Kyle Robert Carter is playing Prez in The Pajama Game at 5th Avenue Theatre. Carter was in the Broadway national tour of In the Heights as Benny, and has performed Off-Broadway in a variety of roles. Locally, he has been in 5th Avenue Theatre productions, such as Paint Your Wagon, Grease, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Jasper in Deadland. He joined me for this week’s installment of Five Friday Questions.
When did you realize you wanted to be an actor?
The biggest moment for me was my sophomore year of college. I was in school for industrial design and a friend convinced me to audition for a musical they were doing on campus—Ragtime. I had performed in many choirs in high school, but never anything like a full-on musical. I played Coalhouse and the first time the show ended and I heard the way the crowd responded, I knew that I loved the process of doing a show to make people feel something.
What performance are you excited about seeing?
I can’t wait to see Dear Evan Hansen in person and, man, oh man, Come From Away cannot get to Broadway fast enough. I missed it when it was in Seattle and I’m itching to see it!
What do you to do prepare right before you hit the stage?
Right before I walk on stage I close my eyes, breathe deeply and say a prayer of thanks for all the people it took for me to be standing there as a professional actor. I did not make this journey alone. By doing this, I allow myself to be free of the expectation that the show will be perfect. The show will be whatever it is supposed to be for that individual night. That’s why I love live theatre—every night gets to be a unique experience.
What artwork (piece of music, theater piece, whatever) has always inspired you?
Wow! I could go on and on with this topic. Going to school for industrial design I had to study a lot of different kinds of art. I will say that I always loved Keith Haring’s work. I loved the color it brought but with an urban edge. I like things that have an edge to them; if something looks a little too polished it irks me.
What do you like about Seattle’s arts community?
I have really enjoyed seeing a commitment from people who want to do good and meaningful work here. This is a very competitive industry but the fun in the competition only comes when you’re around other people who want to work just as hard as you do to create something vibrant. As a result, I always find myself proud to have shared the stage with all of the different casts and crews I’ve been with so far in Seattle.