Introduce Yourself(ie): 10 Questions with Significant Other Charmer John Behlmann
July 27th, 2015
by John Behlmann
John Behlmann is the object of everyone’s affection in the must-see off-Broadway play Significant Other—and who can blame them? Behlmann plays several characters in the funny and moving play about finding love; he’s the office-crush-turned-cyber-obsession of Gideon Glick’s Jordan.
Then he’s the adorable guy who steals Lindsay Mendez’s heart later in the play. #Swoon
Off-stage, Behlmann is the co-founder of the aerial theater company Fight of Flight (check out their high-flying JAWS parody this August!), he’s dabbled in TV writing, been the face of many-a-brand’s TV commercials and starred in a bunch of high-profile plays and musicals ( Journey's End, Pretty Filthy, The 39 Steps , Bull Durham).
Below, we get to know Behlmann even better as we talk dating, trapeze tales and regrettable Napster downloads.
1. To me the most powerful line in Significant Other is:
Spoken by Jordan's Grandma, Helene: "It's a long book, Jordan. You're in a tough chapter, and you don't know when this chapter will end, and the next one will begin. But the book is long. It's a long book." If each of us heard that from our Grandmas every 6-8 months, we'd all be better off.
2. My all-time favorite love story:
My manicured interview answer wants to say Antony and Cleopatra, something full of drama and war and passion and death. But my immediate thought was the first love story I remember piquing my interest: when Fievel kisses the girl mouse in An American Tail.
3. Jordan has “Help Me”—the Joni Mitchell song to describe my dating life would be:
This might be sacrilege but... I don't actually know if I can name any Joni Mitchell songs other than "Help Me" (even after months in this show and this company). So here I am googling titles of Joni Mitchell songs. So maybe we can just say googling. Googling is the thing to describe my dating life. I'm sure there's metaphor in there somewhere. Take that, Joni.
4. Piece of dating advice I would give to Jordan:
Stop all that googling, Jordan! I find that the internet presents a terribly flat and limited perspective on any of us, no matter how large the online profile. Just meet people and get to know them the old fashioned way. Instead of googling their college newspaper and stalking their social media outlets, maybe just meet and ask questions? Eh?
5. Best thing about growing up in Texas:
Football and Theater. It's where I learned to love both. This surprises a lot of folks, but both sports and the arts are highly organized in Texas public schools. A shocking number of kids I did theater with in high school are still making their living in this business.
6. The scariest moment I’ve ever experience on a trapeze was:
Well, I've snapped a trapeze bar or three in my day, practicing one particular maneuver. But there were mats around to save me. Doing trapeze isn't so scary. Blanking on your line on stage while on a trapeze... that is scary.
7. Ultimate scene from JAWS has to be when:
The USS Indianapolis scene. Below decks on the Orca sharing scars, singing shanties, and then Quint's story. Genius throughout.
...Or maybe that scene where the actors do the whole at-sea Orca sequence while floating in the air, suspended above the ground. I forget, is that scene in the movie? Or just the trapeze-based stage version? 'Cause that scene is pretty great.
8. In my opinion, the best-written TV show right now is:
It's Veep vs. Silicon Valley for me. For Veep, the insults about Jonah alone (Timothy Simons' character) are enough to make it smarter than 90% of other shows. And as a tall gentleman, the Jonah height jokes hit extra nicely. And Silicon Valley is the perfect blend of low-brow sophomoric jokes and complete intelligent nerddom. It's like my dream adolescence. Any show that pull off an epic 4-min piece of masterful juvenilia like this is a winner. Do I have to pick just one? I would kill to be on either. Thankfully, they're both part of the same hour-long block on HBO. So I'll just treat them like the same show. Silicon Veep-ey. Final Answer.
9. The album I wore out and film I played out in high school:
I remember going through a hefty Billy Joel phase in high school. Greatest Hit Vols. 1-3. Less shamefully, I burned through that Counting Crows album August and Everything After about a million times. But that was the golden age of Napster. So my iTunes is still full of random downloaded singles of late ‘90s pop. Anytime something embarrassing appears when I put my music on shuffle, it can be traced directly to an MP3 download binge in the late ‘90s/early ‘00s, back when AOL Instant Messenger was king. You think I paid for the whole Chumbawamba album?!
I feel like the movie Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead was somehow always on the TV when I was growing up, even though no one ever put it on and we didn't own it. My older brother and I still can't help but quote it incessantly. "I'm right on top of that, Rose!"
10. Craziest thing I’ve heard at an audition:
Probably me making foolhardy choices? One time, moments before a Broadway audition for a well-known director, I spontaneously decided to give my character a stutter. Only problem was, I hadn't practiced that. And it was Shakespeare. I stand by the choice, but needless to say I did not get the job.
You only have until August 9 to see John Behlmann in ‘Significant Other’ at off-Broadway’s Laura Pels Theatre.