Ashland Contemporary Theatre’s current production of Tom Dudzik’s comedy “Greetings,” now playing at the Ashland Community Center, features Levi Anderson as Andy Gorsky, a young man who brings his fiancée home to meet his family only to encounter a surprising situation.
Anderson, a Southern Oregon University graduate, works in film and video as a key grip and cameraman. He is fairly new to acting. We chatted on a snowy day at Downtown Coffee in Talent.
EH: You’ve done some acting?
LA: Only on camera in independent films and videos. My friend Ross Williams has X-RATS productions; they do local commercials and internet videos. We did a 10-minute short film that was released this year called “Self-Inflicted.” That was my first leading role. I played a sadomasochistic character that is always beating himself up. He is struggling, looking for love, so he is trying to find and date a nice girl; but all of the women he meets are weirded out because he’s always covered in bruises and cuts. It’s kind of a dark comedy. Before that, I did slapstick comedy in little web video skits. There’s a recurring one, where I get chased by zombies. In the first skit, I eat this energy bar made for people on the run from zombies. We made a follow-up to that where I find this energy drink made for people on the run from zombies, and then there’s one where I find this rancid old hot dog, and I eat that. Basically the theme is that I get this gastrointestinal discomfort from whatever I’ve eaten or drank. I get away from the zombies with explosive diarrhea. In those videos, I have no lines, I just run and make funny faces and pretend to explode.
EH: Are there any videos that we can look up on the internet?
LA: There’s “Gogbar” and then “Gogjuice” and then “Gogdawg.” One of those got second place in a Medford Mail Tribune contest. This summer I also played a sadistic serial killer. This was a feature called “Creeper.” It should be out this winter.
EH: What brings you to acting in theater?
LA: I’ve always had an itch to be an actor. At SOU I studied film and video. It was open-door. You had creative control. They gave you all this motivation to create. I started writing and directing all my own stuff, always comedy. I love comedy. And then I wrote a series called “I Kappa Foo.” It was just a blast. There was a lot of improvisation. We had written a script, but once we were shooting, we let the guys go crazy with it. We all just had a ton of fun. It was hilarious. Then I started working in film and video because it was, “Ok, I’m good at this, and this is fun, and I can actually make a career in it.” I took the avenue of just doing silly skits with my buddies as an excuse to be on camera again. With all these video skits, there is not a lot of rehearsal, and there are no deep story lines or character development. With theater I can actually put work into it, take it beyond having fun, work on the craft, and see if I can develop some good acting skills.