Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Guest Artist “Snapshot” - Jordan Cutbill

Jordan Cutbill last appeared on Rosebud's mainstage in ‘Miracle on 34th Street’, but audiences may also remember him from ‘Last Train to Nibroc’ and ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’. A 2004 graduate of Rosebud School of the Arts, he’s been teaching videography and sharing his passion of filmmaking for the last four years as an instructor with RSA and more recently Prairie College. He is the co-founder of Smoke Signal Media, a production power house based in Rosebud, and the co-owner of Rosebud Valley Honey.

Jordan Cutbill and David Snider in Rosebud Theatre's The Christians. Photo by Morris Ertman.

What made you come to Rosebud, and what have you been up to since graduating?
I first came in response to three separate individuals approaching me on three separate locations and telling me about the school. I took a brief hiatus from acting and Rosebud after graduation and went fishing and adventuring on the West Coast of British Columbia where I’m originally from. I spent [another] eight months cruising the Caribbean on a 30 foot sailboat with a buddy of mine, was a waiter at Fine Dining restaurants in Tofino and Victoria, and three years fishing guiding in the Queen Charlotte Islands (now called Haida Gwai).

You’ve got a bit of a reputation as an Outdoorsy Renaissance Man. What’s next on your list?
At present I’m learning more about permaculture gardening with the hopes of starting up a market garden here in Rosebud. I’m learning more about canning and food preservation since our garden produced an excess of tomatoes this year.

What do you do in your spare time?
When I have free time I like to garden, hunt, keep bees, fish, cook, and spend quality time with my loving wife and our friends in this beautiful hamlet of Rosebud.

What’s your favorite cold weather drink to warm up?
I have to admit I’m a coffee addict. It’s really the best thing that God ever created.

Jordan Cutbill as Pastor Joshua with Cassandra Garbutt, Caitlyn O'Connor, and Stephanie Lanting in Lucas Hnath's The Christians. Photo by Morris Ertman.
In ‘The Christians’, you’re playing Associate Pastor Joshua, a man of convictions who’s integral to the church. He’s also the character who unflinchingly addresses the central conflict, almost immediately. Do you identify with him?
I identify with addressing the central conflict immediately. I didn’t find that part of the character difficult to connect with. He lives in an entirely different world then I choose to be a part of, but I think at the heart people are people and everyone believes what they believe for a reason. So finding Josh wasn’t that difficult.

What surprised you about the play?
The response has been the most surprising thing for me. I initially thought it would be much more controversial and that the audience would really struggle with the content. I have been so encouraged by our audience giving us the benefit of the doubt and trusting us to go on an uncomfortable ride together. The talk-backs after the show have been the most rewarding talk-backs I’ve ever been a part of.

Has anything in particular challenged you about the process?
You definitely feel naked when you’re emotionally vulnerable on stage in front of a group of people, and that takes some getting used to - and some trust that doesn’t come easy to me.

Why do you think so many people have baggage / hang-ups about church?
I think people have baggage or hangups about the church and Christianity because it has led such a controversial role throughout history. I think anything that matters polarizes people... so of course religion/politics/money will fit right into that.

If this play weren’t called ‘The Christians’, what would you call it?
I would call it The People. I don’t think it only applies to Christians, I think it speaks a universal truth that everyone can connect with.

What’s inspiring you lately?
Generally for inspiration I listen to a lot of music. At present I’m enjoying the work of Bears Den, Max Richter, Ryan Adams, and a host of others.

Jordan and co-owner of Rosebud Valley Honey, Kelsey Krogman. Photo courtesy Rosebud Valley Honey.

How did you get into Rosebud Valley Honey?
I’ve always been fascinated by beekeeping and curious as to the natural fear that most people have of these wonderful little creatures. Their level of sophistication and community is showcased through the hive mentality: greater care for the whole (rather than the individual) is an astounding example of community and care. Rosebud Valley Honey was started four years ago with Kelsey Krogman and myself. We practice chemical-free beekeeping in an effort to care for the bees first and collect honey as humanely and decently as possible. We believe that caring for the bees is primary and if they produce an excess of honey beyond what they need, then we get to offer that to the people in Rosebud and beyond.

Lastly, what’s a great piece of advice that’s connected with you over the years?
Don’t let your life be ruled by fear. I strive to live my life with intentionality and drive and recognize that everything is a choice. I choose not to let fear be the thing that speaks the loudest in my life.

There’s just two more weeks to catch Jordan Cutbill navigating the tumultuous waters of church politics and relationships in Lucas Hnath’s powerhouse-packed ‘The Christians’. Playing now, through October 28, for tickets and showtimes, visit www.rosebudtheatre.com

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