As his bio mentions, Matt Whitfield can't help but bring a chill vibe to all that he does. Come check him out in his original one-man show, The Wheels on the Bus, being showcased in Tongue in Cheek's Plus 1 Solo Show Festival November 1 and 2 @ 8 pm, at Theatre 54 @ Shetler Studios. Tickets are $20 @ www.tictheater.com or call 1-800-838-3006.
We asked the talented thesp a few questions about the process of creating and performing his autobiographical piece.
What's your solo show about?
How one family's best intentions lead them on a three-day road trip from hell.
Who inspires you to write and perform?
My wife. She's always encouraging me to share my stories. It wasn't until I got married that I realized how bizarre my childhood was.
And if I had to pick a performer who inspires me to share my stories, it would be Mike Birbiglia. I love how he shares his most embarrassing moments and turns them into jokes for everyone to enjoy. I'm trying to that with this show. It's when our best laid plans go out the window, that we find out who we are.
What's the hardest part of doing a solo show?
Figuring which details to leave out. In my case, it all happened. It's all true. There are so many details that it gets hard to decide what needs to stay in the story, and what doesn't.
It's been a challenge condensing three life-altering days, each filled with mishaps, into a 25-minute piece.
What's the best thing about doing your piece?
Seeing my parents as peers. It's fun because I'm older (now) than almost all of the characters are in my story. I find myself wondering what I would have said to my parents if they were my friends, or, if I, as an adult, were along for the ride. Relating to them as fellow humans, not Mom and Dad, has been a surprising and totally enjoyable part of this experience.
Artistic Director Note: We're so thrilled to be working with Matt again -- he helped devise a new play in 2013-14 that became Buffalo Heights, in which he played a high school stoner who makes a big difference in the life of a new teacher.