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POP QUIZ – Connor McCanlus

600542_4876832766696_1299322170_nOkay, I’ve never met Connor McCanlus but I love him. Seriously. This is by far one of my favorite interviews ever. His voice is so vivacious and his humor is so perfect and dry. Love love love! And look at that photo! I love a guy who’s unafraid of Shakespeare. And wigs. And makeup. Connor McCanlus looks too fun for words. And like I said, his interview is pretty darn funny.

But to tell you a bit about him as a performer: He’s making his CLO Cabaret debut in Judge Jackie. Local credits include Unseam’d Shakespeare (The Complete Works of William Shakespeare [Abridged] and The Tempest, or The Enchanted Isle), Prime Stage Theatre (The Elephant Man and A Wrinkle in Time), Miniature Curiosa, Pittsburgh Playwrights Theater Company, and Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks. He is an improv comedian and musical improviser at Steel City Improv Theater and Arcade Comedy Theater; his work has been featured in festivals in New York City (UCB, PIT, Magnet) and Chicago (Athenaeum). Mr. McCanlus is also the co-creator and director ofHELLO DONNY: A Showtunes Sing-Along! at Backstage Bar.

You can find out more about Connor and Judge Jackie, the new hysterical show playing at the Cabaret from now until April 27, 2014. You can also follow the CLO on Twitter and like theirFB page. Also, be sure to check back on Monday for my full review of Judge Jackie!

And now on with the Quiz!


1. Which would you rather drink for the rest of your natural born life, pop or water?

Water. You win again, science.

2. Which television show could you watch over and over and never get bored?

Ru Paul’s Drag Race. Any season. Any episode. I’m obsessed.

3. Team Marvel Comics or Team DC Comics?

DC Comics. One word: Batman. Two words: Wonder Woman.

4. If you could have any super hero save you, who would it be and why?

Superman, mostly because he can fly. Also Superman is my boyfriend’s favorite super hero, and I would love him to be really jealous.

5. Which quote is the one you live by: “To thine own self be true”, “Can’t repeat the past? Why of course you can.”, or “Draw me like one of your French girls.”

To thine own self be true. I mean come on, it’s Shakespeare! Although it will always be a quote from “Clueless” in my heart.

6. Which book best sums up your philosophies on life?

“Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown, pictures by Clement Brown. I think sleep is the greatest thing in the world.

7. If you could bring any fictional person to life and ask him or her a question, who would it be and what would you ask?

Fictional person? Wow this is a hard one! The person that keeps popping up in my head is Harriet the Spy so my question to her would be “Why are you my answer?”

8. What is the most attractive quality in the opposite sex?

Sense of humor.

9. What is the least attractive quality in the opposite sex?

Being the opposite sex. (Bethany’s Note: this is absolutely hysterical. Oh my god! I love this guy!)

10. Which would you choose: being a billionaire at a job you hated or making $20,000 doing your life’s passion?

I’m an actor, I’m already doing the latter.

11. Define what the word “fear” means to you.

When I walk into a bathroom I have to check behind the shower curtain to make sure there isn’t a person back there. In that moment before I know the truth, I’m afraid. So, fear is “not knowing.”

12. Define what the word “happiness” means to you.

Happiness is anyone or anything at all that’s loved by you.

13. Which is more fulfilling: the moment of creating art, or the moment of sharing it with the world?

This is an amazing question! I do a lot of improv comedy so my answer is going to be both. There is nothing more fulfilling than that live, real moment of creation and collaboration. When the audience experiences that moment of creation and collaboration, and they know it was just pulled out of thin air and they got to see it happen, that moment is magic.

14. Which is more difficult: the first rejection from an industry insider or the first negative review from your audience?

Audience. That’s why we’re up there on stage, to present something for an audience and to receive their intellectual and emotional responses. Nothing sucks more than not landing a joke or feeling that an audience is bored.

15. Is there anyone in your life that you love but are afraid to tell how you feel?

My brother, actually. He and I are really different and not particularly close but I love him a great deal. I know he loves me too, but I need to work on building a better relationship with him.

16. Who do you admire most in your professional life?

I’m cheating and giving you three people. 1) Helena Ruoti. Watching her night after night gather an audience like smoke and hold their attention in the palm of her hand, it’s amazing. She is a lesson in captivating an audience. 2) Martin Giles has the best comedic timing. He’s also a brilliant dramatic actor, director, works a ton and rides the bus, which is awesome. 3) Daina Griffith. Not only does she work like a mule, is perfect in everything she does, but I got to do a show with her and she’s just the coolest.

17. Who do you admire most in your personal life?

My boyfriend John. He’s the best human I know.

18. To be successful in your field, what traits do you think a person needs to have?

A positive attitude. That will take you so far and in so many ways. 

19. What motivates you most?

Money. Isn’t that awful? But it’s the truth. I don’t do what I do because I love it, I do it because it’s the only real skill I have. And the only job I’v ever wanted. And I’ve got student loans to pay.

20. What will you be doing next?

Who knows? I just joined Actors’ Equity Association so that’s going to change where and how I audition. But I have some improv and comedy projects that are going to be getting a lot more of my attention after Jackiecloses.

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