I hear you're thinking of leaving town.

Yes, indeed. I'm not sure exactly, but probably in a year or so. The only things really determining when we go (me and my wife Kelly) are finances and Equity cards, which we are working on getting, but we don't want to do that here.

Why not?

In Seattle, there are fewer actors of my age and type who are still non-union--or they've decided to stop doing it entirely. I'm not absolutely sure that's true, but it's a theory. I'm crossing the threshold of being 40, and I think a lot of male actors around my age, if they haven't broken through to where they are able to sustain themselves as actors, a lot of them give up and do something else.

What makes it so difficult to sustain yourself in Seattle?

I'm not sure if this is a rationalization just to make ourselves feel better, but the big houses feel very exclusive. The same people seem to be cast again and again. I was told once, and I think it makes a lot of sense, that local actors are considered, but local actors (a) are not available because they've over-committed themselves to the fringe world, which I've done myself, or (b) they are not able to come up with the goods when they're called upon--they're not prepared. I think Seattle actors, in some ways, don't have a clue about how to get a job--the mechanics of it, how to present the package. Unfortunately, when a certain percentage of the actors don't come through, it reflects poorly on all of them. You don't get a lot of second chances. Of course, I don't know if it's even possible to sustain oneself as an actor in Seattle. I know some of the people who do work at the big houses all the time, and they have to do other things.

What are you doing this fall?

At the moment, nothing is absolute, but I'm waiting to hear on Hamlet at Seattle Shakespeare Company, which would be in October. [The director] had me read for five different roles, but Polonius would be the one I'm most interested in.