Roderick Bradford, an MFA in acting student, spoke with me this week about his relationship with rebellion in personal style and artistic inspiration. Rod will be playing the complex, villainous character of Roat as his thesis role in Regent’s production of Wait Until Dark, which opened this past Friday night.
Roat poses as five different characters in the show, so Rod has had to deal with character-inception. On playing several characters within a character, Roderick said, “I had to break each character down so they were their own distinct character, and then I had to go back and find a through-line of Roat in each of those characters. It has been a journey.”
Character-inception has not been the only challenging thing that Roderick has had to face, however. The evil nature of the drug-addicted Roat had to be dealt with. “I had to say, ‘Rod, there is no in between with this guy. This guy is evil.’ When you take on a character like that, you try to find the parallels within yourself. I didn’t want to commit to an evil character and say that I had evilness within me. But the truth is, we as human beings all have levels of depth… I had to commit and step into my bad side and say, ‘Rod, you do have some times where you can be ungodly.’ You have to tap into that and be honest to the character; you have to commit, and at first I did not want to do that. Can I really be evil? Am I capable of being evil? And when you answer that question, its scary, but this is what the art is about.”
Rod spares nothing for the sake of art, and that is also evident in his personal philosophy on style. “Everything with a touch of rebellion inspires me. To do everything out of the norm and to be out of the box is my type of style…I like things that catch the eye and I like to attract eyes.”
To close our interview, I asked Rod a rather introspective question, “If you could go back to being five years old and see who you are now, and who you have become, what would your five year old self think?” After some deep thought, Rod answered from the heart with “You deserve it, you worked hard and you did what you wanted to do. You should be proud of yourself because you had so many doubters. It goes to show that you can come from nothing and really make a name for yourself if you just commit.”
Roderick has undoubtedly made a name for himself due to his distinguished, rebellious style and his commitment-focused approach to acting and art. Break a leg tonight, Rod!
Wait Until Dark runs until October 18th in Regent University’s Studio Theatre. Tickets can be purchased online through the box office or by calling 757.352.4245.
Hope is a Staff Writer for the Daily Runner.