On Stage

Super Mario

Three stages, one week
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Mario Orallo-Molinaro is a busy guy. In the next week, you can find out for yourself. The Bellingham-based actor and director can be seen as a sweetly creepy drug kingpin in the final Border Songs performances July 10-12 at Lynden’s Claire vg Thomas Theatre, in a late-night improvised musical dubbed “2 Best Friends” Sat., July 12 at the Upfront Theatre—where he’s also a mainstage performer and the sales and marketing director—and, finally, in two one-acts opening Thurs, July 17 at the iDiOM Theater.

Cascadia Weekly: What’s your age, sign and motto in life?
Mario Orallo-Molinaro: I am 24 years old and a Leo. I have all sorts of mottos that I follow. Recently, I was empowered by Jim Carrey’s commencement speech where he said, “You will only have two choices: love or fear. Choose love. And don’t ever let fear turn you against your playful heart.”

CW: I currently count you in three different productions.  How does one go about juggling such a rigorous theatrical schedule?
MO: I have been very grateful for the opportunities in town and work with extremely professional and talented people. I would say trust is a huge thing. The people I tend to work with know me and I know them. They trust in my work, knowing I can be busy, yet still bring a positive and hardworking attitude. At times, it’s tough and juggling it all can be hard, but I love it.

CW: As someone who’s deeply involved in Bellingham’s theater scene, do you see it as a thriving one?
MO: One hundred percent, yes. We have a strong community that continues to support the arts of all forms. I think it’s magical to see our community grow and expand and find new ways to empower each other. We also have performing venues of all sorts that give our community a taste of everything.

CW: Do you think your theatre arts degree from WWU prepared you for the creative multitasking you’re currently experiencing?
MO: Oh, yes! Western Washington University has one of the best theater programs in the state. I owe a lot of my success to amazing professors, staff and fellow students who cared about my work and invested in my journey.

CW: I’ve seen Border Songs, but can you tell me a little about “2 Best
Friends” and the iDiOM one-acts?

MO: “2 Best Friends” is an improvised musical and comedy mono-scene. Jake Barrow and Tobias Childs play the two best friends and they are amazing. Steve Barnes is the pianist, and he brings an amazing element to the show.

I am in both The Awful Real Thing and The Velociraptor. A.R.T is written by an amazing playwright, Brian Toews, who tackles some deep issues in our society regarding friendship, acceptance and inner demons. To be honest, I am still figuring out what the The Velociraptor is, which is not a bad thing.

CW: What’s fun about all the collaborations you’re part of these days? What are the challenges?
MO: Again, I have been honored to work and collaborate with amazing people. They challenge, empower and allow me to grow.

It’s also a blessing to play with these people and have long-lasting friendships. Collaboration is like that. It forces you to find the good in people, because the work has to get done. So, you either moan about it or you get it done and learn new ways to make some epic art. The challenge is not to take it personally. You create something out of nothing and you will be judged. It’s being able to look at the positive side and accept feedback and grow. In this field, we are always growing, expanding and learning, which in turn makes us better human beings. It allows us to see the beauty in all people.

See the listings on this page for more information about Border Songs, 2 Best Friends, and the iDiOM one-acts

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