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article imagePatrick Boyd opens up about 'Dennis' the play, and digital age Special

By Markos Papadatos     Mar 4, 2020 in Entertainment
New York - Actor Patrick Boyd chatted with Digital Journal about starring in "Dennis" the play, which runs from March 26 until April 5 at Theatre 54 in Manhattan.
Boyd stars in the new play Dennis, where love, legacy, and mortality collide in an intimate portrait of a forgotten generation. The show runs from March 26 through April 5 at Theater 54 in New York City.
On playing the title role Dennis, he said, "Creating the role of Dennis has been one of the most rewarding projects of my career. Following the initial reading and workshop presentations in 2017 and 2018, we discovered Dennis resonates strongly with audiences with themes of mortality, legacy, and remembrance of those lost to the AIDS epidemic and those who survive. Now in the shadow of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, I feel I'm telling our history, our story, and for that, I'm honored."
When asked what he enjoyed most about this experience, he responded, "Creating a new role in a new play that did not require me to sing or dance. I admit I was nervous at first until I realized I basically was Dennis. My 30-year history of being a gay man in New York City City prepared me quite well for the issues and topics explored in the play. Having survived the height of the AIDS epidemic, I, too, lost friends to AIDS, and like Dennis, am in a relationship with a man 20 years my junior."
"Dennis, despite his flaws, is fiercely independent and a loving human being," he said. "He is a survivor. On the flip side, however, he operates from a place of deep insecurity and resentment towards a younger generation he feels has neglected and discarded their heritage."
Regarding his daily motivations, he said, "Honestly, daily motivation is often a struggle. I have found focusing on what I do have, and what I have already achieved, rather than what I feel has passed me by, keeps me moving forward."
On being an actor in the digital age, he said, "It feels like a dinosaur. We have an entire generation of actors now that don't even know a time before social media, YouTube, and Netflix. Keeping up has been quite challenging, like teaching an older figure skater how to do a quad. Learning new skills, self-promotion, and creating your work, however, are anything but new to the modern-day actor."
These days, streaming services such as Hulu, Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Disney+ have changed the entertainment business. "Well, they have certainly created lots of more job opportunities and raised the bar in terms of quality by sheer competition alone. From an actor's standpoint, to have the work of so many actors, writers, and directors right at your fingertips is invaluable," he said.
For young and aspiring actors, he said, "Resist trying to conform. See as much work as you can and make connections in the process; you will need them one day. Most importantly, discover what makes you unique, interesting, and different from your peers and always bring that quality to the table. It's the one asset no one else possesses."
He concluded about Dennis the play, "It is an intimate portrait of one man's struggle to reinvent himself in the face of a life-altering diagnosis. With laughs and tears, the play moves in unexpected directions as its characters grapple with issues of aging, grief, and changing identity when facing mortality and moving on from a past we’re compelled to honor. Performances begin March 26 through April 5, and we hope to see you there."
To learn more about Dennis the play, check out its official website.
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