Wednesday, April 4, 2012

ARTIST PROFILE: Paul Segren, Actor

Paul Segren - 2011. All photos provided.
Paul Segren has his usual cup of Starbucks with him. A method actor “to a certain degree, probably primarily” in preparation for an up coming role, he speaks in a British accent.

His side burns are long and dyed a chestnut brown. He’s just finished a run of “Sealegs: Board to Death” with Vancouver’s Magenta Theater as Mr. Banks, but has been rehearsing his next show on top of that.

Acting has been in his blood since childhood. His first stage show, during grade school, was “Cinderella” in which he played a bluebird. He recalls, “I was a damn good bluebird.” While participating in high school and college theater he also found time for community theater, but a stint with the U.S. Coast Guard following his education put acting on hold.

As a tie-wearing print plant worker he also put off acting for a time, but came back recently with a vengeance after he was laid off. For Paul, his first love is once again a priority.

Segren as Colonel Brandon in "Sense
and Sensibility," Magenta Theater - 2012
Before “Sealegs” he played Colonel Brandon and John Dashwood in the Magenta production of “Sense and Sensibility.”

He’s also recently played Adam Pontipee in Longview’s Rising Star production of “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” and both Mr. Darling and the Indian chief in the Longview Stageworks production of “Peter Pan.”

Segren as Mr. Darling in a Longview Stageworks pro-
duction of "Peter Pan" at the Columbia Theater - 2011

“I love performing,” he said, “I love the fourth wall.” Acting is his goal and “all I want” he chimes. “Anything I do for employment will support my acting habit.”

He prefers drama and doesn’t pursue a lot of comedy since he doesn’t see himself as being very comedic, but he can sing and dance, so musicals fall into his interests. He’s also interested in one day playing King Arthur in “Camelot.”

Segren as John Dashwood in "Sense and
 Sensibility" at Magenta Theater - 2012
I asked Segren if he did much in the way of back stage tasks and he said he has experience there but stated, “I don’t much like doing behind the scenes, I like to be on stage.”

And he’s not yet ready to direct. “There’s so much more to worry about [like lighting, scheduling, etc.], but I don’t want to do that. I want to [concentrate] on acting.” He said he wants to take on as many acting roles as he can.

He admires Michael Keaton, Dustin Hoffman, Jeffery Rush, and Robin Williams as actors. And Peter O’Toole. “I want to be Peter O’Toole,” he said, laughing lightly. Matthew Broderick and Julie Andrews are also on his list. “I’d die for Julie Andrews,” he said with a wry smile.

Segren as Inspector Goole. (c) LSP
He prepares exhaustively for his parts and enjoys the immersion. I’m directing him now in the Love Street Playhouse production of “An Inspector Calls.” He is playing the title role and is quite professional and a joy to work with.

As the interview draws to a close he pulls out his favorite candy bar—a PayDay—it’s his second at this week’s rehearsals. When I asked him about his PayDay and Starbucks diet the slim and fit actor of actors confessed, “I’m horribly addicted to SweetTarts,” and I couldn’t help but wonder if he would insist on them in his dressing room. It would be a small price to pay to have him on board.

Segren as Adam Pontipee in a Rising Star Productions presentation
of "Seven Brides For Seven Brothers" in Kelso, WA - 2011
Paul Segren lives in Longview and is available for his next audition—probably beginning rehearsals even before "Inspector" closes on April 13. You can reach him at:

By Gregory E. Zschomler

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