We’re thrilled to have snagged one of the busiest actors around town for this Friday’s feature- let’s hear from Ben Nordstrom!
BEN NORDSTROM is an award-winning theatre artist based in St. Louis, MO. As an actor and singer, he has appeared in over 50 plays and musicals at major theatres around the country and in New York City. Since relocating to St. Louis with his family, Ben has become a well-known presence within the local theatre community. He has worked with the Muny, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre, Stages, New Jewish Theatre, Variety StL, Mustard Seed, HotCity, OnSite, and Echo. He has received a St. Louis Theatre Circle Award, two Kevin Kline Awards, and was recently named St. Louis’ “Most Versatile Actor” by the Post-Dispatch. He has played sold out solo cabarets at the Monocle, the Gaslight, the Kranzberg, and Jazz At the Bistro. Currently, he is the emcee for the annual St. Louis Teen Talent Competition at the Fabulous Fox Theatre and has emceed major events for the J Associates, St. Louis Arts and Education Gala and St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Ben is a member of Actors’ Equity Association and Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television & Radio Artists. BFA, musical theatre, Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University. www.BenNordstrom.com.
Q: What was your first experience in theatre?
A; I lip synced (lip sanc?) “Gonna Buy Me A Condo” by Weird Al Yankovich in the 4th grade talent show. I had about 27 props. It was like Milli Vanilli meets Carrot Top.
Q: What is the best piece of career advice anyone has ever given you?
A; Two things come to mind; one is about the craft and one is about being in the business. A great teacher said, “Acting is not always about getting the right answers. It’s about asking yourself the right questions.” And a wonderful older actor that I worked with when I was at Webster told me that one of the keys to a long life in theatre is knowing what to do with yourself in between shows. Knowing what to do when you are working is easy.
Q: Tell us about a backstage or onstage mishap you lived through.
A: I was in the ensemble of Crazy For You at Stages. We were doing the big Act I finale, I Got Rhythm. At that point in the show, all of the ensemble men are wearing something akin to velvet tights (don’t ask). And we’re all tap dancing. At one point we crouch down and then come back up. So I go to crouch and very distinctly feel the tights rip right down the middle of my backside. I could hear all of the girls upstage laughing at me. It was pretty much just my dance belt under there. IIt wouldn’t have been too bad but we had one last turn left, so I was going to have to basically show it to the audience. My mind was racing about what to do. But I just decided to go for it. I covered it with my hands as we turned, finished the number and raced offstage as soon as the lights went down. Yay live theatre!
Q: What is your dream role/show?
A: Right now, I think it’s Bobby in “Company”.
Q: What is your current guilty TV Pleasure?
A: I’ve been bingeing on House of Cards. I just started it a few months ago. Also, Better Call Saul. And anytime Shark Tank or The Profit (CNBC) is on, I’m hypnotized.
Thank you Ben! We look forward to seeing you on the STL stage again soon!
Grace Austin is an STL area director and educator.
See her work at gracemaustin.com