Framingham actor uses burly build to win rolesBy CHRIS BERGERON , Associated Press
May. 4, 2013 12:22 AM ET
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (AP) — In addition to his degree in theater studies and bass singing voice, Patrick Curran lists his 18-inch neck on his resume when applying for acting jobs.
After all, the casting notice for his current role in "Bouncers" called for "a guy who could take a punch, come back p(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk)d off and swinging."
The 24-year-old Framingham resident got the role.
At 6 feet, 2 inches tall and 260 pounds, Curran has used his burly build - part NFL linebacker, part cement mixer - to win roles as a prison guard and Little John in "Robin Hood."
"I'm a big kid," said Curran who played lacrosse goalie at The Governor's Academy in Byfield and Emerson College and coaches the junior varsity at Thayer Academy in Braintree. "I've got some meat on me."
Yet Curran has played some pretty meaty roles, too, like the wizard Prospero in Shakespeare's "The Tempest" and Boston Mayor Kevin White in an Emerson College production of "Common Ground."
He has lived a sort of double life after the kid who started playing lacrosse at age 10 fell in love with acting while playing Atticus Finch in "To Kill a Mockingbird" at Framingham High School.
"I realized then I wanted to be an actor for the rest of my life," Curran said.
After entering Emerson in 2008, he started as goalie on Emerson's lacrosse team, earned second team All Conference honors and was elected captain as a sophomore.
Since graduating in 2012, Curran has found steady work in plays staged by local companies including the Huntington Theater Company, Flat Earth Theater Company and Brown Box Theatre Project.
For his current gig in "Bouncers" at the Cantab Lounge in Cambridge, Curran, like the other leads, plays multiple roles. He's Les, a bouncer, Kev, "one of four drunk lads on the make," and Rosie who's enjoying "a night on the town" with her gal pals.
In director Bill Doncaster's production of British playwright John Godber's blue-collar comedy-drama, there are no costume changes or props except for two kegs of beer.
To signal role changes, Curran raises or lowers his voice and buttons or unbuttons his dark jacket as the lighting and background music change. All the rest comes from inhabiting his characters' lives.
Doncaster said Curran "surprises me in every show."
"Patrick's comic timing is stellar. He always brings something new to each performance," he said. "When he's Rosie and sees her boyfriend kissing someone else, he makes it heartbreaking."
Doncaster credited Curran for "working very hard" to improve his dancing for Rosie's character. "When I have another role," he said, "I'll call Patrick again."
Staged by Stickball Productions, "Bouncers" plays Fridays and Saturdays at the Cantab Lounge at 738 Massachusetts Ave. through April 27.
Patrick's father, Tom Curran, who also played collegiate lacrosse, recalled being "caught off guard when Pat gravitated toward acting."
"After thinking about it, I just wanted Pat to do whatever made him happy. He's got an engaging personality and could talk you out of a sunburn," he said. "When I saw him as Atticus in 'Mockingbird,' I knew then and there he could engage the audience."
Curran observed that his son "might not look like Brad Pitt."
"They say it's a hard road. If passion pays off, Pat will succeed," Tom Curran said. "I'm not much for English humor but when I saw him in 'Bouncers,' he was awesome. Pat loves it. He comes home grinning from ear-to-ear after every show."
Looking ahead, Patrick has a "tentative" offer for a Western to be filmed in the Mohave Desert but plans to audition for local roles with an eye toward getting in television or movies.
Like many young actors, he realizes he might have to relocate to California or New York to chase the roles he wants. "I'm not moving just for the sake of going there" he said. "If I go, I'll go on my own terms with a purpose."
An admirer of acting "chameleons" such as Philip Seymour Hoffman and Gary Oldman, he expects he might have to play a few more "blue-collar guys" and "dumb brutes" while waiting for the opportunity to show the "training and dramatic range" he learned at Emerson and beyond.
"Right now, I want to get cast and get work," said Curran. "Even if I get typecast at first, my job is to make each role unique and wait for my chance."