David Merten and Queen’s English
For actor David Merten, relationships are the fuel for life. “What keeps me going is the ensemble of people I have built in my personal life,” said David. “That’s what my New York is based around.”
This quote also rings true for Gabe, the lead character on Queen’s English, a new “gay web series about some messy queens just trying to make it through adulthood in one piece – with money left over for Sunday mimosas.”
It’s no surprise that the connections that make up David’s New York community led to him getting cast as Gabe. David met Tyler Dwiggins, the show’s creator and showrunner, while both were studying at Ball State University in Indiana. They kept in touch over the years, with David hoping for the chance to develop roles in Tyler’s shows after they both moved to New York.
When David heard that Tyler was writing Queen’s English, he asked if he could audition and was struck by his quick connection to the role of Gabe. “I immediately felt my voice on the page in this character before I was even able to put my own spin on it,” said David.
Leading this ensemble of queer friends came easily for David, who already knew many of his cast mates. “Even when it was stressful and even when things went wrong, there was a base level of joy and of camaraderie,” said David. This comes through on screen, helping the audience to deeply invest in Gabe’s relationships with his friends.
While queer visibility is always important, David believes that the significance of the stories Queen’s English tells is deeper than that. “So often, [queer stories] are centered around struggles or are issue-based,” said David. “While that is so deeply important… that’s not our day-to-day life all the time.”
The writing on Queen’s English goes well beyond this, exploring many facets of queer relationships. “They also have moments of joy and moments of laughter, friendship and camaraderie… I think we don’t see that enough,” said David. “At the end of the day, it’s about them being human.”
“Yes, these people are a diverse group and represent different sexual orientations and queerness, but we’re watching them have fun,” said David. “We’re watching them make mistakes. We’re laughing with them, laughing at them. And I think it’s a great representation of different humans who we can enjoy the company of.”
Because of its well-crafted storytelling, David finds Queen’s English universally relatable: “If you’ve ever lived in New York or been in your 20s or made a series of humorous, yet unfortunate mistakes, you will see yourself in the trials and tribulations of this group of humans and hopefully laugh along the way.”
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Published in collaboration with The Ensemblist