We are now deep in the heart of crunch week. I commissioned an artist to celebrate this 4by creating a mascot for us made out of: a box of captain crunch, an artichoke heart, and a calendar. Unfortunately the artist was found dead atop the half completed work, having evidently eaten his own lips and eyelids. The words “The blind eternities stir and it awakens.” having been carved into all readily accessible parts of his skin. Given the consummate professionalism of this particular artist, we believe this was intended as a letter of apology for being unable to complete the commission. So sadly, we are without a mascot. However, to make up for it, I do have several delightful anecdotes. Max spent enough money on virtual flutes / recorders to feed a dozen starving Somalians for a month. And then discovered these were unusable in the PVP arena where they were needed.
Perhaps even more excitingly, due to the recent patch, we were forced to level a large portion of our actors to 10 overnight in order to get them properly costumed. But enough bad news for now, I give you the interview with Daniel Prillaman:
Hi, Daniel, could you start by telling us a little about yourself. Where are you from, what’s your background?
Certainly! Um...what’s my name? My name is Daniel Prillaman (although it may or may not have been Goulash Zanzibar in a previous life...). I was born and raised in Charlottesville, Virginia, where the weather is made up and the seasons don’t matter. My first experience with acting was in the sixth grade, when my church choir teacher forced me to take part in an upcoming musical. I played a fish boy. As you might guess, the accolades bestowed upon me for my acclaimed performance convinced me it was my destiny to become an actor. Or rather, I discovered that acting was a great way for shy, little 11 to 12-year-old me to break of his shell. I’ve been blessed with work and continued opportunities since, and can’t ever really recall wanting to do anything else (except maybe be a moon pirate...). I graduated from the University of Virginia with a BA in Drama in the Spring of 2013, and am (at least at the moment) successfully maintaining a living at a regional theatre in Pennsylvania. In my spare time, I enjoy writing, gaming (obviously), and biscuits. It bears repeating...
Some favorite roles to date would be: Melchior Gabor – Spring Awakening, Hugh Dorsey – Parade, Officer Lockstock – Urinetown, Mr. Papillion – Rhinoceros, and Macaulay (Mike) Connor – The Philadelphia Story.
Interesting, could you elaborate a bit more on… the… um… interesting… part? F***, people are going to be able to tell this interview isn’t real time, won’t they?
Well, definitely now...
I figured as much. And… you did answer the previous question in such a way that this follow up still seems appropriate didn’t you? Because I swear to god, I will cut you.
You shall do no such thing. I’m hiding. You won’t find me. And besides, I’ve got comically repressed ferrets on guard duty.
Scintillating! What are all your various roles on our production of Hamlet?
Well, to give credit where credit is due, everybody on our team is amazing, and almost everything that I’ve had a hand in has also had...other people’s...hands in...it? I think? The entire team has shared animation duties, acting duties, direction duties, keeping Max awake duties, so much stuff that there’s not a very easy line to draw between most of it.
If you’re looking at specific specifics, though, I’m “techinically” [SIC, you just got SICed b****, -editor] the animation director for the project. However, that doesn’t really mean much because we’re referring to a machinima, and instead of me creating the animation, we’re simply using the wonderful game/artwork/system developed by ArenaNet to the best of our ability. I took on more of the directorial duties such as storyboarding and shot listing the play (where I would physically write down the shots to be filmed each night and send it to the cinematographer), as well as dipped my fingers into doing some of the early music design, location scouting, etc. I oversaw pretty much the entire process from beginning to end with an attempt to keep an “aesthetic” eye on the project.
I also did the voice for Hamlet.
Well… wow, that was uh, incredibly long, and, uh, very confusing, and a little homophobic. And really, really, specifically, surprisingly and gratuitously critical of Israel. Moving on… how did you first meet your assorted co-founders of Stage Left Studios?
I first met Grant in middle school, but we didn’t really become super friend happy tree friends until high school, where we bonded underneath the dictatorial rule of our tough, yet freakin’ amazing drama teacher (much love, Fay!) The drama community in our high school was a pretty tight knit group, and we all just became really close with one another over those years. Grant and I have spoken for ages about trying to start a company like this, and Max and Emily saved the day by swooping in and actually forcing us to work.
Having said that, I met Max and Emily at UVA shortly later. I met Max in the very first class I ever took, Production Management, where I sat as a timid, little ginger first-year (UVA is pretentious because we don’t normal terms like freshman!) and listened to him discussing his boyfriend at the time. When he spoke to me, I had to respond, and we eventually discovered we both had many similar interests, like sounds...and I suppose theatre and games and stuff.
Emily and I have a troubled origin story involving the throwing of cuff links. I’m not going to tell that story.
Seriously, I’m not telling that story, move down.
Imagine you’re living out a Titanic style scenario with your co-founders and all that was left was the four of you and a single life boat specifically engineered to facilitate moral quandaries by seating exactly one. Match each of the following reactions with the person most likely to perform them.
1. Offers to sacrifice his or herself so that you can live
Max. He’s a nice person, and Grant is too wildcard.
2. Tries to murder you and take the life boat his or herself
Emily. It’s because of the cuff links, wasn’t it?
3. Reaches up to their hairline, grabs a concealed zipper and reveals that this entire time they were actually a walrus in a human suit. Then, unconcerned for the others’ fate, swims off into the sunset.
As mentioned before, Grant is a wildcard.
And finally, which of our upcoming projects are you the most excited for?
While I am excited for all of them, I can say I’m currently working on the script for one project in particular which I’m very pumped for. I can’t really say much about it at the moment, though.
Other than wooden pickaxe...
How do you feel about interviewers that lie about which question is the final one?
“I don’t understand the question, and I won’t respond to it.” - Lucille Bluth*
*As a note, I do understand the question, but I’m still not responding to it.