Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Richard Taylor Pearson for stopping by today.
Title: The Role
Author: Richard Taylor Pearson
Publisher: Lethe Press
Cover Artist: Ben Baldwin
Genre: Gay Fiction
Release Date: 05/04/2016
Mason Burroughs is an actor on the verge of giving up after being turned away at audition after audition. But his life changes when he bumps into Kevin Caldwell, an old crush from acting school. Kevin helps Mason land a role that could make him the next Broadway star. However, as rehearsals begin, Mason learns that there’s a lot more drama than just what’s on stage. With a personal trainer claiming he can mold his body to resemble a Greek statue, an underhanded understudy waiting in the wings to replace him, a megalomaniacal director, and Kevin hellbent on breaking up Mason and his boyfriend, Mason must choose how much he is willing to sacrifice to make his Broadway dream a reality.
Actors – a forgotten audience
When I began writing “The Role,” one thing that surprised me was that there were very few novels about LGBT people that took place in a theater. Those that did exist were mainly murder mysteries. As I’ve met so many fellow LGBT actors in my life, I found this lack of representation rather bizarre. From high school musicals to productions on the Great White Way, it’s hard to find a cast that doesn’t have a few LGBT people in it. Acting comes naturally to many LGBT people, because for many of us, we felt inclined to pretend we were someone other than ourselves. Thankfully, times are changing, but I was still confused why there were no great LGBT Theatre stories around. I’ll admit, there are certain challenges when it comes to accurately depicting what it is like to rehearse and perform a Broadway play. Rehearsals are, by their very nature, repetitive, so one must find a way to make that interesting, but I cannot imagine that was all that prevented stories like mine from being more common. As an actor, I loved coming home from rehearsal and recounting all the crazy backstage stuff to my friends. My hope was to write a novel that captured those stories, and showed that there are many more stories in a show, besides the one that is being told on stage.
If you love theatre, I hope you’ll check out!
About the Author
Richard Taylor Pearson is a triple threat: author, actor, and attorney. He grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he appeared in many plays and musicals. After graduating from Rhodes College, Richard went on to obtain a law degree from Rutgers School of Law. While he works as an attorney by day, his nights and weekends are spent writing novels and performing in theatrical events all over New York City. Richard lives in Jersey City with his brilliant husband, Brian, and their amazing daughter, Natalie.
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