Bend native Gavin Douglas is an actor. A real one. The kind of actor that does not remember why he wanted to act in the first place because it's what he has always done for as long as he can remember. "I did a play in kindergarten, and then did one every year because it was something to do. But then I got involved in Bend Theater for Young People," says Gavin. "That's when I actually started getting training as opposed to just doing it for fun."
Gavin stayed with BTYP every summer for 10 years until he was asked to come back not as a student, but as a teacher and director. "My experience with teaching made me want to get an education," Gavin says, "so I went to school at Southern Oregon University and that was a wake-up call to the professional side of theater."
That wake-up call included Gavin spending a year interning at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, where he heard from some of the finest actors in the country that if he wanted to give professional acting a try, he would have to move to New York, Los Angeles or Chicago.
Gavin had a different idea when it came to mapping out his career, though. "Bend especially is so underrepresented in the theater arts, I think," he says. "There's always been CTC and 2nd Street, but it's a town that celebrates art so much that there could be more. I feel like it could support a theater festival, a real professional festival. I love the Pacific Northwest. It's my home, it's where I feel good. I would rather bring art here than go where the work is."
Ironically, Gavin decided to split the difference and moved to Portland a few months ago and, almost instantly, was hired by Northwest Classical Theater Company to play Sebastian in Twelfth Night in Bend and Sunriver for the Shakespeare in the Park series this summer.
Whether he stays in Portland, moves back to Bend or heads to Chicago, Gavin Douglas is an actor and that is what he will be doing, wherever he is.
Shakespeare in the Park: Twelfth Night
August 22-23 in Bend & August 24 in Sunriver
Tickets available at shakespearebend.com