Interview: Candice Guardino, Playwright, Actress, Do-It-All-Extraordinaire
Written by Andrew Keating
Cobalt: How did you get started as a writer?
Candice Guardin: I started writing sitcoms and shorts in college. I learned that I really enjoyed writing what I knew or have experienced and putting a spin on it.
Cobalt: What do you feel are some of the key differences between writing for the page and writing for the stage? (In other words: when you are writing something intended for reading, rather than performing, and vice versa.)
Guardin: Well when you write just for reading most of the time its storytelling form. But when you write for the stage your storytelling becomes each character saying their lines to move the story instead of just 1 person or narrator
Cobalt: Why a one-woman show, rather than a full-cast production?
Guardin: I love impersonating people. Plus I was inspired by people like Whoopi Goldberg, Chazz Palmiteri and John Legiuzamo. They did one person shows years back in this style of storytelling but impersonating all the characters. I fell in love with that when i was little and knew i would do it that way but with my own spin on it using singing and my family as the story.
Cobalt: Do you feel as though there are any particular challenges to writing a one-person show?
Guardin: There are challenges with anything. The biggest challenge was creating a thru line and arch to each character. How they evolve.
Cobalt: In S.O.S., your one-woman show (one night only, Monday, Oct. 15th 7:00 p.m. at The Laurie Beechman, New York City. Call 212-695-6909 for reservations), you play not only yourself, but many other characters, including your own family. Do you feel as though you had to alter characters to the format of a one-woman show, or are you comfortable with the accuracy of your portrayal of them?
Guardin: I felt if I was going to depict them as an actor and a writer accurately then I had to go all the way physically and vocally for each character. Otherwise, the stories weren’t being brought to justice.
Cobalt: That said, about what percentage of your characters are based on reality?
Guardin: ALL are real. Again, in this Show I write what I know and have experienced.
Cobalt: About how far into the production process were you still making edits? Would you say that any portion of your show is designed for improvisation?
Guardin: Big edits happen when you do a table read and get the feel/ flow/arch of the show. Small edits happen when your on your feet working i.e.: this line sounds better if said this way, but, by about 5 days before set, a script! Improv happens with an audience and there is always room for it when needed, but you must trust what you have written before you can make room to improv a section.
Cobalt: Have you started thinking about what comes next? Another one-woman show, or…?
Guardin: My goal is to get this show up and running OFF BROADWAY, BROADWAY, even taped for HBO. Then who knows?!
Cobalt: What makes Staten Island the “forgotten borough?”
Guardin: You say “Staten Island” and people say, where is that? Is that New York? It’s literally forgotten.
Cobalt: In five words, hit me with the basics of what S.O.S. is all about.
Guardin: Rauchy, Funny, Journey, Growinup S.I.
About Candice: Candice Guardin was born in Brooklyn, NY, in the month of April. As a child, Candice competed in both dance and vocal competitions. She grew up listening to music of Bette Midler and Barbara Streisand, watching performers like Gene Kelly and Audrey Hepburn, while falling in love with the magic of Performing. Candice studied in the Theatre and Dance program of Wagner College. After graduation, Candice moved to NYC. Since then she has originated roles Off-Broadway, worked on TV and Film, participated in several original cast recordings, commercials and more.