"He Wants To Be A Guy, But Also Wants To Be A Man"
In August, right after I started recapping Mad Men, I got a message from a very lovely and generous poster who goes by the name of calalily, saying that she had a good friend from her theater department in college who was on the show, and she'd be happy to facilitate an introduction. After some pleasant emailing back and forth and some minor negotiations with the AMC publicity department, here we are. Want to read more from the Mad Men cast? Visit the show's section on the AMC website. And now, the interview.
Rich Sommer: Hi John!
Couch Baron: Hey, Rich, how are you doing?
RS: I'm doing well, how are you?
CB: Good, thanks!
RS: Good to finally talk to you.
CB: You too! How's everything going?
RS: Oh, it's going okay.
CB: You probably could stand better news with the strike.
RS: I would like it to last…one more day. [both laugh] Just to get our point across.
CB: I think a lot of people feel that way. So I did what research I could on you. [both laugh] Did you grow up in Toledo?
RS: I was born in Toledo. I lived in Cuyahoga Falls which is just outside of Akron, until I was eight, and then I moved to Stillwater, Minnesota, which is just outside of the Twin Cities, and was there for the duration of my childhood.
CB: So what was your high school experience like? Did you do any acting?
RS: Yeah, you know, I did some…I've really kind of been one of those polarizing people as far as the people that I got along with that were authority figures, teachers and whatnot. And in high school, there were two drama teachers during my time there, and neither of them…I didn't hit it off too well with either of them. So I did some stuff, but mostly little one-liner things, and then when I wasn't onstage, I was pulling the fly and stuff like that.
CB: Gotcha. And what about comedy? I know you've done a lot of improv.
RS: Yeah, that started in eleventh grade -- it was with a group called Comedy Sportz in Minneapolis, and they had someone come out and teach a group about improv, and when I went off to college I took that with me, and started an improv group at my college that was mostly made up of people that I had known in Stillwater anyway, so it was mostly my people.