Dan Gregory and the cast and crew of the locally produced indie comedy “A Cabin of Errors” bowed before their hometown at Frank’s Theatre last April at the film’s premiere screening. Gregory played George, an obnoxious and immature member of a group of friends who were, in one way or another, just like George. Unlike George, a content and lazy antagonist, Gregory is serious, at least about acting.
“I tell you what, I want to be like my hometown hero, Tammy Blanchard,” said Gregory, likening himself to the famed Bayonne actress’s modesty and low profile. Unlike the typical aspiring actor, fame and fortune do not appeal to Gregory. Or maybe they do, and it is just un-Blanchard-like to say so.
Gregory is not big time yet, but he’s building his portfolio while working for the Bayonne Board of Education, taking groups of kids on field trips. He spends much of his time, though, working on stage, film, and in comedy sketches. He has a knack for all of them, but prefers environments where he can improvise.
He admits that he can get typecast into a blue-collar or obnoxious boyfriend role, but takes it in stride. After all, he’s good at it. Aside from Blanchard, he looks at actors like Steve Carrell or Jonah Hill who embraced their typecast characters and challenged themselves to break the mold.
Whether it’s comedic, dramatic, or otherwise, Gregory said he enjoyed playing characters that let him explore different aspects about himself.
“I like to be other people and get lost in a character,” he said. “To combine a little of you and what’s on the page is why every actor will play the same role differently.”
“I like to be other people and get lost in a character.” – Dan Gregory
The freedom of acting
“When I have the freedom to get from a to b, that’s what I would prefer to do,” said Gregory, describing one experience last year that went well onstage but not with the producer offstage.
“The line was, ‘I love you so much,’ and I was joking around and I shook the actress’s face, and I was like ‘I f-ing love you,’ and the audience erupted. And I felt it, and even backstage she felt it, and she said it was funny. And then the producer says to me, ‘Don’t change my lines’ and slams the door, and he was serious. I was like OK you can’t do that on a stage without permission. But with film, the worst thing that can happen is the director says ‘cut, don’t do that.’”
Gregory discovered his love for acting during his last semester at Kean University when a friend thought he would make a good villain for a student-produced film. Then he left his post-grad sales job to attend the New York Film Academy and took classes at the Stella Adler Acting Studio and MTB Acting Studio. From there, he reconnected with Bayonne friends, Sam and Isaac Platizky who made “Summer Cabin,” which would go on to be billed as “A Cabin of Errors.”
The group is set to release another film titled “Yellow Scare,” in which Gregory plays a time-traveling World War II-era pilot named Shamus. The group hopes to screen the film at Frank Theatre sometime in the fall.
Rory Pasquariello can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.