15 Oct KITCHEN SINK EXPERIMENT(S): Matthew K Davis (Brian)
Matthew K Davis plays Brian, one half of the young couple who invites the Scientist into their home to observe their most intimate moments. We caught up with Matt to have him answer some questions about the Kitchen Sink Experiment(s), cooking breakfast, and how eating bugs might make you stronger.
What is your favorite moment/quote from the play?
There’s a scene where I get to cook breakfast, so yeah, you’ll be treated to all the smells. One favorite quote is, “Sorry we suck at science.”
How does setting the play in an actual apartment change your approach to the work?
This choice was delightful to hear about. When I helped Crashbox with an informal reading months back, after we finish, Andrew informs us that the plan is to use his actual apartment. So I look around the loft space, books everywhere, oozing with young artist coolness, and think, “Damn, these two have it figured out.” What I most want audiences to know is that the site-specific nature serves this play, and is possibly the most valid choice we could be pursuing right now. It should feel like the audience is in on it with the Scientist, like you’re imposing on these people’s personal space. As an actor, this means stripping away a lot of the artifice required by a bigger space. As Sir Michael Caine says about film acting, which this feels in many ways closer to, you have to pull out your acting lasers. Super fine, super precise. There’s no one sitting ten rows back, or in a balcony – there’s no one sitting even three rows back! They’re right there and you have to cook them breakfast.
What are you doing to make the space feel like it’s your home?
Laying on Andrew and Jaclyn’s couch. Oh man. I will miss that couch. Also, studying the blueprints for their kitchen is getting me into it. I feel like, if I know your kitchen, I know you. I know the very substances your body is made of. And that’s pretty inescapable. Aside from cooking and drinking coffee there, bringing a few personal items will really help me blur that wild actor line of my life, Brian’s life, and this quirky space that we overlap in. Plus, Andrew got us pillows and has slyly spoken on cubbies! Give a kid a cubby and they’ll fill it with treasure.
Have you had a chance to check out the neighborhood?
Walking down Troutman is a treat. You wanna see loads of murals? Freaking go. And if you want outdoor bars with ping pong, organic foods, co-working spaces, fixed gear bikes, let me tell you. You’ve got all that here, and someone who seems to specialize in renovating VW Bus Campers. Should you choose to make a night of it, fair warning, you’ll probably wind up taking a Classic American Road Trip and sleeping on the side of the Grand Canyon within a week, tops.
Have you learned anything new about the play or your character since you started rehearsals?
Tons! Andrew is such a great director to work with because you can tell he thrives on this investigative environment. Consistently, I’ve been nudged towards more complicated choices, ones that might have initially felt too uncomfortable. We’re discovering how much there is to harness underneath the surface. This is not a cursory once-over. We want to figure out what makes these characters tick.
Have you ever participated in a science experiment?
Won’t lie, I’ve definitely shied away from science since high school. I do know that when I was very young, maybe two, I was quite curious and was caught eating a caterpillar. Given that I am here now, I was able to deduce that my hypothesis was correct. Eating bugs makes you stronger. That’s my theory, and I’m sticking to it. You could say I foresaw the whole Chapul Cricket Energy Bar trend a good 20 years early.
If a science came and watched you in your apartment, what’s one thing they might be surprised to find out?
I spend a decent amount of time dancing in my kitchen and nefariously mumbling to the food I am about to consume.
What do you hope the audience takes away from the experience of Kitchen Sink Experiment(s)?
That relationships can be a tenuous dance of unspoken intentions. Everyone does this, and there is danger in how often and to what degree we do so. I hope audiences walk away, either to their loved one or into a new relationship (or friendship!), and examine how they are presenting their needs, expectations, and habits. Of course, we can’t know ALL of this about ourselves, but to recognize patterns is a start. This play really hones in on the pressure of observation, and while we are taking a naturalistic, four-walls theatre approach, there is room to consider the audience and Scientist as inhabiting similar roles. How do we affect the work we are seeing? Without grabbing your wrist and pulling you into a dark closet Sleep No More style, how do we communicate through plays about universal experiences?
Were you good at science in school?
“Good” in that I did the advanced track from Earth Science through AP Physics in junior year of high school, but I bottomed out and didn’t go for AP Bio. I managed A-/B+ range for most of it, but I’ll be damned if any of those Chemistry of Physics equations have stuck with me. I had a healthy interest that never quite extended to participating in the Science Fair. Also, by that point, you should know I was munching entire colonies of ants and pureeing beetles for dinner parties. That’s not true. Really. It was only the one larva.
If you could play the scientist and observe someone in their natural habitat for a few weeks, who would you want to observe?
President Obama. Easy. I’d love to learn what it takes to be so consistently cool, and probably confirm that politics simply aren’t my game. Or else, Pope Francis. That man keeps his complete schedule secret from everyone. No one has all the pieces. I’m not even especially devout, but I feel this Papa would look past that, seeing as he’s one of the most revolutionary figures we’ve got today.