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To Leicester Landon, acting is a gift

DAVID MARSHALL

Age: 30

Hometown: Grew up in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, La.

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Think of: A young Martin Sheen crossed with a younger Bradley Cooper.

What caught our eye: Landon’s dynamic, intensely physical portrayal at Sleeping Weazel of a volatile performance artist who is putting together a Dostoyevskian solo show in Kenneth Prestininzi’s “Ugmo and Eenie Go Down the Ruski Hole.’’

Light bulb moment: “I was surrounded by the theater from a pretty young age. Different people in my family were involved in the theater. So I was always watching the process more than even the performances. I remember watching a lot of first-reads, table-reads, and being just completely enchanted by this group of creative, generous people getting together in their free time and just working on something, just breathing a story into the room for the first time. It just felt magical to me from a really young age.’’

Biggest thrill: “Sometimes it has to do with that first moment when you discover a character; sometimes it has to do with that first moment when you get in front of an audience, and you finally see the gift you’re giving them. That’s thrilling.’’

Biggest surprise: “That this year is the first year that I have supported myself as an artist. I’ve not had to do any of my catering jobs. I also do house-cleaning in New York. I’ve been able to catch a pretty good rest from that for the past year. I’m happy to know that’s possible. I’m sure it will ebb and flow, but I’m happy to be riding that wave now.’’

Inspired by: “The many teachers I’ve had throughout the years have been truly inspiring and character-changing. Through working on our art together, they have helped me become a stronger, more versatile, confident person, both in life and work. When I was a kid, [Boston playwright-actor] Ryan Landry and my parents were friends, and he and [director] Jim Byrne came down to New Orleans and did children’s theater. Their energy and spirit was always wildly inspiring to me as a confused youth, to see that you could have such a great time, with bold colors and music and laughter. They’ve been a huge part of shaping my perspective on life.’’

Aspires to: “I aspire to cultivate and honor the creative aspect of my life, and to not, out of fear, settle into something that has a guarantee. Because this is really what scares me and confuses me and makes me happy and teaches me, this art. And I would be remiss if, in 30 years, I’m saying ‘Oh, I used to act.’ ”

For good luck: “As far as a show goes, I feel like the only guarantee is to do all of your preparation and work really hard and fastidiously and then let go and have fun. There’s a ritual of breathing and stretching and moving that I like to do before a show, just to get into a grounded and calm place. And then I do something a little bit stupid, so that I can play a little bit. And then have fun.’’

What people should know: “Something that always shocks people when they really get to know me is how serious of a person I am.”

Coming soon: Through Sept. 14, Landon will be appearing as Prince Charming in Ryan Landry and the Gold Dust Orphans’ “Snow White and the Seven Bottoms’’ at the Provincetown Theater.

Links: www.leicesterlandon.com, www.provincetowntheater.org

DON AUCOIN

Don Aucoin can be reached at aucoin@globe.com.
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