SOUTH GLENS FALLS — Screen and TV actors Jeremy Davidson and Mary Stuart Masterson shared with South Glens Falls High School students on Tuesday the joys, perils and challenges of working in the creative arts.
“As an actor there is so much rejection, so much failure,” Davidson said. “Be ready to see an opportunity and take it. If you are not ready you will lose it.”
And Masterson added that peanut butter is very helpful during the rough times.
“You can survive on peanut butter,” she said.
The two performers were at the high school on Tuesday to thank students for a recent South High Marathon Dance grant that made it possible for one of their documentary projects, “The Little Things,” to come to the Charles R. Wood Theater in Glens Falls on Monday.
The live performance, written by Davidson and directed by Masterson, shares the story of a Poughkeepsie teen who lost his life to the Lyme disease bacteria after it infected his heart.
“In doing this you realize the fragility of language,” Davidson said. “And in telling their story this way, we are held to a higher standard.”
Davidson told students that his favorite acting project was “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” at the Kennedy Center in Washington because that’s where he met Masterson.
“I was married to someone else at the time,” he said to the student’s laughter. “We fell in love and we have a beautiful family.”
A few years back, the couple moved to Duchess County. And as part of their work, they started Storyhorse Documentary Theater to document the histories and lives of people living in the Hudson Valley. “The Little Things” was one of their early projects.
One student asked the couple how they manage to do so many things with four children. And they laughed, with Masterson sharing that she stopped auditioning for roles for six years because she was always pregnant.
But these days, in addition to Storyhorse projects, both actors have recently taken on new roles: Masterson in NBC’s “Blindspot” and Davidson in the Netflix series “Seven Seconds.”
“It’s up to you to know yourself, your strengths,” Masterson said. “And see your differences at your strengths.”
Kathleen Phalen-Tomaselli is a features writer at The Post-Star. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for comments or story ideas.
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