It’s not everyday that you meet a man who, in less than sixty minutes, reflects every person you once were, attempted to be, tried not to be, or too scared to become.
But George A. Peters II (pictured), aka George 2.0, in his one-man show “Any1man” is, indeed, all of those men during his hour-long stage performance.
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If you were that game-talking brotha who got close to a girl’s heart, but eventually ditched her when things got too serious (e.i., commitment issues) George 2.0 can be that man. And he can also be the 17-year-old former you armed with Skittles and iced tea who got popped yards away from his home by a wannabe cop.
Why You Are “Any1man”
As I sat in the Poets Den Gallery in East Harlem last week awaiting Peters’ entrance on stage, he was, unbeknownst to me, lying on a small flight of stairs less than ten feet away from my seat in full character ready to start the show. The stage light focused on him, a homeless man rising from a night’s slumber on the streets. He began talking with the audience about his college degree (“bet cha wouldn’t think that,” he asked the audience) and how he feels folks see him as an inconvenience.
“Can ya give me 35…45 cents,” he asked us several times during the show.
Check Out Peters Playing “Bishop” from “Any1man” in this YouTube Video Below
Peters says his comfort conversing with audiences and making them a part of the script is a skill he picked up during his thespian days performing in theater programs at Morehouse and Spelman Colleges in Atlanta.
“…A play can be a conversation whether or not that meant walking out into the play with that in mind or whether or not the play was so lose that you could have a conversation with people,” Peters told me during a recent phone interview.
During one part of his performance, he was that dreamer you have deep inside. You know, the one that makes you blush with optimism, yet are too afraid to bring out in public for fear of being viewed as naive. Or, as Obama described during his successful 2008 Presidential campaign, a “hope monger.”
“Where most people ask why, I ask why not, said Man Tan, the intellectual ponderer Peters portrays during his one-man performance. Of all of the characters he morphs into and out of, Peters said Man Tan is the one with whom he most associates.
Peters performed “Any1man” for the first time on May 14, 2005 at the Rialto Theater in Atlanta and has been performing the show almost yearly since. He applied to New York University’s Theater School soon after finishing Morehouse with a degree in English. But he didn’t make the cut. One of the officials from the school approached Peters after he got the bad news and encouraged him not to give up acting and that, just maybe, the program was not a good fit for him anyway.
He went home and wrote up much of the screenplay for “Any1man” soon after.
When Peters is not performing the show, he’s traveling the world as a stage manager and performing in other plays. The New Jersey native, who currently lives in Brooklyn, truly loves taking center stage and sharing as much of it with you as he can.
“…I love to look at somebody and ask them, What time is it? What chu got on? Where you coming from? And dare them to respond outwardly and challenge them to emote.”
If you’re in the New York City area, you can see George 2.0 perform “Any1man” this from Thursday, May 17 to Sunday, May 20 at the Poets Den Gallery And Theater in Harlem. If you are not in the city, you can view some of George 2.0’s work on his YouTube page.
Whether you watch him on your PC or live, “Any1man” is sure to make you “emote.”