Treading the Boards – A Lawyer Takes the Stage!
Welcome to Sean Vanderfluit – Lawyer, Actor, Carousel Theatre Board Member, New Dad and all around awesome guy.
Called to the bar on the Ides of March in MMII, Sean has participated in VII Lawyer Show productions. When not in (possible) contravention of Criminal Code s. 210, lusting for minae, or blackmailing senators, Sean is a Review Officer at WorkSafeBC. Sean is thrilled to be part of the Lawyer Show’s first musical. He is particularly grateful to his wife, Miranda, who held down the villa with their newborn son while Sean was rehearsing at the Forum.
How did you get involved in the Lawyer Show?
I had seen posters for it. Scott Johnston, who I went to law school with and who was practicing at the firm I articled with, had been in it so I also knew of it through him.
How long have you been a part of the Lawyer Show?
I have been in every Lawyer Show production since Murder on the Nile in 2005.
What is your favourite play (a classic or something you’ve seen recently)?
I don’t have a particular favourite play. I have the stubs for every play and concert I’ve seen in 25 years, and cannot believe how much great theatre I’ve seen in Vancouver and elsewhere. Productions I’ve seen that I have absolutely loved include The Black Rider during the PuSh Festival and Avenue Q and Wicked on Broadway. When the Magnetic North Theatre Festival was in Vancouver there were a bunch of great shows. Last summer I saw four shows at Stratford. While The Tempest was great just for being able to see Christopher Plummer perform, my favourite was The Winter’s Tale. We also went to the Shaw Festival, where I really enjoyed The Ideal Husband and The Cherry Orchard. Recent shows that I saw in Vancouver that were awesome were Suessical The Musical at Carousel and The Exquisite Hour and Dr Horrible’s Musical Blog at last year’s Fringe Festival. I also need to mention that my wife is an actress. I’ve see all her shows, and my favourite to date was The Way of The World.
Why is being a part of an arts fundraiser important to you?
Since high school, I have always found it to be important to have a volunteer activity. I have also always enjoyed theatre and believe it is part of a well-rounded city and well-rounded person. Moreover, since marrying someone whose career is in the arts, it has come to be much closer to home.
Tell us about your character in the show.
I play Marcus Lycus, who is politely described as a “purveyor of courtesans”. I picture him as part used car salesman, part weasel, and part entrepreneur who has a bit of an over-inflated view of his status in society. I would also like to picture him in a big purple coat, large floppy hat, with lots of bling, a big walking stick, ridiculously adorned goblet and big pink Cadillac. Pity none of those things were a hallmark of ancient Rome.
What is your favourite part/song? What makes you most excited about telling this story?
Of the non-musical portions, I enjoy the introduction of the courtesans and the rapid-fire scenes I have with Scott (Pseudolous). “Comedy Tonight” is a fun song as it’s the one song I knew from this play before doing it, but the song that’s particularly fun to do is “Have a Maid”.
What is it like being a lawyer by day and actor by night?
I find that theatre and law share a lot in common. I am able to take something away from the experience that I can apply in my career, and take things from my practice that I can use in acting. That said, theatre is such a unique experience that it is a great change of pace that allows me to take my mind off of work and exercise my creativity in a much different way.
What are rehearsals like? Do you enjoy working with the directors?
Rehearsals are a great part of the process. I like the way that the character develops over time and seeing the show take shape. I particularly like the camaraderie with my fellow actors. While we are all lawyers, there are many of my castmates whose practices are so far removed from mine that I might never have met them through the practice of law.
The directors are great. I particularly enjoy watching Carole an Katrina playing off of each other – sometimes it looks as if they’re conspiring rather than directing. I particularly like how supportive they are of those of us who have no acting training or background.