Douglas Peruski: Square Peg for a Big Apple

Douglas Peruski has a Theatre Arts degree from the University of Georgia, where he also studied Computer Science. That second discipline prepared him for work at NCR, who hired him soon after college.

Douglas Peruski spent three years as a systems analyst with NCR. By then, he says he’d had enough, and wanted to return to his first love, the theatre. And as he does, he is working the fallback job of almost every actor, waiting tables at a Greek restaurant called Achilles.

Douglas Peruski

Douglas Peruski

Douglas Peruski says that he had no choice but to reconsider his direction in. “NCR was just taking over my life,” he declares. “I don’t make nearly as much money now, but as a waiter I have a lot more free time.”

Achilles, the popular Greek restaurant that has been a Duluth mainstay since 1938, was a revelation to Douglas Peruski. He says he didn’t know much about Greek food when he first began working there, and didn’t like it much. But he needed work, so he took the job. Now, he says that he loves Greek food. “We have a flatbread machine that makes the most delicious flatbread,” he says. “Your basic Greek flatbread, we use it for gyros – fresh out of that machine? It’s to die for!”

He is also the co-founder and Artistic Director of The Square Peg Players, which he and Thomas Forsythe have built into a thriving acting company and one of the most popular attractions of the Duluth arts scene. But Douglas Peruski says that he and the Square Peg Players are not going to be around Duluth much longer. When the current season ends, he says, he is relocating to New York, along with Thomas and Angela Forsythe. The trio says they hope to establish Square Peg in the Big Apple.

Douglas Peruski: A Star Turn

Douglas Peruski graduated from the University of Georgia with degrees in Theatre Arts and Computer Science. After graduating, he got a job at NCR and stayed there for three years, before resigning to devote himself to acting.

For now, Douglas Peruski supports himself as a waiter at Achilles, a Greek restaurant in his hometown of Duluth, Georgia. “Kind of a cliché,” he concedes. “But acting is what I was meant to do, and if I have to wait on tables for now, then so be it.”

Douglas Peruski

Douglas Peruski

Douglas Peruski has been cast in a series of mostly small roles in regional theatre. He had parts in Mirror Image and Five Actors In Search of a Cell Phone, and got positive reviews for his role as Philip in Not Again!, which Douglas Peruski describes as a screwball comedy.

Not Again! was panned by critics, who nevertheless singled out Douglas Peruski for his performance. “Douglas Peruski, a UGA grad with only limited professional experience, surprises with a star turn in the role of Philip,” wrote Timothy Slater in The Atlanta Constitution. “We look forward to seeing more of this surprising and talented young actor.”

Douglas Peruski has also acted in local TV commercials, including one for dog food, where he was an exasperated dog owner whose pet didn’t like his dog food. He has also had bit parts in several television programs, including the role of Customer #3 in an episode of The Big Bang Theory.

“I love everything about the theatre,” Douglas Peruski says. “Believe me, I don’t want to wait on tables for the rest of my life!”

Douglas Peruski says that his years as a student at the University of Georgia were among the best years of his life. But he is equally sure that the best is yet to come.

Douglas Peruski: Greek Food Suggestions

Douglas Peruski has a Theatre Arts degree from the University of Georgia, where he also minored in Computer Science. He says that he has outgrown Duluth, Georgia, where he has lived most of his life, and is making plans to relocate to New York to try breaking into theatre. In the meantime, he is working as a waiter in a Greek restaurant called Achilles.

Douglas Peruski says that when he first started waiting tables at Achilles, he didn’t care all that much for Greek food. But in the nearly two years he has worked there, he has come to appreciate it as a truly great cuisine. “We have a flatbread machine that makes the most delicious flatbread – your basic Greek flatbread, we use it for gyros – fresh out of that machine? It’s to die for!”

Douglas Peruski

Douglas Peruski

For those who aren’t familiar with all that Greek food has to offer, Douglas Peruski has some suggestions. “Start out with Moussaka,” he says. “It’s probably the most widely recognized of all Greek dishes. It’s an oven-baked casserole, with layered eggplant and spiced meat filling, and it’s topped with a creamy bechamel. The one we make at Achilles is outstanding.”

He also tells those new to Greek food to try pastitsio. “Pastitsio is similar to moussaka,” Douglas Peruski says. “There are three main parts to it – pasta, meat filling, and a creamy bechamel sauce. They’re layered in a pan and baked to golden perfection.”

The best way to end a Greek meal, Douglas Peruski says, is with baklava. “Baklava is a classic Greek pastry. It’s made with a flaky filo dough. It gets layered with a cinnamon-spiced nut mix, and covered in syrup. It’s the perfect finish!”

Douglas Peruski: Waiting Tables, Again

Douglas Peruski is a determined young man who says that his days of waiting tables at Achilles, a Greek restaurant in his hometown of Duluth, Georgia, are numbered.

Douglas Peruski is an aspiring actor. He has been involved with the theatre at different levels ever since he was a freshman in high school, when he got his first taste of acting. With the encouragement of a favorite teacher who mentored the aspiring young actor, Douglas Peruski enrolled in Kennesaw State University, the third largest university in Georgia. He stayed there for two years and got exposed to elements of the theatre that went much deeper than anything he had experienced in high school.

