Although we have announced our 2014 ArtsImpulse Theatre Award Winners, we continue our Nominee Interview Series.
NOTE: If you or your production was nominated for a 2014 ArtsImpulse Theatre Award, and you would like to participate in a Nominee Interview, please email us here.
Justin Budinoff perfectly encapsulated Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm's pompous and aloof personality in his performance in Arlington Friends of the Drama's A Little Night Music. His impressive and resonant baritone voice, especially in "It Would Have Been Wonderful" secured him a nomination as Best Supporting Actor in a Musical. In his interview, Justin tells about why he participates in community theatre, his favorite meal, and a Sondheim lyric that speaks to him now.
Hi, Justin, can you start by telling us a little bit about yourself?
I grew up in Holliston and Sudbury, Massachusetts, and I have pursued theater and film from a young age. I have a degree in Film Production from NYU, and I actually began acting in local theater to expand my ability to communicate with actors from a crew perspective.
What made you audition for A Little Night Music? Did you know the story? Had you seen the show before?
It’s always been a bucket list thing to perform Sondheim and A Little Night Music is one of my favorites of his scores, plus I’ve been an Ingmar Bergman fan since college. I saw the film Smiles of a Summer Night in my early twenties.
Who was your character, Count Carl-Magnus? In five words, how would you describe him?
Emotionally-oblivious thick-headed egotist!
His privileged background has allowed him to grow up spoiled and belligerent but confident, which was great fun to play.
What was the most challenging thing about this Sondheim musical? Had you performed Sondheim before?
First time with Sondheim. The biggest challenge was putting every aspect of performance together for “A Weekend in the Country”!
If you couldn’t play Count Carl-Magnus, what other role would you want to play in A Little Night Music?
That’s tough because Carl-Magnus was exactly the role I wanted…I guess Fredrik would be a good challenge.
What do you do in your spare time? How do you unwind?
I’m a huge music nut, I follow blogs and online radio sites of all genres and go to as many concerts as I can.
If someone was to cook your favorite meal, what would they cook?
Roast duck. No contest.
Pick a lyric from A Little Night Music or any other Sondheim musical that you think applies to your life right now.
“Don’t bother, they’re here.”
Why do you choose to perform in community theatre? What makes Arlington Friends of Drama (“AFD”) different than others?
You will make no better friends than in theatre at any level, and community theatre allows you to contribute both onstage and offstage in whatever capacity draws you. I find that there’s a quality to the house and setup at AFD that’s atmospheric and lovely; it’s hard to explain but it contributes to the spacious feel of the shows there.
Do you have upcoming projects or productions?
Currently, I am writing a short play to submit to a scene night.
Do you have anything else to share with our ArtsImpulse readers?
Thank you for your interest and support of local small theaters, it helps both the arts scene and the community in general more than you can know!