Darin is an Angel!
Darin Depaul is Clarence in A Wonderful Life... typecast? Read on...
I was born and raised in Palm Beach, Florida. It was a truly wonderful childhood. We would either summer in the Hamptons or go to Europe. My father was a men's clothing designer with several shops on Worth Avenue. My parents really gave us so much. My sister and I were quite spoiled. But my parents loved doing it - so is that spoiled? We really appreciated it and the experiences made us who we are and taught us to embrace different cultures and ways of thinking.
My Parents were always taking us to shows on Broadway when we visited New York. And because of my father's work, he knew many celebrities and artists of the day. He would have them over and I was always taken with them and how they thought. Just really fascinating and varied people - like Jose Ferrer, Liberace, Gunther Gebel-Williams from Ringling Brothers.
I did a year long apprenticeship at the Burt Reynolds Jupiter Theatre and Mr. Reynolds, Charles Nelson Reilly and Sally Field were very inspirational. Then in 1993 I saw Bill Irwin and David Shiner do "Fool Moon" on Broadway followed by my first experience with Cirque Du Soliel and I was hooked on that style of clowning. I was even lucky enough to study with Mr. Shiner. When I think of the style of performing that I love - I think about all that Mr. Shiner taught me. There's a lot of that in how I looked at doing this role in "A Wonderful Life". I saw the film once with my wife and it is pretty darn near perfect. Exquisite Capra story-telling. I know it's on every holiday season, but I tend to watch Cirque Du Soliel marathons and BBC America. I didn't watch the film before doing this show because the two styles are so different and you start thinking "Hey, why did they leave out that part" and things like that. The musical version is truly it's own animal.
I really love innovative theatre. Last year my wife and I went to Stratford-on-Avon and we saw Ian McKellan in "King Lear" and the most amazing "A Midsummer Night's Dream" ever. Tim Supple visionary production in seven Indian languages and English. Just visually and emotionally stunning. On that trip we also saw "The 39 Steps" which is now on Broadway and a production of "A Matter of Life and Death" at the National. Just brilliant. Those are what I like to see. "Cats" and "42nd Street" ... not so much. All the characters I play are unusual. Heck, I was Grandpa Who in the "Grinch". I could never do what Duke Lafoon does in our production. He is so brilliant and natural and HUMAN. I'm this odd little clown from Weirdsville. But put us together and that's where the fun starts. To me it's fascinating to put these two fundamently different styles together onstage and watch them meld. I love every moment I get with Duke.
No children in family. But last year doing "Grinch" on Broadway was such a great experience. Working with the young performers and meeting children after the show. For some reason they do take to me. I guess I'm just a big Muppet.