks a lot Adam! This has been great!
Charles Baran is a rising actor who's been featured in both film and theatre. His film credits include A Foreign Heart of Hope and the independent short Perspective as well as the independent feature Here Today. Charles has been seen in such theatrical productions as The File on J Edgar Hoover, Geoffrey and Jeffrey, Macbeth, The Cradle Will Rock (Musical), Juan and Emmett, Stand Up Tragedy, The Kingdom, Two Women On A Precipice, Walkabout Yeolha, Honestly Abe (Musical), Pins and Needles (Musical), Grandpa Was A Bachelor, Dark Light, The Cenci, and Invention of the Living Room.