Page 2 of 3
What has been your most positive experience working in the arts in New York City?
You’re surrounded with incredibly smart people. Interesting people. The cliché when I was in college was that actors were completely narcissistic and vapid. I haven’t met too many that are vapid… narcissistic? Well, we do get onstage and demand people listen to us for a living!
Also, the wealth of diversity in programming… there will always be arguments for there to be even more choices and greater risk taking from the producing houses. But, it’s always amazing to think in a ten block radius of the Village you can see 6 or 7 shows from all over the world at Under the Radar, classical rep at the Pearl, whatever’s going on in Richard Foreman’s head at St. Mark’s and anything from the Universes to Naomi Wallace at New York Theatre Workshop.
What has been your worst experience working in the arts in New York City?
No one’s making enough money will always be a cry here. Though, if you mean individual experience, I did a show when I was right out of undergrad that was some weird investigation of Glass Menagerie set in Cold War Europe. It was pretty awful. I just remember our director made us do these weird bastardizations of viewpoint exercises where we would spend hours walking around the room knocking on things. Knocking on doors, windows, plants, each other… all as we repeated lines like “I do believe you have a gentleman caller” in monotonous Russian accents. Amazingly, here I am.
What’s your favorite New York City venue to work in? What do you like about it?
I really miss Chashama and it’s very rough aesthetic planted in the middle of Midtown. The Pearl is a wonderful little theater and La Mama E.T.C. The Pearl is amazing just knowing that the former Artistic Director and some of the acting company, quite literally built that theater with their own hands. La Mama is rough as well – but with such a cool sense of history – it’s like a totem pole of theater as well: the three spaces are built right on top of one another so as you walk up the stairs every floor greets you with a new theatrical world.
What’s your favorite New York City venue to see a show in? What do you like about it?
I really like the Barrow Street. There’s nothing really distinct about the space itself but I’ve just really enjoyed the work I’ve seen produced there. I feel like I should be saying things about the architecture or the seats, but there’s nothing at Barrow Street that makes me think “wow, how beautiful.” Well, except for the ending of Gone Missing by the Civilians. The work pretty much ties me to the theater more than overall environment I suppose. (Though, I’ll throw in the basement at the Flea just because it’s always fun to receive a beer with your ticket).
If, for whatever reason, you could no longer work in theater, what would you do?
I’d love to be an investigative journalist. Like Hunter S. Thompson but without the drugs. Just living within your assignment is fascinating to me – like going to a foreign country and being part of the community as you go about creating an accurate conception of this moment in time. That is something I fantasize about even now…