Call and Response: Eric Bogosian

by Ruth Eglsaer

in I AM THEATRE

“…he was profoundly disinterested when I used the term “alienation effect.” He said, “Where did you learn that term… college?” So anyway – He said, “I heard you do this solo stuff, could you do some of that for me right now?” And I said, “Look, I didn’t come up here to audition.” Fortunately, there’s another part of my brain that has some sense and it said, “Joe Papp is asking you to audition, get off your butt and audition for Joe Papp.””
-Eric Bogosian, I AM THEATRE

Listening to Eric’s story I could not help but think about the many people in my own life that fundamentally altered me as a person and an artist. One such person is Gerald Freedman (who coincidentally also worked with Joe Papp in the early days of The Public Theater) molded my work ethic and continues to inspire me with his tireless dedication to teaching the craft of acting and directing. We all have mentors, gurus and champions with untold stories. These people have the power to shape generations of artists.

Who was your professional mentor?

What influencers shaped your generation of theatre artists?

Who is carrying on Papp’s legacy of championing artists?

Let us know, or better yet, don’t just tell, show.


Call and Response extends the conversation surrounding the I AM THEATRE videos (and hopefully inspires you to make your own video). You can watch Eric’s video and catch up on I AM THEATRE here.

  • http://performancestudies.tamu.edu Amy Guerin

    My theatre mentor is the former Artistic Director and co-founder of Austin’s Salvage Vanguard Theater, Jason Neulander. I had the opportunity to work with him as an actor, assistant director and office intern during the early aughts. His work with SVT significantly changed my understanding of what theatre can do as an experimental art form and how it can both build and serve its community. I am a better director and theatre producer because of him.

  • http://www.nicoletori.com Nicole Tori

    About a dozen years ago I did a production of Sweeney Todd directed by Gary John La Rosa and it is by far my favorite theatrical experience to date. Although, I did a production of Godspell in high school and several opera scenes and classical concerts in college and NYC, this was my first post-educational production in musical theater. Once the show closed, however, I continued to pursue a career in opera but to little avail! After a dozen years of fruitless work, money invested and a bucketful of tears, I decided to turn my pursuits back to musical theater with the hope of finding greater success, happiness and well…a paycheck.

    One day at an audition, I ran into Gary John in the hallway of Pearl Studios. He asked me what I was up to and how things have been for me since we last worked together. I said, “Well…I’m really just beginning again.” “Let me see your resume and headshot,” he said. “Ok, you need my help. Here’s my card. Call me and we’ll work.” Since that phone call, I’ve worked with Gary John on several occasions, both one on one and in masterclass setting and I can’t think of anyone better to work with. His intuition, generosity, sincerity, and genuine care is truly incredible. He’s helped me revamp my resume, reinforce my type, find audition material, photographers/reproducers and accompanists, but most importantly has given me greater hope. He’s always available to chat or email and I definitely call upon him often. The best thing, however, is that he’s helped me find my confidence again. Now, while I pursue this very difficult career, I have JOY and I couldn’t have done it without Gary John. Since working with him, I have earned my Equity card and have performed in two national tours with leading Broadway talent.

    If you’re new to this career or simply need some extra help, I highly recommend Gary John La Rosa. http://www.garyjohnlarosa.com

  • Dr. Tony Medlin

    I’ve had some extraordinary mentors that include (in order of their importance): Johnny Simons, Paul Baker, Irene Corey, Bill Martin, & Jim Thomas.