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BPA’s Justin Lynn recognized for work on stage, film
Justin Lynn never wanted to be an actor in the first place.
He was forced into acting in high school. He didn’t want any part of it. He had a terrible debut on stage, but now he’s racking up awards for recent performances both on stage and film.
Lynn, a perpetual fixture on stage at Bainbridge Performing Arts and a crowd favorite from productions such as “Shrek,” “Avenue Q” and “The Full Monty,” was recently presented a Best Shorts Competition Award of Merit for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Mr. Fey in “A Janitor’s Territory,” and was also named Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Local) by BroadwayWorld.com for his performance in BPA’s “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”
“It’s nice,” he said of his recent accolades. “People will tell you [you did well], and that’s great, but after 15 years of ‘That was really good and $200 a play’ it’s nice to get a little physical something, some recognition.”
Lynn said he was especially proud of the BroadwayWorld.com award, as winners must be nominated and then chosen by other theater professionals from around the country.
“It’s a bunch of different actors who are nominating you and voting for you, so it’s from your peers,” he explained.
Currently taking some time off from the stage to pursue a gemology degree, Lynn works as a jewelry designer and apprentice gemologist at Gilbert Thomas Jewelry in downtown Winslow. He hopes to return to BPA later this year for the slated production of “Spamalot.”
“I have to audition, of course,” he laughed. “But I would like to come back and maybe do that. That would be cool.”
Lynn, a 2003 Bainbridge High School graduate, said he began his acting career reluctantly in 2001, while still at BHS.
“Bob McAllister is the one who got me into theater,” he remembered. “I was depressed because this good friend of mine [committed suicide] in the summer, and I didn’t know about it. I found out and was super bummed. He saw I was bummed.”
It was then that McAllister offered Lynn a part in the class production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
Actually, he insisted.
“It was like, ‘If you don’t do this I’m going to fail you,’” Lynn said in his characteristically nonchalant manner. “That was my very first thing I ever did. I was the angry father. I accidentally knelt on a tack my first time on stage and forgot all my lines.”
Somehow, despite those cringe-worthy early days, Lynn was indeed bitten by the theater bug, and not just the acting kind.
“I am a writer,” he said. “I’ve written a few things that have been put up in various states. I would love to direct. I have done so in college, I’d love to direct again someday.”
Lynn said he has enjoyed every show at BPA and hopes to make his official directorial debut there someday.
“The whole staff at BPA is insanely good right now,” he said. “I want to be on the other side [too]. It will be interesting to help somebody else form a character, helping someone walk the line. I think every actor should direct and I think every director should act.”