I love the show, I love everybody I work with. I've never had this kind of experience on a job before.
I think some of what was frustrating for some people was that the show was more narrowly representative of the community at large, but the reality is it couldn't really do more than that at its outset. You can't represent an entire people with one television show and a limited time to tell its story.
I feel a responsibility to do the best work possible and it's exciting to me because I'm really grateful to be able to work dramatically.
I always had a performance predisposition--it was always the thing I loved. I was just too afraid to pursue it. It was always my passion; I just didn't think my passion would pay the bills. That was what I was led to believe. I was always too afraid to go for it. I think I had some vision of waiting tables for thirty years. And fortunately that hasn't been my fate thus far.
I was always scholastically inclined--hyper-analytical and maybe even a little argumentative, but all of it seemed to point toward the law.
I remember asking, "Law is really great, do you have any studio jobs?"
For the longest time I was most interested in profile, money, ratings and I guess it is part of my particular journey, evolution, but relatively speaking, what I've experienced on QAF has helped further my reevaluation of this whole thing.
At one point, I think I wanted to be an actor for a lot of childhood reasons--to be affirmed, be in the spotlight--but at some point as I grew up and went through a lot of therapy, I reevaluated why I was doing what I was doing and whether that really made sense. Fortunately I found a new level of appreciation for it and it had a lot to do with going internally and being authentic. Those things are really important in my life.
QAF, particularly my character, really touches people's lives. It doesn't just excite them and entertain them--that's a terrific thing as well--but QAF goes to a different level.
What the show does is give a voice to the voiceless--relative to what's out there.
I'm really grateful I was able to find the other side. To do this role, I needed to strip away a lot of the musical theater background and other more external performing and get into real acting.
We rarely understand why we're going through something we're going through, until all of a sudden something happens that makes us go "oh, I got it."
It's an odd thing about having an awareness of being recognized, being stopped in the mall. I'll walk by people and they'll just say "Hi" and I'll be like 'Oh shit, that's a friend of mine,' and it hadn't clicked over yet that they are saying hi to the character.
It's not so much that people want something from you--which some do--but there are also people who are just genuinely excited and enthused by what this is creating in their life experience.
One of the neat offshoots of playing this character is that I was asked to be the Grand Marshal of the Colorado AIDS Walk. Talk about touching my heart--I was really grateful for that.
My parents: at first they weren't going to watch. It's one thing to deal with someone else's kids, but for THEIR son, they're like "What is this show you are doing?"
I think they have to come to terms with a lot of their own prejudices. I think I just didn't want them to see me doing some of those things because it is so graphic. It made them feel uncomfortable. However, Mom said she really wanted to see the show, so I sent her tapes. My Dad really just doesn't want to see me kissing another guy. Everything in its time.
One of the hardest things is to stop laughing. The guy is really funny. He does hysterical impressions. He does this monkey imitation which is the funniest thing. It kills me.
Hal is a bit of a prodigy, a very smart guy and he has such a powerful mind, that he works from more of a thinking place, and what I try to do in a scene is work more from a feeling place, so we go off and kind of work that way.
It's funny, I came on as a guest star on "Caroline in the City" as well and ended up doing nine episodes. That character and Ben couldn't be any different.
I have to take my shirt off and have so much of America seeing me and scrutinizing my body. So, I'm like, 'I better go hit the spin class and the treadmill and the weights.'