From classic comedies and dramas to recent dramatic hits Walt Pedano has appeared in close to 70 productions over the past 40 plus years. Having been an Arizona resident for the last 16 years, Walt has appeared at numerous theatres across the Valley. He's appeared in Sons of The Prophet at Stray Cat Theater, August: Osage County for Mesa Encore Theatre, Miss Reardon Drinks A Little at Theatre Artist Studio, and last year played Decker in Bleacher Bums at Fountain Hills Theater, plus he's also appeared in several productions at Scottsdale Desert Stages Theatre.
This weekend he stars as the salesman to end all salesmen - Richard Roma in David Mamet's Pulitzer Prize winning play Glengarry Glen Ross - a smooth talking East Coast real estate salesman who is a ruthless shark and who can convince anyone to buy anything - even worthless real estate. Desert Stages production of Mamet's classic drama runs March 25th to May 15th and Walt took a break during final rehearsals for the show to answer the PHX Stages Q/A:
Name: Walt Pedano
Where you were born and or raised: Rochester, New York
What brought you to Arizona? Love warm weather and this was my last stop on a 36 year career with the Marriott Corporation.
Glengarry Glen Ross - Desert Stages Theatre 2016
photo: Wade Moran
Siblings: 2 sisters and a brother
Day job/part time job (if not acting full time): Retired
First show you ever saw: Funny Girl with Barbra Streisand in NYC I think I was 13
The one performance you attended that you will never forget: Original Broadway cast of Equus in NYC
First stage kiss: Too long ago to remember
Best stage experience you’ve had so far acting? Too many to name….too many theatres in too many places….60+ shows over 4 decades and 5 states and 7 cities
What has been the most fun or fulfilling aspect of your current/ most recent show? Mamet is always a challenge and this director/cast has worked so hard right from the start…
Most challenging role you have played onstage? Lenny Bruce in Lenny and Teach in American Buffalo
Any upcoming or side projects you can talk about? All my attention is on Roma
What was the first show you performed in and what did you learn from it that you still use today? The Remarkable Mr Pennypacker Know your lines!
Leading role you've been dying to play: Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman
Guilty pleasure show you’d love to perform in: Gin Game …..my whole family plays all kinds of cards
Pre-show rituals or warm-ups: Repeat every line and listen to every cue
|Rod Ambrose (center), with Walt Pedano and Todd Isaac|
iTheatre Collaborative’s The Exonerated
Your go to audition monologue: Shylock in Merchant of Venice
Worst audition experience: All auditions are tough….I have gone up on my lines…probably the worst
If you could go back in time and catch any performer or show, what would they/it be? Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire
Famous past stage or screen star(s) you would have loved to have performed with: Kevin Kline
Actor/actress in the Phoenix area you'd love to perform with: Too many good ones to name!
Your personal acting idols: Film Paul Newman and Stage Anthony Hopkins
Current/recent show other than one of your own you have been recommending
to friends: Stupid F….king Bird at Stray Cat
Favorite play(s): Cyrano
|Walt Pedano,Jeff Davey and Wade Moran, |
Desert Stages Theatre 2010
Favorite showtune(s) of all time: "With a Little Bit of Luck" from My Fair Lady
Most listened song/music on your iPod/Phone? “On Broadway” George Benson
First CD/Tape/LP you owned: Hound Dog (Elvis)
Last good book you read: "Memory Man" by David Baldacci
Must-see TV show(s): Sports
Guilty pleasure binge watching tv show: Modern Family
Last good movie you saw: Trumbo
Favorite movie: Too many again….have 5-10 for every actor I like
Music/book/movie that makes you cry: Ordinary People
Favorite restaurant in the Valley: Hiro Sushi
Favorite cities: Seattle, Bozman, Scottsdale, New York, San Francisco
Sports teams you root for: All AZ teams …Diamondbacks, Suns, Coyotes, Cardinals
|Pedano (left) with Bob DePalma in Breaking Legs|
Mesa Encore Theatre - 2011
Special skills: Negotiation
Best non-theatre job you've had: trainer for Marriott
Three things you can't live without: Peanut butter, Coconut and my wife
Words of advice for aspiring performers: Learn your lines and let the words and your heart lead you to the character
What you love most about theatre in Phoenix: so many wonderful options
What you think needs to be changed/improved/different about theatre in Phoenix: Early auditions and casting to give time to memorize …..can you tell I am a little older?
And, the “Inside the Actors Studio” 10 questions:
1. What is your favorite word? Loyalty
2. What is your least favorite word? Hate
3. What turns you on? Great Theatre
4. What turns you off? Bad service
5. What sound do you love? Silence
6. What sound do you hate? Crying
7. What is your favorite curse word? Don’t really curse much…..ironic considering this show
8. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt? Retirement works for me
9. What profession would you not like to do? At this point almost anything with the word Work in it.
10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
"Your family is right over there."