Backstage Pass

Nicolas Glaser was one among a handful of A-list stage actors who called Phoenix home in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Like most of the rest of them, Glaser lit out for the Great White Way, where he’s made a success playing good guys, gangsters, and everything in between. He returns to his old stomping ground this week in a starring role in Actors Theatre’s Benefactors, but pauses first to consider crumb-collecting and his likeness to certain cartoon characters.

I knew I wanted to be in show business when I saw Jacques Brel perform on Broadway.

The worst thing about being an actor is the occasional loss of confidence. It comes with the job!

My worst audition ever was when I auditioned for the Shaw Festival in Canada. There was what I like to call "an embellishment" on my résumé, and the director grilled me about it for five minutes. I didn't get the job, but I did get very embarrassed.

The happiest day in my life hasn't happened yet.

If I could be anyone other than myself, it would be a gifted therapist.

It's not entirely true, but I sometimes tell people that I'm older than I actually am. Makes the years go by slower.

The fictional character I am most like is a combination of Linus (from Peanuts) and Wile E. Coyote.

I am utterly terrified of rats.

I laugh uncontrollably at myself.

The one thing I absolutely refuse to do on stage is nothing. I'll do anything on stage.

Something I have never admitted to anyone before is all of my feelings. Too much information.

Currently I am reading Benefactors, the play I'm in.

The first time I got drunk, I felt very adult.

Like my mother used to say, "Gather enough crumbs, and you get a loaf of bread."

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Robrt L. Pela has been a weekly contributor to Phoenix New Times since 1991, primarily as a cultural critic. His radio essays air on National Public Radio affiliate KJZZ's Morning Edition.
Contact: Robrt L. Pela