Steve Isom and family are a force to be reckoned with around STL- and he’s here to share some wisdom with us today!
Steve has been a St. Louis based equity actor for a couple dozen years. He’s performed at most of the theatres in town, but is most known for his work at Stages St. Louis where he has done 52 shows. His lovely wife Ellen and daughter Abigail are also in the biz. He once started a little thing called The Kevin Kline Awards, but we can talk about that later.
Q: What was your first experience in theatre?
I liked puppets. Age nine, I was bored one summer and mom sees an audition to work puppets at this little church theatre. We went. The puppets were life-sized marionettes. I was too small to run them, but they needed voices for the puppets. It was a musical version of Jack and the Beanstalk. I was the voice of Jack. I can still sing you the Cow song. That little church theatre became the largest children’s theatre in the country, San Jose Children’s Musical Theatre. It was my home away from home.
Q: What is the best piece of career advice anyone has ever given you?
I’ll give you the worst instead: “If you can do anything else … for god’s sake DO IT.” That’s a load of crap. People who do theatre are smart, energetic people. Of course we can do other things! Follow your passion. Do what you love. Life is short.
Q: Tell us about a backstage or onstage mishap you lived through.
During 9 to 5 at Stages this year we had a power outage in the middle of Act 1. A generator blew up somewhere. We were told it was going to be a while before, so some of us went onstage with a guitar and started singing to the crowd. We, and the audience, used phones to provide some stage light. It was fun and rowdy. At one point during a song I yelled out at the crowd – “If we all just believe hard enough I’m sure we can get these lights back on!” – and boop! They instantly came on. It was so weird people thought it was some trick, but just a crazy coincidence.
Q: What is your dream role/show?
Sweeney Todd. I always wanted to play Sweeney. I may be getting too old. I’ll do anything in it though. Am I in my Judge Turpin years yet?
Q: What is your current guilty TV Pleasure?
Im watching TURN right now. So good. I just watched a bunch of 30 Rock because it’s leaving Netflix. I relate to Jack Donaghy. Where’s my scotch?
Thank you Steve!!!
Grace Austin is an STL based director and educator. Her picture was taken by Ann Aurbach of COCA while she was living out her dreams of being in Frozen.
See her work at gracemaustin.com