Friday, February 18, 2011

FRIGID New York Interview - Bricken Sparacino of "I'm Not Sure I Like the Way You Licked Me!"

By Byrne Harrison
Photo by Cathryn Lynne

Name: Bricken Sparacino, writer and performer
Show: I'm Not Sure I Like the Way You Licked Me!

How did you first get involved in theatre?

I have been doing theater since I was very young, 8. I wrote my first play a year later. It was about Misty of Chincoteague.

At the time I loved horses. I had trouble finding actors and blocking a pony fight was difficult. But I did not turn back. It was theater for me from then on.

Who are your biggest influences?

I have always been inspired by British comedy - Monty Python, Young Ones - and particularly the ladies of Absolutely Fabulous. But my current show is a break from strait comedy.

"I'm Not Sure..." is a story telling show. I was inspired to write this show from working as director on other writers one person shows. So for this show you could say my influences are Chris Harcum, Michael Birch, Joy Gabrielle, Marsha and Laura Mannino. I also enjoyed watching other story tellers like Martin Dockery and Adam Wade.

Tell me a little bit about your show.

This show is very personal but I hope with the stories I tell a universal tone is created. It is about all the small crummy things that happen, they pile up and can at times feel overwhelming.

I talk about my bad luck, weird injuries and the small injustices I have survived. Most of the stories are either funny or uplifting. I chose these stories to tell because when I workshopped this show they are the ones people came up to me later and said "Hey that happened to me too!" or "That reminded me of something I had forgotten all about". As the audience and I laugh, sigh and survive all my "licks" we leave the theater ready to stand up for ourselves (when appropriate). PS. Yes there is a story about a bad kiss that includes a LOT of licking!

What inspired you to write it?

Other people inspired me to create my own solo show. I have directed eight one-person shows, written one play and a hundred sketches. I have always avoided writing a piece about myself, being more comfortable with comedy and character-based writing. Whenever I directed someone's solo show they would say "Bricken, you should do one about yourself!" "You have great stories," etc.

I ignored the comments for about 2 years. Then I started to think that I did have something to share and I took the dare.

Who are your collaborators and how long have you been working with them?

My director is Lori Kee. We have been working together for a long time now. Lori and I are members of the all female sketch comedy group, Comedy Period. Together we have written and performed comedy all over NYC. Lori was co-director on my 2009 entry to the Frigid Festival, Are We Freaks. We are happy to be collaborating again for this years festival. My co-producer on this project is Michael Birch. Michael and I have produced many projects together including the long running comedy show 10:17 Comedy Night, MEDICATION (FringeNYC) and the well-reviewed Michael Birch's One Man Hamlet (currently touring The show ends with an original song I wrote with Eric Chercover. Chercover has been working with me since the 10:17 days. We have collaborated on music for One Man Hamlet, American Treacle and many musical sketches!

What's next for you after FRIGID?

After the Frigid, I will be directing Emleigh Wolf's The Terrible Manpain of Umberto MacDougal for the mini Frigid in the summer and turning my short plays Pointy the Starfish and Are We Freaks into full-length plays. I will also perform at Penny' Open Mic, where I workshopped many parts of this play. You can see me there working on the next play soon.

And finally, if you could say anything to your potential audience, what would it be?

Really, come to see my show I'm Not Sure I Like the Way You Licked Me! It is going to be fun. If you ever felt like life isn't fair, after seeing my show, you will feel a little better.

I'm Not Sure I Like the Way You Licked Me!

UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place)


Wed 2/23 @ 9pm, Sun 2/27 @ 1pm, Mon 2/28 @ 9pm, Thu 3/3 @ 7:30pm, & Sat 3/5 @ 8:30pm

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