nytheatre.com q&a preview by Diana Oh
July 13, 2012
What is your job on this show?
Are there boundaries as to what kind of theatre you will take part in?
I'd say this play is pushing my boundaries pretty darn a lot. I've agreed to play a character who wants to take her clothes off in front of people. BUT if there's anything I've learned in my research it's that Burlesque is a truly powerful art form. IT IS YOUR VERY OWN 3-5 MINUTE SELF-MADE SELF-HONORING SELF-REVOLUTION. WOW. My job here on in is to work as diligently as I can to make an incredibly powerful statement about our bodies and about what makes us human. Which is terrifying. And thrilling. And foreign. And mysterious. And fun. And of course when I begin to question my boundaries, when the fear creeps back in and I begin to worry about what people might say, I have to ask myself, "When I'm seventy am I going to be happier that I tried twirling or that I got too scared and shied away from it for all the wrong reasons?" Once I ask myself that, the answer becomes VERY VERY clear to me. Burlesque isn't the sum of all parts of me, nor is it for the character of Bana but it certainly provokes a subversive alter-ego that begs to be exercised. So I'm taking this act of self-expression for a run. And lemme tell ya, I think if social judgment didn't exist, we'd all be burlesque dancers. Bankers, teachers, all of us. Maybe that's what college graduation really should be--a mandatory burlesque show where everyone participates.
Complete this sentence: My show is the only one in FringeNYC that...?
features a Kanye West cover and an original song I wrote on baritone uke. I originally wrote that our show is the only show that features a young woman with paraplegia...but maybe there's another show in Fringeland that has that? By the way, I must say that the character of Bana (our young woman with paraplegia) is probably one of the best written characters I have ever come across in my life.
Are there any cautions or warnings you’d like to make about the show (e.g., not appropriate for little kids)?
Get ready to feel complicated things. You will laugh, you will get upset, you will get turned on (don't sit next to your mother), and after watching our show you will either want to a) break up with your partner/boyfriend/girlfriend/lover/spouse or b) love your partner/boyfriend/girlfriend/lover/spouse even more.
People who like which of the following recent Broadway shows would also probably like your show: THE BOOK OF MORMON, ONCE, DEATH OF A SALESMAN, CLYBOURNE PARK?
Once. Though the movie version not the stage version--Broadway ruins things sometimes. When I saw Once (the movie version) I was changed forever. There probably isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about that movie and how and why it was made. I love Once. And I love Magic Trick. Glen Hansard is the real deal and I feel that way about Mariah MacCarthy. She is the voice of our generation. If you haven't seen a Mariah MacCarthy play...you're missing out on something special.
If you had ten million dollars that you had to spend on theatrical endeavors, how would you use the money?
I would buy a sweet apartment and fill it with artists so we were constantly creating with one another. And this sweet apartment has an amphitheatre that people visit to watch film, music, theatre, or dance performances. And everything would be really quality work because it would be all we were doing. I would pimp my Filling the Well artist's retreat out even more. I'd buy a trailer to transport artists back and forth from Filling the Well to the city. I'd live in that trailer too. This is Filling the Well: www.fillingthewell.org. Yes, with my 10 million dollars, I'd devote myself to creating an X-Men school for artists.