As live, in-person theatre returns to the greatest city in the world, we're spotlighting the NYC theatre artists who make it all happen. Today's spotlight is on Aaron Dalla Villa, who's currently playing Mordred in Bay Street Theatre’s production of Camelot.
What do you do in the theatre world?
I’m an actor through and through. I love theatre because if I’m doing multiple shows a week, I have the opportunity to be better the next day. You generally don’t have that kind of time or luxury with tv and film.
What was the last live production you worked on before the theatre shutdown?
I was doing a workshop for a new secret show in NYC. I was having so much fun developing the characters and was starting to find real nuances in each of them. They offered me the contract after that workshop, so I was looking forward to the employment, but then COVID came, and the theatre world was blindsided. It was really tough for everyone. Luckily, I was able to segue into voiceover and music production to keep myself busy.
What was your quarantine hobby?
Though I’m a very social person, I love being alone. Time to myself is crucial for my artistic development and thoughts. I found quarantine time to be fertile ground for my musical sensibilities. I followed through on my idea to make my musician alter ego “DALLA VILLA” a thing, and have released four singles to date. My new songs have a combined total of over 250k streams. One of which, “D20: Alpha Rift Tribute” (based on a movie I have coming out later this year — ALPHA RIFT), is on its way to 100k views on YouTube.
What's your first show back?
My first live theatre show back is Bay Street Theatre’s production of Camelot, directed by Scott Schwartz. I’m currently performing as Mordred/Squire Dap six days a week, and I’m happy to announce that we’ve been extended through September 5th.
What would you tell people to encourage them to come see Camelot?
It’s the perfect return to theatre. Given the events of the past year, it’s not too heavy of a show. It’s a nice release from the events of the world and pure magical entertainment. Come one night for a good, fun time. It’s that simple.
What’s one part of your job that might surprise people?
Most people think that acting is easy and that the industry is super accessible to everyone. That's simply not the case. Most people are born into the industry or know someone who is. It’s about connections. It’s also about talent and grit. Acting takes a lot of hours behind the scenes. Giving your all to every audition and then never hearing anything about it.
That can get tough after a while if you’re going through a dry spell, but you just have to keep going and continue to give it your all. Never slack on any opportunity. The work is in the audition. The vacation is in the booked job. No one sees the countless hours put into the process, and that’s why you have to love the process more than the result because the red carpet is only 5% of it. It’s not like the corporate world, where there is a linear path. In the entertainment biz, you can go from a huge job to nothing for years, so it’s important to keep yourself busy. Work begets work.
What aspect of your job are you most excited to get back to?
Live audiences. It’s been a privilege to be able to perform in front of them again. That shared human experience is what I crave in theatre, and to have that again makes me very, very happy.
Camelot runs through September 5 at 2011 Montauk Highway [Rt. 27] in Bridgehampton, NY. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: www.baystreet.org/calendar/camelot-a-concert-musical-under-the-stars/. You can find more info about Aaron Dalla Villa's other projects at aarondallavilla.com.