Actor, comedian Kevin Pollak ready to impress at McCurdy's in Sarasota: interview

Famed actor and acclaimed impressionist brings stand-up skills to McCurdy's

wtatangelo@bradenton.comJuly 26, 2012 

For those of us who still channel surf, it seems hardly a day goes by without seeing Kevin Pollak.

He's appeared in more than 60 films including the classics "A Few Good Men," "The Usual Suspects" and "Casino."

But the actor's first love will always be stand-up.

It's an art form the famed impressionist has excelled at for more than three decades.

"Movies are a childhood dream and that industry is tremendously rewarding," Pollak said by phone from his Los Angeles home.

"But the work itself, 12-hour days on a movie, on average, and for an actor, 10 of 12 of those hours are spent sitting on your ass in the trailer waiting.

"Those few minutes in front of the camera are magic beyond belief, but there's just too much down time," the 54-year-old continued.

Pollak compared stand-up to a high-wire act where he takes the audience for a ride of his choosing.

"You live and die by your own wit," he said.

"The execution of it, for those who take it seriously, when you hit it right for an hour, it's indescribable."

On Friday, Pollak performs at McCurdy's Comedy Theatre in Sarasota.

He might to do spot-on impressions of former co-stars such as Jack Nicholson, Robert De Niro or Arnold Schwarzenegger.

He also does an amazing Peter Falk impression.

Pollak manages to only move one eye while paying tribute to the actor who won several Emmys for portraying a droll, witty detective on television starting in the early 1970s.

While watching "Columbo" with his mother, Pollak did his first impression.

"I grabbed a pencil as a cigar, and went 'Excuse me, I hate to bother you, but there's just one more thing, the brussels sprouts for dinner were a little overdone," he said, recreating Falk's famous voice with ease.

The anecdote should be included in Pollak's autobiography, "How I Slept My Way to the Middle: Secrets and Stories from Stage, Screen, and Interwebs," due out Nov. 6.

"I've always been a major fan of people's journeys," said the host of the weekly online interview program "Kevin Pollak's Chat Show." "That's what's fascinating to me."

Details: 7 and 9:15 p.m. July 27, McCurdy's Comedy Theatre, 3333 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets: $21. Information: 941-925-3869 or www.mccurdyscomedy.com.

Wade Tatangelo, features writer/columnist, can be reached at 941-745-7057. Follow Twitter.com/wtatangelo.

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