This Saturday night in Queen Creek, actorCharles Ross
will perform three movies -- by himself and without costumes or props -- in hisOne Man Star Wars Trilogy
. Ross' stage show manages to condenseStar Wars
,The Empire Strikes Back
, andReturn of the Jedi
into a 75-minute stage show, in which Ross takes on all characters, dialogue, and action scenes, and even sings from the movie score. It's a funny, fast-paced re-enactment so entertaining that it's received the ultimate blessing -- a license -- from Star Wars creator George Lucas' Lucafilms.
We recently caught up with Ross to find out why The Force is so strong with him.
We read that you'd seen the first Star Wars film more than 400 times by the age of 10.
By the age of 11, actually. That was a period of time when I lived on a farm, and we had no television reception and no radio reception. We had three films, and Star Wars was my favorite. I always had it on. Most of the time it was background noise -- I didn't always sit there in front of the screen and watch it, but it would be on when I was doing something else. So I picked up a lot of the movie through osmosis.
Celebrations are really fun to do. The fans are awesome. It's the perfect demographic. It couldn't be a better group of people for the show. I don't have to explain anything to them; in fact, sometimes, they explain stuff to me.
How did you condense almost 400 minutes of movie material into a 75-minute show?
It was a matter of working from memory. You naturally edit things because of your ability to recall. So rather than sit down and watch the films, and stop them to write down each line, I worked from what I could remember. Sometimes, I checked the movie script to make sure I had the exact wording of lines, but I found that a lot of it was auditory memory. I'd hear the movie score in my head, and recall the lines that went with certain music. There are a lot of scenes and lines in the movie that are so integrated with the score -- like the blowing up of the Death Star, it has lines that fit with the music. So it was incredibly easy to condense the show, even if it sounds really difficult.
What do you do if you're performing and a cell phone rings, or somebody's baby starts crying?
I integrate it. It's a gift, manna from heaven. When something different happens, it's fantastic, especially if you're used to doing the same thing every day. It's like making the same drive to work all the time, but one morning, you see a truck full of chickens turned over in the middle of the road.
You've performed your one-man show more than 1,200 times. Will you ever get sick of Star Wars?
I don't think so. I think of the alternative -- like sitting in a cubicle or some shit. I'll take the worst day doing Stars Wars over the best day in a cubicle anytime.
Charles Ross performs One Man Star Wars Trilogy at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, October 30, at Queen Creek Performing Arts Center, 22149 E.Ocotillo Road. Tickets cost $17.75 to $22.75. Call 480-987-7469 or visit www.qcpac.com for more information.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.