Meet Mikey DiLoreto, who tackles two of the many roles in A Southern Victory: Charlie Davenport and The Conductor. Vagabond Literary Manager Zach Winston asked our cast a few questions about their time with ASV, their experience with the role, and their future. Read Mikey’s take below!
Tell us about your character(s). What kind of tools have you been using to prepare for your role (research, technique, process, etc)? Is it different from what you typically do?
In the show, I play 2 wildly different parts. First is the Conductor. He comes from pretty good stock, and he’s very devoted to the abolition of slavery. The second is Charlie Davenport. Charlie is a laissez-faire sort of fellow on the surface, but underneath he completely has his shit together and can read anyone front to back in an instant. In terms of my process, I’m an in the moment kind of guy. Clearly, I do some research as to the time frame and the fashion and the speech patterns, but when it comes to the character I am playing, I build a foundation from basic knowledge of the time and then go with the flow.
In A Southern Victory, we are launched into a world where The Confederacy has won the civil war. What would the world look like today if that were the case? How would your character’s story change had the south lost?
The world would be so much more effed up. I feel like this country is already divided enough that if there were actually a split in the center, we may as well just throw in the towel. In regards to the show, if the South had lost, Charlie would still do what he does at the end of Act One, and The Conductor…well, I don’t want to give anything away so people will have to make that decision for themselves.
What aspect from the time period as presented in the given circumstances of A Southern Victory fascinates you the most?
The thing that really took me was the drug-pushing because it is still so prevalent today and it is ripping apart so many lives. To see it in a different time period is really fascinating.
What’s something you feel as though you would like the audience to know before seeing A Southern Victory?
That they really should see all 3 of the plays before making a snap judgment. To come in and just see Play 1 will not give you the right sense of the world the Vagabond is creating so beautifully. It’s a huge commitment and I totally understand that, but it’d be just like coming and watching only the 2nd act of Hamlet and being like, “I don’t get it.”
Do you personally relate to your character? Have you ever encountered conflict or obstacles like that which they face? How did you react? How would they have reacted?
I relate more to Charlie than the Conductor. I see Charlie as this guy who everyone just thinks is funny and flamboyant, so it is easy to dismiss him. Deep down though, he is absolutely intelligent beyond words and witty as all hell. I relate to that because my mantra has always been, “Play the fool and fool them all.” With the Conductor, I admire his faith and loyalty, but I can be kind of fickle. Luckily, I’ve never had to relate to his struggles or his passion.
A Southern Victory is a play that alters our perception of time in history. If you had a time machine, how would you use it? Where would you go? Would you want to change anything? See anything?
NO! I would never use a time machine. I really do believe in that whacked out theory called the Butterfly Effect. And knowing my luck, I’d blow the whole planet up and be left floating somewhere in space.
What has been your favorite thing about rehearsal? What kinds of obstacles and challenges have you encountered?
Meeting new people and working with some very talented folks. My only challenge is remembering which scene goes where and when! It’s a lot to absorb.
Some actors have been working on A Southern Victory for two years, others for a few months. How involved have you been in the script’s development so far? How have you seen it evolve from then until now?
I’ve known about ASV for a little over a year, but didn’t have much of a stake in it. I went to the audition on sort of a whim, and I am so glad I did. It’s been wonderful watching Kevin and ASV team work tirelessly to give this show the attention it so rightly deserves.
What do you do for work? What do you do for fun?
Work — I am an administrative assistant at Suffolk University. Fun — wine, horror movies, road trips, wine, watching reruns of Rupaul’s Drag Race, and more wine.
Any projects lined up for after A Southern Victory? Plans? Tell us about them!
Yup. I’ll performing in Ronan Noone’s BRENDAN this July with Happy Medium Theatre.