Douglas Peruski

Douglas Peruski

But it wasn’t enough, and after two years, Douglas Peruski transferred to the University of Georgia, which boasts an even better drama department than the one at KSU. It was at UGA that Douglas Peruski had an experience that made a deep impression on the developing actor. “It was in Fundamentals of Play Direction, a required course for drama majors. I had to produce and direct a play. The whole thing was up to me – I even had to cast the actors.” Douglas Peruski selected Fourteen Miles Home, a one-act play by the Irish playwright, Fearchar Flan. “We rehearsed for two months. Then the curtain went up.” Douglas Peruski received an A for that production, and says that being solely responsible for an entire production was one of the greatest learning experiences he had in the theatre.

Now, after some success in the Duluth area, Douglas Peruski is ready to take on New York. He says it is the next logical step for someone who wants to make a career in the theatre, and he is determined to make a go of it. “I’ll probably end up waiting tables again,” he says. “But that’s what out of work actors do, right?”

Douglas Peruski: A Serious Downside

Douglas Peruski is an aspiring actor who currently lives in Duluth, Georgia. He quit a good job as a systems analyst at NCR after three years because he said it was making him unhappy, and preventing him from pursuing his true calling as an actor. Douglas Peruski says quitting his job at NCR was the right thing for him to do at that point in his life. “Sometimes I still miss that big paycheck. But that job had a serious downside.”

Looking back on it now, Douglas Peruski insists he has no regrets. “My first two or three months there were pretty good,” he recalls. “I spent most of my time talking to users to help me understand the business. I also talked to other analysts to make sure there was compatibility between subsystems. After that I was doing a lot of design work, and creating documentation for these designs, including reports, input forms, and programming specifications. That’s when it started getting pretty deadly. But I was paid really well, so I found it easy to put up with.”

Douglas Peruski

Douglas Peruski

Douglas Peruski says he got some on-the-job training to supplement the skills he learned in college. “I coded some of the programs myself, in COBOL and PL/1. I learned how to test systems and how to implement them. I did some technical writing by documenting new systems, including technical documentation and user documentation. But God, it was boring! The only thing I really like about those three years was making friends with all the other analysts, and learning all the time about the business and the technology.”

The turning point came when NCR sent him to train clients in Des Moines, Iowa. “I had to give a speech. And you know what? Being in front of an audience like that reminded me how much I missed theatre. It was no substitute, though. So I decided to quit and do what really wanted to do – act.”

Douglas Peruski: Animals and Children

Douglas Peruski has been actively pursuing an acting career since he quit a good job as a systems analyst at NCR after three years. He has met with some success in the Duluth, Georgia area, but his confident that bigger and better things still await him.

Douglas Peruski has been studying acting since he was fourteen years old. Since earning his degree in Theatre Arts from the University of Georgia, he has appeared in Mirror Image and Five Actors In Search of a Cell Phone, among other productions. Douglas Peruski has also taken singing and dancing lessons, and says his dream is to have a leading role in a production of West Side Story, ideally the part of Tony.

Douglas Peruski

Douglas Peruski

Douglas Peruski has also appeared in several TV commercials in the Duluth market. He even had a taste of fame after appearing in a commercial as an exasperated dog owner whose dog didn’t like his dog food. But while it brought him recognition, the job had a serious drawback. “W.C. Fields said to never work with animals or children,” Douglas Peruski said. “I know what he means. That dog had a couple of trainers, and an owner, all trying to coax him along, but he just wouldn’t cooperate. That was probably my worst experience as an actor.”

Douglas Peruski had a far better experience in a commercial in which he played a shopper looking for a new washing machine. “My clothes are still dirty!” he says, laughing, quoting a line that was much-repeated in the Duluth market.

Douglas Peruski: Admires W.C. Fields

Douglas Peruski is an actor who currently lives and works in Duluth, Minnesota. He is committed to becoming a successful actor, although he knows it is a highly competitive, and sometimes ruthless profession.

As an actor, Douglas Peruski says he has modeled his style on some of the all-time screen greats, like Marlon Brando and Alec Guiness. But one of his real inspirations, he says, has been the comedian W.C. Fields.

“He was an amazing guy,” Douglas Peruski says. “I mean, even before I got into acting, I liked W.C. Fields. He overcame an awful, awful childhood and became this huge star. I think people remember him for acting like a drunk, and for that weird drawl that is so easy to imitate. But he was much more than that – really a complete entertainer.”

Douglas Peruski

Douglas Peruski

Douglas Peruski currently waits on tables to make ends meet, but he spends every spare minute away from work in developing his own career. He has appeared in many local productions, including Not Again! and Mirror Image. He has also been in a series of local TV commercials, including a memorable spot for an appliance store, where his phrase “My clothes are still dirty!” became a popular catch-line.

Douglas Peruski studied acting at Kennesaw State University and the University of Georgia, where he graduated with a degree in Theatre Arts. Although he loves his life in Duluth, he says he is making plans to relocate to New York in the near future, to further his career as an actor.