You're a founding member of Congo Square. Can you talk about the ensemble's importance to you as an actor and/or to Chicago's cultural life?
Chicago is the ultimate Ensemble town. I’m no different from the hundreds of thousands of kids that have come to Chicago over the past 30 some-odd years trying to tap into the brilliant synergy that made the world sit up and take notice of Steppenwolf Theatre and Second City. The spirit of ensemble has become an integral part of Chicago’s cultural identity. We were fortunate that our work at Congo Square caught the attention of Steppenwolf and some of the other amazing ensembles like Lookingglass Theatre and Jackie Taylor’s Black Ensemble Theatre. As an actor to be recognized in Chicago, the blue collar City of Big Shoulders, for strong ensemble acting is the highest praise. The ensemble work was striking on YST in Season 1 and I am proud to be part of Season 2.
As an accomplished actor and director, which do you prefer?
Oh, that question? I wonder why that question is so fascinating. It’s like deciding which of your children do you like most? Coppola or Scorcese? Fried chicken or bacon? Whiskey or tequila? I am a “Both, And” type of guy. They say ‘you can’t have it all,’ but why not give it a shot, ya know? Which do I prefer? Honestly, I think it has more to do with the project and the people involved. The safest but also the most accurate answer is: Whichever project I’m currently working on.
How would you describe your experience filming You're So Talented: Season 2 ?
I had a blast filming YST: Season 2. It was mostly at a bar! The crew was excellent, the tone was playful but very professional and productive. My scenes didn’t film until the end of the shoot. They were a well-oiled machine by then and I was the new guy, but everyone was incredibly kind and helpful despite being exhausted. My scenes were 1-on-1 with Sam. I’ve known her for a while, but haven’t worked with her in a few years. I think she’s awesome. It was impressive to watch Sam switch hats seamlessly from actor to director and back. She’s So Talented! Literally!
Watch Aaron's appearance in You're So Talented, season two here!