Actor Jason Alexander, well-known for his role as George Costanza on Seinfeld and parent of Noah Greenspan PO ‘18, spoke to students and their families on Feb. 18, during Family Weekend. At the event, Pomona assistant professor of theatre and dance Carolyn Ratteray interviewed Alexander about his training, career, and advice for aspiring actors.
Alexander spoke about how his performance career began with a childhood interest in magic. Alexander transitioned to acting in middle school when a peer recruited him for a production of The Sound of Music. With other members of theater productions at his school, he took frequent trips to New York City to see plays on Broadway, and became entranced by the idea of becoming a Broadway actor. Later in life, his dream came true when he was hired for a Broadway production prior to his senior year at Boston University, which led to him dropping out.
Alexander emphasized that, in his view, formal training is crucial for aspiring actors, even those who have a natural talent for acting. He asserted that without formal training, actors cannot reach their full potential.
Alexander advised that in the modern day, actors must produce work and publish it online. He said that talent scouts find actors through this digital work, and agents frequently play a decreased role in finding actors jobs in the current acting industry.
Audience response to the event was generally positive.
“I thought he was very authentic and gave some really good life advice that didn’t just apply to actors. Plus it was interesting to hear about how he got into acting,” Matthew Cook PO ‘20 wrote in an email to TSL.
Marc Rod PO ’20 is from Rye Brook, New York. He previously served as TSL’s managing editor, news editor, news associate and news writer.