Checking in with New York’s Nathaniel P. Claridad

Jan 21, 2011

Name: Nathaniel P. Claridad, interviewed by Jeffrey James Keyes
Hometown: New York City
Hails from: Washington DC
Relationship Status: Accepting applications
Favorite City: New York
Spotted on a typical Saturday night: I’m kind of ADD. Soooo, anything from watching some french film in my apartment, at a random party, at a random bar.
Latest Project: IMMORTAL: THE GILGAMESH VARIATIONS

Tell us all about the show.
Huge task! I’ll give it my best shot: It’s the oldest story on record, made up of eleven tablets, about Gilgamesh, a king who may or may not have existed, and who may or may not have accomplished epic feats of heroism. Our take on the story is being told my eleven playwrights, and executed by ten actors, each of whom gets to play Gilgamesh at least once during the course of the play. Phew. Tickets are available here.

Who do you play?
I play Gilgamesh in Tablet V, as well as a little shepherd boy who plays (or tries to play) a wood flute, a demon creature, along with some other random characters Gilgamesh meets.

What has it been like working on this piece?
It’s been an amazing experience. The creative team behind Immortal, really nurtured and inspired a collaborative spirit among the playwrights and actors that made rehearsal something to look forward to (even when rehearsal was on the weekend before noon).

How do you get to the Bushwick Starr?
I’ve been told about this magical train called the L that takes you to the mythical land of “Brooklyn.” It’s right off the Jefferson Street stop. Once you get off, all you have to do is ask a friendly Brooklyn-ite to point you in the right direction. Or if you’re super fancy, and have one of those fancy iPhones, you can use it to teleport from wherever you are to the Bushwick Starr. There’s an app for it by now I’m sure.

Yes, it’s called the GayCities app on the iPhone. :-) Where should we get dinner before the show?
Northeast Kingdom or Roberta’s.

Any recommendations back in the city?
TONS. I’m a huge fan of the Keith McNally Restaurant “Kingdom” (Balthazar in SoHo, Pastis in the Meatpacking District, & Schiller’s in the Lower East Side are my favorites). Others? I’m a huge fan of the newly opened Elsewhere in the Theatre District for pre- or post show eats. Landmarc in the Time Warner building is delicious, as is Cafeteria in Chelsea. I mean, I could keep going, there are so many delicious places to eat in this city.

What neighborhood do you live in?
Upper East Side.

Love it/hate it?
LOVE IT. It’s nice and quiet when I need to be, but not far from where i can find a good party or random “happening.”  My favorite thing to do in the world is sit out and catch some sun during the summer in Central Park, and it’s a nice stroll from my apartment.

Favorite spots in your hood:
Central Park (sun, sun, sun…I’m a summer baby, can you tell?) and there’s also Carl Schurz Park where Gracie Mansion is located (it offers a beautiful view of Roosevelt Island and Queens, and overlooks the East River). Bunch of great restaurants in the area (Cafe Dalsace, Sala Thai). The Pinkberry and the Shake Shack are all i really need. Oh, and as a sidenote: When i’m REALLY lazy, PINKBERRY DELIVERS (let the gods be praised).

Best New York Bar?
The E:Bar at 59E59 Theatres. Mostly because it’s a theatre people bar, without also doubling as a piano bar — nothing against piano bars — (and it helps that the bartenders are friends of mine hahaha). If you’re a scotch person, their selection is amazing, and Alberto, one of the bartenders, makes an exquisite Manhattan. Cavatappo Wine BarHK Lounge, Verlaine, the bar at the Ace Hotel.

What’s up next for Nathaniel P. Claridad?
I filmed my first feature film last year and it’s being released sometime this year. It’s called “Jack and Diane,” and was written and directed by Bradley Rust Gray (The Exploding Girl). I have a teenie weenie part. Look for me during a party scene where I’m running around screaming at the top of my lungs. And of course, scouring for my next gig.