Getting To Know You: Chris Myers in WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE SEA
Every once in a while, a play comes along that can blow you away. When I saw Where the Mountain Meets the Sea earlier this month at MTC, I was floored. A combination of drama, dance, and music, Jeff Augustin’s play explores the relationship of a young gay man and his immigrant father. It’s a deeply moving piece, featuring songs by The Begsons (who perform on stage), and it will make you want to call your parents.
In Theatrely’s new interview series, Getting to Know You, we sat down with one of the play’s stars, Chris Myers. A graduate of Juilliard, the rising star has been seen in Henry IV at Shakespeare Center LA (opposite Tom Hanks) and Aziza Barnes’ BLKS Off-Broadway, among other credits.
Learn more about Chris, his artistry, and Where the Mountain Meets the Sea below.
How did you first come across Jeff Augustin and Where the Mountain Meets the Sea?
I worked with Jeff back in 2015 on his play Little Children Dream of God. The role really helped me grow as an actor, challenged me in some important ways, and the play was just so special. WTMMTS started with an audition, but there was mutual familiarity and appreciation from back then.
The play uses music to invoke memory on several occasions. Is that something that holds true for you as well?
Yes! One of my favorite childhood memories is a summer afternoon playing Pokémon on my GameBoy while my mom blasted Buena Vista Social Club on repeat. Even though it’s sadder, I always connect Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue” to the times I listened to it at 3 AM as a depressed teenager, questioning life. The songs take me back, time folds in on itself, my thoughts and feelings instantly shift.
I loved that “I Was Too Late” dance scene! How did that come to be?
Thank you! Steph Paul is a wonderful choreographer who really responds to the uniqueness of individual actors. Steph builds on what we’re working from, rather than placing moves on us from the outside. So it was the combination of my own organic play and Steph’s expert sense of structure and storytelling.
Both characters in the play take cross-country road trips. What would your cross-country itinerary be?
I actually took a trip and visited some locations Jonah mentions in preparation for the play. In general though, wherever I am, I’m most interested in seeing a place like the locals do. I’m interested in good food; live music; and calm, quiet nature, conditions permitting. That, and just putting yourself out there and meeting strangers.
Have you heard/read any memorable reactions to the work that have stuck with you?
Billy told me he left the theatre like an hour after a matinee had ended and ran into two women who were still crying, processing the show in relation to their own lives. They were telling him they needed to go call their parents. My agent came and said he wants to go tell his mom how much he loves her, to make sure she really knows how he feels. That’s kind of the best outcome of any piece of theatre in my opinion. We tell a very specific story, as truthfully as possible, and then audiences come away with something totally unique to them and their lives and take a certain action to, on some level, be more fully human. It’s why I do this.
Ok, let's do a speed round. What’s your hometown?
NYC born and raised, baby.
What do you like to do when you’re not on stage?
Exercise, read, or play video games (Valorant in particular if anyone reading would like to queue ranked with me).
Who do you think will be at the top of your Spotify 2022 Wrapped?
Fred again.. (yep, that’s his artist name)
What’s the best TV show you’ve watched in the past month?
Any good books you’ve read lately?
On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong.
What is one show you are dying to see in NYC right now?
I see everything at Soho Rep, so whatever is playing there.
If you could describe your experience with Where the Mountain Meets the Sea so far in just one word, what would it be?
Where the Mountain Meets the Sea is currently playing through November 27 at New York City Center – Stage I. For more information and tickets, click here.