Get to know the incomparable Bat Maki Borden before seeing him in Nick Robideau’s Inanimate in The Flea’s new downstairs theater, The Siggy.
My character’s name in Inanimate is Kevin Russell and I find myself relating most to his self-deprecating humor. He makes fun of himself and owns it.
My favorite quality in a new play is when it goes down a hole no one else has gone down before. With Inanimate, I love that we are asked to empathize with people we might otherwise overlook or consider weird.
I’ve been working in theater since I was 10 years old. After my father died when I was 8, my mother thought it’d be a good idea to put me into a community theater. I’ve been working stages ever since.
My earliest memory on stage is introducing a band in a variety show, and then, forgetting my lines when I got up to the microphone.
There is an inexplicable exchange of energy that’s achieved in a room of people. That’s what I love about theater: you are sharing the same breath and space with actors and audience. This makes the theatrical experience something more powerful and lasting than most other forms of art.
What I’ve learned from being an actor all these years is that you have to be confident in your vulnerability. At the same time, you also have to be confident in your playfulness and choices. You need to fall in love with trying something, and also fall in love with failing over and over again.
When I first moved to New York four years ago, a lot of people, whom I trusted, told me that The Flea was one of the best places to work as a non-union actor.
The Bat Company is unique because it’s a watering hole for young, exciting artist who want to push the boundaries. I love working at the Flea because we do stuff most people are afraid to do. Plus, I get to work with a whole bunch of amazing artists, both established and up-and-coming ones.
My advice for actors just starting out is to do everything you can, no matter how small the project, or much you get paid. Get experience and don’t be afraid to fail.
I would die if someone compared me to Phil Hoffman, John C. Reilly, or Dan Harmon.
My motto in life is he who ain’t busy being born is busy dying.