MO_grayMike Ooi will be onstage with us all weekend filling the roles of James in The Chair of Death and Bellamy in Coulrophobe. Don’t miss your chance to see him this week!

Do you consider yourself a horror fan? What is your favorite genre of horror?
I’m not a “horror” fan. I don’t go for all of the “something different is going to jump out at you in the dark” or “now the devil’s in Mommy but with a twist” or “what if Facebook eats people” movies. But my favorite genre of video gaming is survival horror. Resident Evil, Dead Rising, Left 4 Dead, Silent Hill, and Eternal Darkness. I love the settings or horror stories – the supernatural, the sci-fi, the dread. The difference is being in control. I often get very frustrated about how stupid people can be in movies, horror movies especially.

What was the first time you encountered horror in entertainment? Was it a book, a movie, a play or something else?
Freddie. But the first thing that genuinely scared me, kept me thinking for months, was some TV movie about killer bees. The idea that it could happen, that it WOULD happen. And that my tween self couldn’t do a damn thing about it.
Everyone can relax. It didn’t happen.

Does acting in a horror piece present any unique challenges or opportunities? Have you done any horror theatre before, or is this your first time? What is your favorite part about being in a horror piece?
There are some technical elements at play that are important to get right. Things like blood cannons.
My favorite part of being in a horror piece is hearing the audience react, especially when it’s heartfelt and coming from a place that is outside our sense of decorum. Not rude, but being totally unconcerned about being polite, because it’s so spontaneous and visceral.

How have motels played a role in your life?
I’ve always loved hotels and motels. Whenever I am staying in one, it’s because something different is happening in my life. I’m traveling, taking part in a wedding, performing on the road – something other than the usual grind.
If you could take on any role in any horror tale what would it be and why?
The guy who spoils all the virgins so that Dracula has to move on to greener pastures.
Why? I dunno…I guess I just like to be helpful.

What is the one thing that scares you the most?
Oblivion. The most plausible outcome of this sentient life.
Maybe that’s why horror doesn’t scare me. Like the Hulk says in The Avengers, “I’m always angry.”


Motel 666 is OPEN and runs through June 28 – get tickets here! Performances will be held at the DCASE Storefront Theatre, 66 E. Randolph Street, with shows ThursdaySaturday at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2:00pm.