Meet Ryan Edlinger, who plays Chad Mailer in True Believers. Ryan says, “Chad is a comic writer who is convinced that he is the hero of the story – and fuck all those other guys who insist on treating him like a supporting character.”
How did you get involved in theatre? What is your first theatre memory?
I got involved in theatre through school plays in elementary schools, which later turned into my doing them in middle school and high school. My first theatre memory was doing a cheesy school play about dental
health sometime around second grade, where I was given the lead role because I was the only kid that wasn’t terrified to say more than two lines in front of an audience.
If theatre is not your full-time job, what do you do on the side?
My day job is thankfully closer to full-time acting work than a lot of actors get. I play various characters in a reenactment of the Boston Tea Party. While it may not be the most challenging character work I’ll ever do, I do enjoy that I get to play to an audience several times a day. Also, I get to play around on ships all day, and who doesn’t want to do that?
What has been your favorite thing about rehearsal so far?
I got involved in the first reading we did for There Will Be Words, just before I became an official Vagabond member. I’ve especially enjoyed the opportunity to work with completely different casts throughout the process. It’s led to my making plenty of discoveries in response to different actors and their take on the characters.
What is your favorite thing about your character?
I’m constantly amazed by Chad’s uncanny ability to be right in every situation – no matter how wrong he is.
What is your favorite thing about comic books or comic book movies?
My favorite thing about comics is the scope of the stories they’re allowed to tell. They get to be larger-than-life in ways that other storytelling mediums often can’t. Because the characters have super-human capabilities, audiences are more willing to accept their super-human passions as well. The line where people stop thinking “that’s cool” in favor of “this makes no sense” gets set a lot higher, which gives writers the creative freedom to tell even cooler stories.
Who is your favorite superhero? Why?
I’m kind of pissed that Thom Dunn got there before me on this one – but Multiple Man, aka Jamie Madrox is easily one of my favorites. Especially with the noir-style inner monologue Peter David gives him in X-Factor. Another contender would be Deadpool – again owing largely to his amazing inner monologue. I think I’m beginning to see a trend here.
* * *
Ryan is no stranger to VTG, having appeared in last year’s The Unfortunate Cutthroats and multiple instances of There Will Be Words. Other recent credits include Lucky Stiff with Moonbox Productions, The Curse of the Starving Class with Ghostlight Theatre Company, and Hair with Counter Productions Theater. He can also be found dressing up in colonial costume and pretending to be an American Revolutionary at the newly reopened Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, continuing a long tradition of convincing people to pay him to wear period clothing and mess with tourists. In addition to being a fan of comics and video games, he really misses his long-term relationship with his tabletop gaming group, and thinks it might finally be time to move on and start meeting new geeks.