Meet Robert Carhuayo – Yusef El-Fayoumy
What made you want to audition for The Last Days of Judas Iscariot?
I’m taking one less class this quarter and was looking for stuff to do. I was in Commedia dell’Arte and auditioning for a film but still looking for more to do. I was walking to the bus stop and saw a poster. I’ve done scenes from it before and it’s one of my favorite plays. I wrote it down right away.
One of your favorite plays? Why is that?
The writing. The writing absolutely. The way he portrays the whole variety of characters both historical and made up is very entertaining. It has you laughing throughout but hits you so hard.
Did you have your eye on the role of El-Fayoumy?
No, actually, I auditioned for Judas because I played him before and Satan because he seemed fun. I heard at auditions that El Fayoumi was hard to audition for because you have to get the energy right, and I thought ‘no way’ and then Leslie asked me to read for him and that was that.
He’s so much fun. He’s a scumbag, a filthy dirty scumbag. But he’s definitely a human being who has the capability for sympathy.
Have you had any favorite roles in past shows?
I was in Durang/Durang. I got to play Jake Frankie in a parody of a Tennessee Williams play. I played two brothers in one body and they are fighting with each other. They also have an incestuous relationship with their sister and murdered their wife. It’s an off the wall absurdist play.
Now I ask the awkward question when you’re playing a ‘scumbag’ like this. Have you connected with the character? Or do you have any tricks for bringing him to life on stage?
Music. I very much enjoy making playlists for every character I do. El-Fayoumy involves a lot of swing and 80s music. I imagine him driving in a Corvette listening to 80s music with Ray Bans on, swindling people. I memorize the lines to the music, and I listen to it before rehearsal to get in the mood.
That is amazing. What are some songs on your playlist?
Tainted Love, Mister Pinstripe Suit, Bad Businessman, Maneater, Girls on Film, lots of Duran Duran.
Do you have any projects coming up that you want people to know about?
I’m starring in a film that doesn’t have a release date yet; The Imposter. It will be sent to film festivals. It’s about a University of Chicago student who feels like he doesn’t belong at the school to the point he thinks he stole the spot from a student with same name and all of the right qualifications. (laughs) So that’s a character I can connect with. It’s with Fire Escape Films. Keep an eye out.
Is there anything else our readers should know about you?
I like to make balloon animals – giraffes, octopuses, swans, you’ve got to go with the french poodle. I used to do birthday parties, in clown makeup and everything. Now I do it just for fun.