Part II: Gideon Glick: The Plays and OUT Magazine
Jeff: Was leaving Spring Awakening a difficult decision? What was that final show like? Do you still stay in touch with the original cast?
Gideon: Leaving was very difficult. I moved to NYC from Philadelphia and graduated high school doing the show Off-Broadway. The cast and the people associated with Spring Awakening were the first people I had met in the city. At the time of my departure, they were my oldest friends in New York. Consequently, the final show was very moving. It was hard to keep from crying. We still stay in touch and check in.
Speech and Debate
Jeff: You have also done a couple of high profile plays, Speech and Debate and Wild Animals You Should Know, that deal with similar themes. For those who didn't see them, tell us about each of the characters you played, and what each play is about.
Gideon: Speech and Debate told the story of three misfits finding and needing each other, for better or for worse, in Salem, Oregon. My character was named, Howie. He was an out and proud senior who had just moved for his final year of school from Portland to the more conservative city of Salem.
Wild Animals You Should Know told the story of a golden boy named Matthew who tests the boundaries of his attraction and sexuality to dangerous degrees. I played Matthew’s best friend, Jacob. Jacob had come out at an early age was terribly enamored with Matthew. Their relationship was predicated on Jacob’s subjugation until, one night, Matthew pushed the boundaries too far with their closeted Boy Scout leader.
Jeff: What are the challenges of performing plays that deal with such controversial material? Despite the challenges, why do you think these plays were important enough for you to do?
Gideon: Both of the characters were what drew me to these plays. They are both characters who are not dealing with issues of coming out or are plagued by demons of their own sexuality. They are both strong and individualized. I came out an early age, like both characters, and I felt a desire to tell their stories.
Wild Animals You Should Know
Jeff: In all three shows we've talked about, you've played characters struggling/dealing with being gay and what that means in everyday living. Still, each are unique. As an openly gay actor, how does this inform decisions you make for these characters? Have you drawn on personal experiences?
Gideon: Ernst was questioning who he was. Jacob and Howie were not. They knew who they were. Because I came out an early age I knew what it was like to be in high school and middle school and not have doubts or qualms with the fact that I was attracted to the same sex. It made understanding Jacob and Howie much easier.
Jeff: One of the "perks" of playing these roles has to have been being named one of the OUT 100 - congrats! How did that come about? Tell us about the photo shoot.
Gideon: Thank you! I’ve known the OUT staff since I moved to the city. They simply asked! The photo shoot was very fun. It was originally advertised as a group shot with Jordan Roth, Jon Robbie Baitz, Walter Bobbie, and Terrence McNally. I was just trying not to feel tiny in a room with men I not only admire, but also who have made a far larger stamp in the theatre community than I have.
Jeff: I read that you have been out since seventh grade. Looking back on it, how did your family react to the news? Do you think being out has affected your career? With all of the recent news about bullying and suicide and gay teens, do you participate in events and charities that support these issues? (Like the "It Gets Better" campaign and the like). What responsibility do you think high profile openly gay people like you, and every day openly gay people like me, have in speaking/acting out against gay bullying and discrimination?
Gideon: I have been blessed with a very supportive family. I’m quite lucky. I’ve always been out so it was never a question to hide it. I’m sure it’s affected my career to some extent. I’ve played a lot of gay characters, and it’s easy for people to box you in. My main concern in life has always been to be honest with myself, my friends, my family, and to make my characters honest. I’ve done some volunteer work for the Trevor Project. I’d like to do more. I’d like to start training so I can man the phones for Trevor’s suicide hotline. I think everyone has a responsibility to better society. Being gay connects us to a cause easily.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE TREVOR PROJECT GO TO: http://www.thetrevorproject.org/
Coming Soon: Part 3: Spider-Man and Into the Woods and Part 4: Gideon on Film and the Internet
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