Steven Makropoulos will make you laugh till you cry.

Steven Makropoulos Interview by Jen Bush

 Steven Makropoulos is a cast member of Relapse, an exciting new musical about to premiere in mid-June.  This multi-talented artist seems to have a laugh track that follows him around.  “My name is Steven Makropoulos and I am an actor/singer/musician who humor always finds. I can’t help it. I’m like Jamie Lee Curtis and the laughs are Michael Myers pursuing me from the back of the house; the comedy just finds me. I’ll be on stage, earnestly “in the scene” and then boom, unexpected but appreciated laughter. It’s always sweeter when it’s a surprise.”

Being a musician, it makes sense that the music was part of the reason Mr. Makropoulos was drawn to this project.  It was also the relatable story.  “I would say, besides the killer music in this, the subject matter attracted me most to this project. Relapse, to me, is a story about confronting your demons and healing from your past. This piece tackles a myriad of traumas, illnesses and addictions; some of which I personally have a connection. It’s been 7 months since I quit drinking and the journey has been amazing. I realized I simply did not like the way alcohol had a certain power over me. I wish I started sooner. The sense of power a diet cola gives me at the bar is far greater than any IPA ever did. Try it out! you just might like it… I hope this story touches those who want to be helped! You’re not alone and I can assure you it’s worth it, whoever you are reading this.”

When undertaking a piece with serious topics, an added sense of responsibility is sometimes felt by the artists.  Mr. Makropoulos feels that it is his responsibility to present the piece as accurately as possible out of respect for the subject matter.  “I do feel that responsibility, sure. I want to be able to advocate for myself and others by making sure my character uses the right terminology. I would hate to mislabel an ailment or perpetuate any harmful stereotype. Luckily, I trust the dramaturgy, and creative leads on this project to help with any potential reservations.”

Mr. Makropoulos’ creative process combines tried and true traditional methods along with some unique approaches.  “My creative process changes all the time with some main constants that anchor the ship. There are the basics of course for me: analyze the text, know what I want and how I intend to solve the problem in each scene. My process, other than those foundational basics, feels like an improvisation. I talk things out a lot with myself and ask many many questions (Shout out to Milton Justice for this) I act like I am interviewing myself. It keeps me curious and open. I reflect on what I discovered in those talks. Even if I do not answer EVERYTHING, the process of mining these nuggets and talking them out proves instrumental in the preparation. Once I can improvise the role, I know I have it.” 

Aside from a lot of upcoming summer fun, Mr. Makropoulos has some super secret projects that he is not at liberty to discuss yet.  You’ll just have to see him in Relapse at the moment which seems to be a rather thrilling proposition.  “What’s next? I got some things cooking that I am, unfortunately, not ready to share JUST yet. I will say I will be soaking up as much summer as possible and finishing up a semester of a new class I’ve been thoroughly enjoying. Oh also, I’m gonna go eat some deep fried butter (ew, but also…yum?) at the Nebraska State Fair in August. You can follow me on instagram @StevenMakropoulos. it’s literally just my long Greek name mashed up together.” 

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