Interview with Adam Valentine

What is the legend of Adam Valentine?

Adam Valentine (Casey/Georgia McBride):

It’s such a good question. I like to think that my legend is still being written. But I guess if I had to really choose, something that’s always persisted throughout my life because of my height, is that everyone assumes that I play basketball or have played basketball. I got asked that question so often that I just started saying, “Yep.” So, I think there are, you know, a plethora of people out in the world who just assume that I’m a talented basketball player, which is absolutely a legend. I’m not good at basketball. You don’t wanna play me in basketball. Well, maybe you do because you’d win. So, that’s my legend. It’s out there. 

How has it been exploring the character of Casey and what’s something that you have in common with Casey?

Adam Valentine (Casey/Georgia McBride):

Casey is a very, very lovable guy. He is an optimist. He sees the world as a vessel for him to connect with people. And his journey specifically is interesting because he, with like everything, sees opportunity and falls in love with this, with this method of like, storytelling. And yeah, something I share in common with him, I would say his goofiness. He is, he’s like a little dork. I love him. He’s always trying to find what’s funny in a situation. He’s the type of person who you could be in the middle of a fight, and he is trying to like, make you laugh to diffuse the situation. I certainly resonate with that in, in my life. I think humor is so important. And, anytime we can remind ourselves that, you know, to breathe and to, and crack a joke and everything is gonna be okay, and that we’re gonna like persevere, I think those are qualities that Casey holds is like pillars of, of the self. And, I certainly, I certainly try to do that in my own life. 

It’s almost like you’re playing two characters because, you know, you’re still Casey, but Georgia McBride is a different person. How do you tap into that?

Adam Valentine (Casey/Georgia McBride):

I think that Georgia is pure love. I wanna articulate this right – It feels a bit like you have to be completely vulnerable, which almost sounds like you don’t have any insecurity at all, but it’s almost the opposite. It’s almost showing everyone your insecurity and saying, and I’m okay with that. And so to be able to embody that has been incredibly hard because as an actor, you are, you are trying to, um, you’re trying to stay in connection with the play as a whole. But when we get to the Georgia stuff, you kind of have to let Georgia take over and stand in your truth.

There’s a great professor here who once said, sometimes your characters stand in fight or flight and instead reveal. And, I think that rings so true with Georgia. She’s, love and joy personified. She is complete confidence and charisma, but she is soft and sweet, and wise. And, so the trick for the actor is instead of playing at those things, identifying them in me and believing that about myself and, who is Georgia to me in my body? And that’s been a journey because I think towards the beginning of the process, I felt like Georgia was a character that I had to master, where in reality, we all have a drag queen inside of us. It sounds crazy to say, but, you know, connect with your inner drag and, who are you and what do you love about yourself and what do you want to celebrate with the audience? 

Did you do any research into the art form of Drag?

Adam Valentine (Casey/Georgia McBride):

Yeah, I definitely watched Drag Race. I’ve probably seen four seasons in total, and I’ve always, I’ve always loved it. I don’t think I entirely grasped just how hard it was until this process began, but, yeah, I’ve, I’ve definitely always been a connoisseur. I’ve gone to drag shows. I love a good drag show, and, you know, it’s one thing to pinpoint the performance aspect, but everything that’s happening behind the scenes, just in terms of, you know, queens doing their own makeup and making their own costumes and getting their wigs and picking their songs, I, they are like, uh, they are whole enterprises, and the resources and talents that they have are truly endless. So yeah, it’s been fun to dip back into the drag world now, having even just a little sliver of knowledge of what it actually takes.  

What does this show mean to you, and what do you think audiences should know before coming?

Adam Valentine (Casey/Georgia McBride):

The show is everything to me. The first time I read it, I cried, and then the second time I read it, I cried again and thought, I can’t keep crying every time I read this script, you know, that would be bad as an actor.

But it’s a hug. I mean, it’s what, it’s what live performance is all about. It’s about connection to your community. It’s about sitting next to strangers in the dark and being in communion and celebrating each other. And I think audiences when coming to this show should know that it is for them in every possible way. If you want to stand up and dance, please stand up and dance. If you want to shout and throw money, if you want to sing along, sing along, bring your joy to this show. It is for you, and we want everyone to see it. So, it certainly should not be missed, but even more so, it should be interacted with, uh, the audience should feel compelled to be a part of the story because they absolutely are intrinsic to the show and it can’t happen without them. 

Is there anything else you wanna add about the show yourself, your character?

Adam Valentine (Casey/Georgia McBride):

I would just really like to celebrate the work that’s been done on the show, the costumes. I think I have 22 different looks in the show, and not, not simple costumes at all. Extravagant, beautiful, incredibly eye-defying costumes. And I’m one character in the show. We all have these incredible looks. The set design is phenomenal. The direction is incredible. The team, it’s really, taking a village. And when I think about all of the hours that everyone has had to put in to make a show like this happen, which truly is a spectacle show, I am struck with gratitude and awe and, yeah, I just wanna say thank you to them. And if you come see the show, you will absolutely understand what I’m talking about and make sure that that applause is for, for everyone involved because all, uh, all departments have been heavily utilized and relied upon, and so many people went into making the show.

Photos by HuthPhoto.

See Adam Valentine along with the rest of the talented cast in “The Legend of Georgia McBride” on stage through April 16, 2023.