Perry Young has been a dope actor and performer since we met back in Berkeley during our high school years, and he continues to tear up the stage in NYC and around the country, having recently performed as part of the musical In The Heights. Perry talks with us about the consciousness of reflection that leads to awareness in the present, while he views response as one’s intuition to get where they want to be. The Coming World, another one of his recent works, locates its characters in deep Reflective dialogue and Responsive action as they traverse difficult circumstances. Moving forward, Perry is also looking to work on an original web series dealing with his reality of moving to NYC as an artist. Check out the interview for more insight and info!
Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?
PY: Born and raised in Berkeley, CA. I’ve had the pleasure of living and performing in several cities and countries, as well as touring all over the US with the musical In The Heights. I’m currently growing my mustache in Brooklyn, NY.
What does Reflection and Response mean to you?
PY: Reflection to me has an inherent feeling of the past, a look back on where I was and where I am today. There’s an almost meditative quality to reflection, a consciousness that you are aware of where you’re at in the world and how you got there. Response is your own gut feeling to where you are, where you want to be, and the steps you’re taking to get there. They’re both equally important – reflection being the potential energy and response the kinetic.
How does your work in The Coming World fit in with that definition?
PY: I recently worked on a play entitled “The Coming World.” The play largely dealt with the in-between – the words on the tip of your tongue that you just can’t seem to utter, and the actions that we lay awake at night thinking about but never take. It followed three characters and how they responded to the weight of their circumstances when they were pushed to the edge of reason. What are they willing to fight for, what do they regret about what they’ve done and how do they cope with loss? In that sense, the show very much can be broken down into Reflection and Response. There was a very reflective quality to the play as the characters dealt with certain tragedies that arose and their own responses/feelings of responsibility for what has happened in their lives.
What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?
PY: I’m currently in the process of acting/writing/producing a web series. It’s in the very early stages of development, so I don’t have very much information to share, but I think it’s going to be great. It’s going to deal with the issue of moving to New York City as an artist and all the bullshit that that entails – the living situations, being taken advantage of, having a supporting job you despise, and the strange people you meet along the way. It’s my first attempt of writing/creating my own show and it’s been a blast so far. I’ve got a good team working with me, and I’m really excited about the work we’re going to produce. Being an actor in New York is both terrifying and exciting at the same time. There are mind-blowing new works all around us, and the talent level is at an all-time high. I am eagerly awaiting my next project whether it be film, stage, or something else entirely, but as long as I am artistically challenged, I know I’ll be happy.
Who or what inspires you?
PY: One of my biggest inspirations has to be my grandmother, who we affectionately call “Nonie.” She is definitely the reason that I do what I do. She grew up as a dancer and performer, studied in New York City, and started her own dance studio back in the Bay Area. To this day, she still teaches weekly Hawaiian dance classes and helps choreograph pieces for my mother’s dance recitals, all at the age of 98. I am lucky enough to have been born into a family full of strong, creative people, like my Nonie, who have always encouraged my own creativity. They inspire me to continue going after my own dreams no matter how discouraged I become, and I am forever thankful for that.
Is there anything else you would like the Collective to know?
PY: In art and life, you gotta get dirty to get clean. Get dirty, everyone.
Shout out to…?
PY: Shout out to my brother Tyler for being the best person I know. San Francisco based musician, artist and general bad ass. Check him out at: http://www.liveoakarts.com/
Keep up with Perry’s work at the following links:
Reflection and Response.