Get to know the talented George Infantado who gives us his thoughts on acting, Lauren Yee's play, and his role in it.
Tell us about your A-Squared beginnings. When and how did you get involved with the company? I was in the My Asian Mom 18.104.22.168. I saw the audition post online, looked at a picture of my mom, and realized I could totally relate.
Describe your character in 3 words or less. Self-preservation.
What is your favorite characteristic of Lauren Yee’s Ching Chong Chinaman? In a subtle but visceral fashion, Lauren Yee maps out a road for you that is uncomfortably familiar. Not only do you have a nuclear family in the sense of the American Dream, but the identity of this family tied up in wants and needs. We are presented with people you can trust, personally and narrative wise. Yet, what Ms. Lee does is slowly break down the structure of the family and then allows the audience to start questioning their assumptions and leaving them with more uncomfortable questions about culture, family, identity, and wants. Ching Chong Chinaman allows you to be brave in being completely wrong and I absolutely love it.
How have you been preparing for your role? Books, movies, shows, research. And tell us about your learning and preparation process as an actor. My character, Upton Sinclair Lewis Wong, is an avid World of Warcraft player. Due to this role, I have started playing it— though not as excessively—so I can understand the basic concepts of the game, and also to understand Upton's dedication to it. My character is very clever and, in the process, I am relishing in those traits within myself and finding ways to bring that out in an honest way. Other than that, I am finding his personal investments in his family that bring out real connections on stage.
Does your role draw any parallels to your own life? Would you be friends with your character? Yes, I can see how Upton's self-preservation tactics are similar to how I would manipulate people in real life. I mean, wait, I meant to say, yes, we are similar because we like to play games. I, however, would not be friends with Upton, for the mere fact that I can see how things can get competitive. And not the friendly kind of competitive—the ugly, bears vs packers, spy vs spy, trek vs. wars kind.
Most memorable rehearsal moment to date? I really enjoyed working at the Chinese American Museum of Chicago the weekend we were getting ready for the staged reading. We were all focused and discovering things about our characters. And Alex wasn't there yet. Those were the best times.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received as an actor? What advice would you give to aspiring actors? You are enough. And I would like to append that with, so risk a little more.
George's Bio George Infantado giddily returns to A-Squared Theatre Workshop this fall. Previous credits include A-Squared Theatre Workshop’s My Asian Mom 22.214.171.124 and My Asian Mom 2014, CIRCA Pintig’s Mr. and Mrs. LaQuesta Go Dancing, Short Acts, and Scent of Home, Mental Notion Society's Six Characters in Search of an Author, Waltzing Mechanic's El Stories, Otherworld Theatre’s Fahrenhiet 451, and DT Production’s Almost, Maine. Other favorite theatre credits include Fuente Ovejuna, Much Ado About Nothing, Arcadia, Plague of Angels, and Wonderful Town. Outside the stage, George has designed sound for Fuenta Ovejuna and Eurydice and was the assistant director for Otherworld Theatre’s Of Dice and Men. He is also an artistic ensemble member for Otherworld Theatre, a company dedicated to producing science-fiction and fantasy for the stage, and the Chicago Artists Network, a group of theatre artists exploring and helping each other grow in their own artistic identity. He received his BA in Theatre and English from Ripon College and has been a student of Black Box Acting Studio.