Joey Cicchelli of Bedford Hills loves an audience. So considering himself at home to play the Artful Dodger in the Bedford Hills Community House's production of Oliver from November 14-23 makes for an easy leap. But only nine years playing all the world doesn't limit him from offering a nuanced advice on acting that most probably don't arrive at until much later - even with the hesitation.
“Be yourself," he says. “Wait, never be yourself, always be in character."
Michael J. Fox and Will Smith are the actors that really got his attention and put him on the path. “I wanted to be one of those guys,” he says.
The way they can handle a one liner gave him something to reach for also and honed him in on being part of Fagin’s gang when he showed up for Oliver auditions a month ago. On the same page with director June O'Neill about where his talents lay, the email divvying up the parts had his heart sinking as he scrolled down the page looking for his name. “Finally,” he remembers thinking, “Artful Dodger, Joey Cicchelli – I was like whoa.”
Still, Joey knows from experience that the whole process of receiving direction and criticism can be very painful, but the elixir at this point is already clear. “Get over it and practice,” he asserts.
In this he gives his director her due. “She does a good job because she puts up with me,” he jokes in conclusion.
Tickets go on sale on October 14th