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Get to know television and theatre actor Chris McCarrell

Only a few people are as passionate about the stage and the camera as Chris McCarrell: now he opens up about his life apart from the spotlight

Chris McCar­rell seems to be born on stage. He became pop­u­lar in 2014 after his role as Joly in Les Mis­ér­ables on Broad­way and next to act­ing he is an amaz­ing pho­to­graph­er as well. We had a chat with Chris about his life behind, on and apart from the stage. 

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When was the defin­ing moment you decided to work as an actor? 

It was when I saw the alumni of my high school who went into theatre come back and do a con­cert. I went to an all boys school high school and some­thing about see­ing how cool and tal­en­ted those guys were made it all click. I wanted to be like them. They made theatre cool. 

Do you have a daily routine? How do you start your days? 

Besides cof­fee and Ins­tagram dis­cov­ery stor­ies of Jeeps offroad­ing, Drag Queens and funny dog videos, I usu­ally des­pise routine. But those are two things I do at the top of each day. I tag my friends who I think will appre­ci­ate my favor­ites. That’s usu­ally how they know I’m up. 

How is it dif­fer­ent work­ing at the theatre than work­ing in tele­vi­sion? What do you prefer and why?

Theatre feels a lot more human to me. I feel more in con­trol and I like that it’s less elec­tron­ic. When I do TV I nev­er have a clue what the cam­era is doing. What people are see­ing. Which edits they’re going to use. In theatre, I see the people watch­ing and I know imme­di­ately what they’re see­ing because I’m exper­i­en­cing it too. I feel much more in the know. It’s like wear­ing your favor­ite out­fit and what it feels like when you walk into a room versus a magazine doing a photo shoot of it. One feels much more human and imme­di­ate. The oth­er feels more heightened but com­pletely out of your control.

Which was the most remem­ber­able moment work­ing on stage so far? 

My first pre­view per­form­ance of Les Miz on Broad­way. I nev­er knew theatre could feel like a rock con­cert. The screams were so loud and you just have to exper­i­ence it from back­stage to feel the full effect. Broad­way open­ings are rock concerts. 

Act­ing is all about over­com­ing one­self. What was the biggest chal­lenge for you to overcome?

I had to stop think­ing that tal­en­ted, suc­cess­ful act­ors were these oth­er­worldly humans that lived in a castle far away. When I star­ted work­ing with people I looked up to I star­ted to see the human­ity in them. And then I found this con­fid­ence that I could hang with the best. It was the biggest men­tal hurdle for me. To real­ize the top dogs are just people with tal­ent who refined it. And if I refine mine there’s no reas­on I can’t pull off the level of per­form­ances they do. It’s not magic. It’s tal­ent and a lot of money going towards mak­ing them look and sound their best. 

Which 3 movies would you recommend? 

Amer­ic­an Beauty. Avatar. I, Tonya. 

— Broad­way open­ings are rock concerts.

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You work as a pho­to­graph­er, too. What inspires you tak­ing photographs? 

Camp­ing! I star­ted camp­ing a lot and I star­ted appre­ci­at­ing how artist­ic it all was. There’s so much visu­al, vis­cer­al magic in nature. And I wanted to start play­ing with that. I love the tex­tures and the col­ors and the moods I can find in nature with my photography. 

Which are your favor­ite accounts on Ins­tagram we should follow?

I like Freuler­Art alot. They have cool pho­to­graphs and paint­ings with really abstract setups. They are all beau­ti­ful and really make you think. KyleFinnDemp­sey is the best out­doors pho­to­graph­er I know of. He’s always canoe­ing and camp­ing and has this really rich eye for col­or. Between.Mirrors is really weird Goth­ic, dark pho­to­graphy that gets really oth­er­worldly. Those are all great ones to follow. 

What is some­thing you always wanted to do but nev­er did (yet)?

I want to buy land in the Cat­skills and build a cab­in on it with my dad. I’m work­ing on the funds at the moment. 

Where do you see your­self when you’re 80 years old? 

I want to be a dir­ect­or when I’m older. For as long as I can do it. 

3 things you are thank­ful for? 

My moth­er, my jeep, my hair.

25 Jul 2018 · neubau eyewear