Tim Cummings should be neck deep in pilot scripts and big job offers. He should be talking to his agent everyday saying things like “I’ll shoot that film if I can still do that play with Annette.” He should have a hit cable series and have his choice at little heartfelt dramas he shoots on his hiatus which screen in Park City. Hell, Mr. Cummings should be able to demand blue M&M’s if he wants!
But Tim Cummings doesn’t have that. Not yet.
Cummings is one of these insanely talented guys that are working their asses off everyday giving brilliant performances time-in and time-out. I understand that this may be a biased opinion but if you start mentioning his name around town you’ll see that it’s not just me that thinks this. In fact, it’s pretty apparent by mile-long resume.
Growing up in both Bay Ridge Brooklyn and Port Jefferson, Cummings was the youngest of six children to a fire captain and an opera singer. “When I was eleven, I was asked by my music teacher to audition for a play and when I got the lead I never really looked back,” Cummings says. “I was grateful to have a supportive family and school counselors which was rare around the macheesmo-ness of Brooklyn and Long Island. So I decided to go all in with this acting thing.”
When the time came, Cummings focused his artistic energy deciding on New York University for his acting training. “NYU was the best program at the time, and when I got in, there was no question where I was going… despite the cost,” Cummings says through his deep resonate laugh. “I loved NYU. I trained at Stella Adler, then the Experimental Theatre Wing, and was able to minor in Sociology. It was worth every cent.”
After graduating Cummings began working with Annie-B Parson’s company, Big Dance Theater. “We were doing very cool experimental movement based work, toured all around New York and eventually all of Europe too,” Cummings says. “It was a great way to transition out of college and into the real world.” But after bouncing around on tours for a couple of years, Cummings found solace in working at home, in one place. “I landed at The Flea in New York and did a lot of work with them. It was my graduate school,” Cummings says.
After September 11, The Flea’s Artistic Director, Jim Simpson, wanted to explore the tragedy of that day and produced a play with the intention of healing New York. Simpson developed a beautiful play called The Guys, which tells the story of a fire-captain dealing with the insurmountable task of writing the eulogies of his men and the journalist who helps him. “With my father being a fire captain, I had an understanding of that deep responsibility. So when Jim asked me to understudy Bill Murray, as honored as I was, I felt like I had a bigger story to tell.” Cummings says. “When you’re telling stories that really resonate with people there is no deeper honor. It’s why we do this, right?”
Working beside Susan Sarandon and Sigourney Weaver in The Guys lead to Cummings’ Broadway debut in the revival of Frankie & Johnny with Stanley Tucci and Edie Falco directed by Tony Winner, Joe Mantello. “Broadway is an actor’s dream! I loved every moment on that stage but at some point you feel like there might be more. It’s that human thing,” Cummings says. “Los Angeles was calling.”
Since Cummings has landed in Los Angeles his resume has not stopped growing with reputable credits. Though, he doesn’t have his series (yet!), Cummings is a consistent nominee/winner of all things theatre in Los Angeles including the 2014 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award and 2014 LA WEEKLY Award nominations for Best Lead Actor for his brutally honest performance in The Normal Heart at The Fountain Theatre.
Most recently, Cummings was seen in the World Premiere of Gregory S Moss’ Reunion, a World Premiere production directed by Adrienne Campbell-Holt down at South Coast Repertory last month. Which means Mr. Tim Cummings is available… and someone should cast him on that series now! Do us all a favor.