I chatted with local actor Steve Polites about filming a movie in China and his new play “Everything Is Wonderful.”
Talk about your background, where you grew up, etc
I grew up in Eldersburg, MD. I went to college at Towson University. That’s where I started studying acting. I lived in Los Angeles for a bit but moved back a few years ago.
When did you know you wanted to be an actor?
The seeds have always been there. I was in High School taking a Drama class because it seemed easy. They asked us to raise our hand if we knew of any plays. I raised my hand because my Grandmother had taught me about “A Streetcar Named Desire” growing up. She remembers growing up in New York driving by in his motorcycle. She showed me the film and something ignited in me at the moment.
If you could live in an alternate universe, what job would you have and why?
Hopefully in this universe I would love to be a musician or director. It would involve music in some way shape or form.
Out of all the projects you’ve been a part, which has been the most difficult and why?
I filmed a movie in China a few years back. I was there for about nine and a half months..I was only supposed to be there for three! It featured mermaids and monsters. There were no union rules so I had to fight for everything including meals and pay.
As far as characters go, I would say Abram in this play. It took me a bit to figure him out.
What is “Everything Is Wonderful” about and who do you play?
“Everything Is Wonderful” surrounds an Amish family after their sons were killed in an accident. The driver returns to repent. It delves into the courage of forgiveness. I play Abram..I don’t want to get too much away ::laughs::
What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done in life?
Well I do have a daughter now. ::laughs:: I’m kidding. I’ll circle back to that project in China. We were doing all these scenes, including underwater, with faulty lighting that could’ve electrocuted us.
I remember coming back from camera tests one night really late. The car dropped me off. I thought I knew where I was, I could just follow the smoke stacks that were by my hotel. But we’re in China and there’s a TON of them everywhere ::laughs::
You hosted audition workshops at The Everyman a month or so ago. Is it really that hard to audition?
Yes. I think in the business as a whole might be the most scary aspects. You only have a few minutes to put your best foot forward. These workshops are designed to point out bad habits you might have and to give you encouragement. Auditioning is a performance in it’s self so you have to learn to enjoy it.
The Everyman has a few performances for each show where patrons can pay what they want. How important is it for everyone to have access to the Arts?
I feel it’s very important. Before I hopped on the phone with you, we just finished a matinee for four High Schools. About two hundred students or so. The Everyman will go into schools, the students will study the play, and get to see the show.
What has been the response to the show so far?
I don’t read reviews but I’ve gotten the sense that audiences have enjoyed it. During the last scene, I can hear sniffles and tissues coming out so I feel like we’ve done the play justice.
“Everything Is Wonderful” plays at The Everyman Theatre until February 24th! Buy tix