Troy Mink (actor and writer) is a longtime denizen of Seattle's theater community. He's played John Merrick in The Elephant Man, created the ever-popular Carlotta's Late Night Wing Ding (an improvisational spin-off featuring one of The Haint's most popular characters) and has twice appeared in original performances for Bumbershoot. Mink has been a member of Unexpected Productions since 1992 (purveyors of TheatreSports) and has been a Feature Reader at the Seattle Poetry Slam. Mink teaches workshops on original character development.
Recent Interview with Troy
Q: Where did The Haint come from?
Mink: The characters, for the most part, are based on people I grew up with in Lexington, Kentucky. The lurid tale of Mary is true, but the fictitious haunting is a product of my childhood fascination with ghost stories. The characters dictated the script. My co-writers (Tom Fitzmacken and Jeff Pozarski) interviewed me as the characters in a documentary style. We then took the recorded interviews, edited and rewrote them, and spliced them into a compelling story.
Q: Do you find yourself lapsing into characters outside of the show?
Mink: The characters have escaped the stage and run rampant in my life. In the right situation, putting on the proverbial glasses of a character can be hilarious. It can also drive your friends up the wall. Some of these characters are contagious. For example, if I'm doing Carlotta (so to speak) in a group, people will unintentionally begin speaking with a southern drawl.
Q: Any good fan stories?
Mink: There's a mini cult following for sure. There's this one guy who's seen the show five times (I know because he's told me so). Apparently he was at The Haint's debut in 1996 at the Seattle Fringe Festival. At any rate, he's brought different friends with him every time. A real proselytizer, and I thank him for his support. I love hanging around after shows to meet audience members. The Southerners are great because they're always saying things like, "I know that person...she's my aunt...and that other guy was my neighbor."
Q: Do you envision The Haint going on the road?
Mink: Yes. And there's some VERY preliminary conjecturing right now, but nothing in stone whatsoever. Imagine a lectern, a chair, a lighting tech and me. How much more portable can a show get?
Q: How has your StageDirect experience been?
Mink: I'm not trying to brown-nose here, but I'm very excited and proud to be involved with StageDirect. I can't say enough about this company. They're going to great lengths to highlight fringe theater, and they're supporting the artists as well.