Todd Payne is the latest participant in our blog series 10 Questions. He can currently be seen on the Coaster Theatre stage as Seymour Krelborn in this summer’s deviously delicious musical Little Shop of Horrors. Todd has always wanted to step into the shoes of Seymour and is honored and humbled to be able to bring him to life on the Coaster Theatre Stage. He is a Coaster Theatre veteran who has charmed us in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, traveled the world in Around the World in 80 Days, rescued damsels in distress in Into the Woods and made us laugh in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Todd also serves on the Board of Directors for the Coaster Theatre Playhouse.
1. What is your present state of mind?
Right now I feel like I’m in limbo, caught between a past I’m eager to leave behind and a future that’s a complete and total mystery. I’m not sure where I’m headed, I can’t wait to get there, and I hope I don’t forget to live and enjoy the journey as it happens.
2. Who are your favorite playwrights?
To be completely honest, I’m more into movies than stage shows. That’s probably why I’m drawn to playwrights like John Patrick Shanley since I was introduced to him through the film adaptation of his play Doubt. Both the film and play struck me deeply with the depth Shanley shows in all his characters; I find myself liking and hating each character at times, sometimes wavering back and forth even within a single scene. It keeps me on the edge of my seat whether I’m watching it play out on stage, screen, or even the written page.
3. Your favorite musician?
I could listen to Alison Krauss on a constant loop and I don’t think I would ever get sick of her voice.
4. Who are your favorite characters?
John Proctor (The Crucible), because he won’t sacrifice who he is to save his own life. Sister Aloysius Beauvier (Doubt), because she’s willing to sacrifice her own faith to save someone else’s life. Angel Dumott Schunard (Rent), because he radiates love even in the midst of his own despair.
5. Who are your heroes in real life?
My brother Matt is my hero because of his selfless and unhesitating care and concern for the people around him. His generous spirit never ceases to amaze me. My best friend Juan is also my hero because he always inspires me just to be who I am and not some ideal version of who I think I should be.
6. What natural gift would you most like to possess?
I sure would like to be able to grow a decent beard.
7. What is your most marked characteristic?
I take a lot of things too seriously. This exercise may be one of those things.
8. What do you most value in your friends?
I value their ability to see the strengths and value in me that I so often can’t see myself. It’s pretty neat when you realize other people like you with no strings attached.
9. If you could be anyone throughout history, who would you have been?
This is a tough one. I don’t think I’d want to be anybody else; I’ve had a hard enough time figuring out who I am as a person.
10. What is your motto?
I don’t know everything. I’ve learned the hard way over the years that I don’t have all the answers to life’s greatest questions and that I never will. That doesn’t mean I’ll stop asking questions or seeking answers, but the moment you begin to think you’re right about everything or that you know enough is the moment you begin shutting yourself off from the people and experiences around you. Those are the things that have the greatest potential to help you grow more into yourself; I never want to give that up.
Photos by George Vetter/Cannon-Beach.net
Our series “10 Questions with…” is based on the original “Proust Questionnaire” with a theatrical spin. (For more information and to see the full questionnaire click here)