TJ Anderson, 24, was born and raised in the Everett area and moved to Bellingham to attend Western Washington University for his bachelor of music in vocal performance. His performing resume is extensive, and he's currently performing in Bellingham Theatre Guild's production of "Glorious!" on stage Friday, Sept. 21, through Oct. 7. Note: The evening shows now begin at 7:30 p.m.
Question: What's your day job?
Answer: I am a front end supervisor at Ross. Yes, we are always this busy, and the line moves faster than it looks.
Q: How did you first become interested in the performing arts?
A: For the longest time, singing and theater was something I did as a hobby, just because it was fun. My first big role was in third grade. I played Winthrop in my school's production of "The Music Man."
Q: What shows have you been involved with?
A: Since high school, I don't think there's been a year where I haven't been involved in a show of some kind. In Bellingham I've been in several shows at WWU ("Working," "La Cage Aux Folles," "The Human Comedy," "The Marriage of Figaro") and recently with the Bellingham Theatre Guild ("Guys & Dolls," "Damn Yankees," "Forever Plaid," "Plaid Tidings") and the Mount Baker Theater's Repertory series, in "The Fantasticks." Within the past few years I have started music directing shows as well, with my first being "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" at BTG and most recently "Rent" and "Seussical" at WWU.
Q: Any standout roles?
A: My favorite shows have definitely been the "Plaid" shows. It's probably the most fun I've ever had on stage and combined two of my favorite things: singing in a small group and making people laugh.
Q: What's "Glorious!" about?
A: "Glorious!" is a hilarious play based on a true story: that of Florence Foster Jenkins, the wealthy New York socialite famous for her awful singing voice. She was oblivious to her lack of talent and would throw grand balls and recitals that would sell out (because everyone loves a good train wreck). I play Cosmé McMoon, her sardonic accompanist. The show opens with my auditioning to be Florence's accompanist, blissfully unaware of what I'm about to get into: a whirlwind of terrible singing and inexplicable success. The play itself is very well-written: it clips along with never a dull moment. The audience barely has time to pause for breath before the next joke. Florence is played by the wonderful Teri Grimes, and the show features several performances of songs the real Florence sang. Plus there are bonus jokes for Spanish speakers! Don't know what I mean? Come see the show.
Q: What's fun for you besides theater?
A: I am basically a huge nerd. "Dungeons and Dragons," "Dr. Who," "Game of Thrones" (the books and the TV show), the BBC's "Sherlock," "Breaking Bad," and finding new and creative ways to be more dependent on my smartphone are all things I enjoy way more than I probably should. I'm an amateur portrait photographer and I love tinkering around with Photoshop. That and spending time with my exceptionally handsome boyfriend Dana. I also enjoy bad jokes. (What do you call an alligator wearing a vest? An investigator! Sorry.)
Q: What are your future plans?
A: Well, my shining job on the hill would be music director-in-residence at a large theater like The 5th Avenue Theater in Seattle, but I hear the guy they have now is disturbingly talented, so I may have to set my sights elsewhere. I'd also like to have written a musical and started a band. And I would like to someday enjoy the taste of coconut, mainly so people will stop being shocked that I don't like coconut.
Reach Margaret Bikman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-715-2273.