Darren Eliker to appear in “Fathers & Daughters” with Russell Crowe

Darren will be appearing as neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Barrett in “Fathers & Daughters” starring Russell Crowe, shooting in Pittsburgh this April.  Directed by Gabriele Muccino (“Pursuit of Happyness”).

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Darren Eliker to play Larry in “Company”

Darren joins the Pittsburgh Public Theater’s production of “Company” by Stephen Sondheim.  Directed by Ted Pappas.  On stage at the Public’s O’Reilly Theatre, opening January 31st, 2014.

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Darren Eliker to play John Dickinson in “1776”

Darren has accepted the role of John Dickinson in the musical “1776”.  Produced by the Pittsburgh Public Theatre.  Directed by Ted Pappas.  Opening night January 24, 2013.

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Coming and Going

When I was studying at Carnegie-Mellon University in the late 80’s/early 90’s, many teachers left an impression but one that stands out in my mind is the late choreographer, Billy Wilson.  Billy is among my first memories of CMU because he was the first instructor I had really come in contact with at my audition in 1986.  The dance portion of the audition process was first up in the day and I still recall Billy standing in front of the long dance room on the second floor of Margaret Morrison teaching a routine to Christopher Cross’s ‘Ride Like the Wind’.  And 5, 6, 7, 8…

I recall a very simple but fun exercise that Billy did when he was guest teaching one day.  The class would begin in the corner of the room and as the piano would vamp out a classic broadway strut, we would each have to walk to the center of the room, stop, say our name, turn, and strut off.  Simple right?  Hardly.

Billy would often stop, wave his hands, and say ‘Wait. Wait. Wait. What are you doing?’  Then he asked something profound.  ‘Where are you coming from? You don’t look like you’re coming from anyplace.’  He proceded to explain that it’s not enough to wander on stage, say a line, and go off.  In order to have purpose in your life as a character, you need to know a) where you are coming from, b) who you are/what do you want, and c) where you are going.

To be frank, a lot of us had no  idea where we were going in life, much less in that exercise.  But the point was clear and it was not just the basis of proper stage presence, but of text analysis when preparing a scene in a play.

Know where you’re coming from, who you are, what you want, and where you’re going.
Good advice for work and life.  Thanks, Billy.  Rest in peace.

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