This week on Good Story Live! Jesse and Ginger talk to Actor Neil Vanides. With his professional training beginning at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, BFA Acting Program, Neil was accepted into a conservatory-styled training program with 12 others. For four years these actors spent every day together honing their craft, learning new techniques, studying dialect work, bodywork, disciplining their minds, and training their bodies. With several core instructors and guest instructors bringing in a new curriculum weekly, these 12 expanded their knowledge, broadened their vision, and sharpened their focus.
Neil played Bernardo in the University's Joint-Department Production of "West Side Story" working with Musical Theater Majors, Acting Majors, Music Majors, and several directors to put on a performance that truly demonstrated the power of the arts and the beauty of ensemble.
Black Box performances were a regular part of work-shopping during Neil's studies, during which he learned Dramaturgical Study and thus the art of creating the world of his characters. Neil's favorite role in the Black Box was Sid from Clifford Odettes', "Waiting for Lefty." This period piece spoke on the Great Depression and the lives of Americans during the labor strikes and war. It was this role that ignited Neil's love of historic-based roles.
Neil also co-starred in a NASA-produced educational piece entitled "A Cosmic Web," which had two runs; one at the university, and then a tour which traveled to public and private schools educating children on the impact of astronomy, science, NASA, and the Hubble Space Telescope. Each cast member played several roles, Neil enjoyed each of his, favoring two to name a few: Derik, a young star-gazer who teased his sister as they'd gaze upon the stars recalling the names of constellations, and the bayou Coyote (A Human-sized Bunraku Puppet), a mischievous flirt who loved the moon, perhaps too much...
Most known for his roles in "Come Follow Me" and "My Son, My Savior," where Neil played Apostle John, as well as "Kaylee" which premiered at The Cannes Film Festival, Neil has been known for his dramatic roles but also showcasing his comedic delivery in very subtle and well-timed pacing.