is the grass any bluer...

is the grass any bluer...
on the other side?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Cool Hand Luke

I first saw Luke Baldridge perform in Beguiled Again last fall, a musical tribute that made it to the DAC stage despite snafus, staff departures and shakeups within AGL, but was one I thoroughly enjoyed.   
The talented Baldridge is more than a triple threat -- a fine singer, dancer and actor - but he is also a composer and writer who went to school at Asbury College (now University), earning a B.A. in Theatre & Cinema Performance with a double emphasis in Acting and Musical Theatre. He laughs, "That's a lot of words to say I studied acting in college. This fall I'm moving to NYC and attending the Stella Adler Studio of Acting's 3-Year Conservatory program, as well as learning what its like to live in the city that every movie is set in."

Aside from Beguiled Again, he recently  assisted and had a small role in "Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog" at Asbury University, which was put on as a fundraiser for rebuilding homes in Haiti. "I had already graduated, but a good friend was directing, and I wanted to help her out and sing along to the Freeze Ray song." The evening was called Horrible For Haiti, and Baldridge also arranged some of the music in that production.

Baldridge claims that he loves performing locally, "but I know it's time for me to make the move to New York. I was accepted to Stella Adler and a couple other acting programs at grad schools in spring of 2009. I chose Adler and have been living at home saving money since, working at Joseph-Beth and for the U.S. Census."
Although he doesn't have concrete long-term plans, he would like to end up in L.A. acting in film. "Any life where I can make a living from acting, composing music, and writing is good with me. I'm going to take it one year at a time and trust that God will reveal his will for me when I need to know it."

"I've never done a show in a concert venue or bar, so Buster's is a new experience. I'm sure it won't hurt the production's reception that our audience has the opportunity to get drunk during the show."

Baldridge plays Cousin Kevin, Tommy's abusive bully of a cousin. "I look like I belong in an AC/DC cover band [which is exactly what my photographer Tom Eisenhauer said about Luke], with my biker jacket, black shorts, and checkered cap. It's been fun getting to beat up someone a foot taller than I. I usually only get that opportunity if I'm playing Mortal Kombat, and even then, I'm not that good."

Baldridge's quick wit and musical gifts combine for yet another remarkable performance as he maintains the focus needed to portray his role.  "Remembering when to slap or kick or headlock all while singing a solo rock ballad that challenges my vocal range has been . . . well, a challenge. But a fun one. Much more satisfying then spending my evenings alone, crying into my Waffle House hash browns."
He also relishes the opportunity to be directed by AGL's Acting Artistic Director Eric Seale, "whose work and facial hair I've admired since I saw his production of Pillow Man at AGL a couple of years ago. Who ever is in charge, give that man a raise!"

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