I met Matt Hussong many years ago and thought he was the funniest person I had ever met. Even though I was very young at the time I assure you I had a well developed sense of humor (I developed very early... peopled stared). He was also charming and friendly, which I'm sure didn't hurt, but I'm not going to put any stock in my young mind's judgement on those characteristics. But, then I saw him perform for the first time in INTO THE WOODS at Mainstage Theatre in Anderson, IN and I knew that he was someone I would continue to see thrive in the arts. A few years ago when I was made aware that he was becoming a nurse via facebook, I admit that I was saddened by the idea that anything would be stealing time away from what I considered paramount: that he continue to work on his craft and bring joy to others through laughter and theatre. But, I soon could tell that this was exactly what he was doing...in a different venue... one that needed laughter and joy very badly.
So, as you can imagine, I was thrilled and delighted to hear that, having moved back to Indy and now working during the day in the medical field, he was interested in being a part of ZirkusGrimm for this remount. His positivity, comedy and musicality have been a fantastic addition to the show and it has been fantastic having him along for this crazy ride...
— Ben Asaykwee
1. You just moved back to indy after living in New York for many years where you worked as an actor and then a nurse (probably other things too, but those are the two big ones, right?)... what was your favorite project to work on in NYC?
My favorite project, oddly, was a dark musical comedy where I played a clown. Sound familiar? This show was based on Dante's "Inferno", and everyone died at the end and was eaten by another clown. Totally a family show!
2. You've mentioned to me that it's been 5 years since you performed in a show. What has been the hardest thing about jumping back in the water? What has been the best thing about it?
The hardest thing has been feeling those 5 years in my knees and back. I'm no longer a spring chicken. (what the hell is a "spring chicken"?) The best thing has been working with all the people I've seen perform in various other Q Artistry shows. I get to play!!!
3. What is your favorite Brothers' Grimm tale?
Rumpelstiltskin, I think. Did I even spell it right?
4. Your character in the show, Konig, is the leader of the "Klowns" in ZirkusGrimm. Do you like clowns? If so, what is your favorite "clown act"... if not, what is the thing you dislike the most about them.
I used to say that I'm afraid of clowns, but after playing one several years ago, and playing one again, I think I kinda sorta like them now. What I used to dislike about them is that they kinda look like they're gonna come kill me in my sleep. What I like about them now is that they kinda look like they're gonna come kill me in my sleep.
5. Assuming that you're having a good time :) what have you enjoyed most about the rehearsal process for ZirkusGrimm?
I love love love the collaborative and improv-esque feel of this rehearsal process. Being given permission to play and just have fun and try things is so freeing and gives me an immense amount of joy.
6. What originally attracted you to the idea of being a part of ZirkusGrimm?
Being able to work with Q Artistry. Period.
7. You just recently moved back to Indy from NYC. What has been the most "culturally shocking" thing so far?
PEOPLE ARE SO NICE! Like, too nice...
8. As a nurse, I know you've seen a lot of REALLY weird stuff... how do you think that has affected you as an actor and performer?
I definitely am able to keep a straight face much better. Cuz if people saw the face I'm making in my head when I'm shoving a finger.... you get the picture.
9. If you were a circus animal, what would it be? (and you can't have Dancing Bear because I'm taking that one... I was going to be an ostrich and then an Elephant but I've changed my mind so both of those are free if you are inclined.)
I would totally be a seal balancing a ball on his nose.