Normally when actor Steve Routman settles down to work on a period piece – and Other People’s Money is most assuredly that, being set in the late 1980s – he takes a look at photos of the time period and might read up a little bit on what era he’s going to be working in. In this case, it wasn’t necessary in the slightest.
Routman arrived in New York City in 1985 from his hometown in the Midwest, set on seeing whether or not he could make it in the theatre business. He was far away from the New York City of the Wall Street types depicted in Other People’s Money. Routman plays Coles, president of the firm under siege from corporate raiders in the play.
“It was a very exciting city. It still is. It was dangerous in a way. It had a little edge to it that is different than now. I had very fond personal memories of being a young actor trying to be able to do what I do,” he said.
The differences between then and now are obvious – and quite seismic in their effects. “There was the shift from a non-computer based culture to a computer based culture … Nobody had a cell phone, nobody had a lap top. Pretty much everything was done by mail. Things were a little slower even though it was the late 1980s. It was a good exercise to remember that knowledge wasn’t shared at the rapidity that it is now,” he said.
Routman is enjoying his trip back in time. Just what were his fond personal memories of that time period? “Well, I had hair. That was one of my fondest memories. I actually owned a comb,” he joked.