By Meredith Hughes
It’s a classic coronavirus tale. A guy hops a quick flight home to the Albuquerque area from Los Angeles to celebrate his niece’s fourth birthday, and to nd preside over a couple days of workshops.
But over a month later, he’s still there. And he has not yet seen his niece. Her mom, his sister, is a doctor, so there are lockdown issues. We’re talking about Corrales’ Alex Knight, son of Chris Allen and Paul Knight, improv meister who headed to LA about three years ago to find fame, fortune, or maybe just a few good parts in television and film.
He has not fared too poorly, laughing in a phone interview that his agent wishes he were younger. He’s 35. Right before COVID-19 hit, Knight and some fellow improv actors were building a stage in a rented space, getting set to commit to a decent lease. They were readying “The Improv Space” to open on Santa Monica Boulevard in West LA, busy defining the roles of assorted board members… but everything went belly up.
Knight began his acting career playing an alien in a Corrales Elementary school show at 10, then sang and danced in “A Chorus Line” at Sandia Prep. He jumped from elementary ed, to theater ed, to finally just theater, as his major at the University of New Mexico, from which he graduated in 2007.
Thereafter he worked for several years with Tricklock, an Albuquerque theater company established in 1993, which is dedicated to collaborative “innovative devised theatre,” as in creating plays/performance pieces, as well as international cultural exchange.
As a core company member of Tricklock, Knight traveled to Uganda, Poland, Ukraine and Serbia, acting, directing and teaching. He also tried out for a range of films made in New Mexico. appearing in a few of them. His latest gig was a role in “Narcos: Mexico,” a Netflix production.
Then came an unexpected prize for his role in an 11-minute film called “Home Movies,” created by Albuquerque filmmaker and director Keagan Karnes. It’s about a brother and sister who uncomfortably discover their recently deceased father had a hoard of porn films hidden in his belongings. The Las Cruces International Film Festival dubbed the flick “Best New Mexico Film.”
Improvisational, creative spontaneity is not a bad tool for these times, is it? Living for the time-being in Albuquerque with his girl friend, Knight has launched what he calls Alex Knight’s Weekly Improv Digital Bootcamp, a Zoom gathering focused on scene study and group discussion. It’s on Tuesdays, six p.m. MST. To sign up, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There’s also “The One Night Stanleys,” a gang of improv guys including Knight whose work turns up on twitch.tv, a live stream service. And the Home Alone Film Challenge on Instagram, wherein “you make a five-minute short in 50 hours.”
“Each filmmaker must write, direct, edit, act and submit a short by themselves.”
Knight’s is called “The Big Day.” He plays a handful of people, bearded, has murderous thoughts, and allows a cat and a dog a few seconds screen time as well. View “The Big Day” at https://www.instagram.com/p/B_QUAN5F7LY Another project in which Knight was to have had a role, that just has not (yet) happened, is a television series called “Evel,” starring Milo Ventimiglia. The USA Network limited project is based on the life of daredevil Evel Knievel, “as he prepares for his greatest death-defying feat —the legendary Snake River Canyon jump in 1974.” (Knievel broke only his nose on that one.)
Evidently two episodes were shot this year before everything imploded. More executive producers are listed in connection to the series than actors, but still, Knight said that most of his expenses, including rent on a shared small apartment in LA, are being covered by the residuals from his array of assorted TV and film appearances in recent years.