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A Voice in My Head

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Joe Lannen
June 20, 2013

What is your job on this show?
Actor.

What is your show about?
A Voice in My Head - Secrets, lies, and Snickers.

Where were you born? Where were you raised? Where did you go to school?
I was born in Detroit, MI and have lived here my entire life. I love to travel but there is something about being from Detroit. We understand what is is like to be down and to have to bounce back and start again. This city has taught me to never quit, no matter how much at times I may want to. I attended St. Mary's of Redford for elementary and high school.I have the nuns to thank (for what I am not quite sure). I have degrees from Eastern MI, Mercy College, and Wayne State University majoring in Special Education. I also have a Specialist Degree in Education Administration.

Complete this sentence: My show is the only one opening in NYC this summer that...?
features a husband and wife team. I am very proud to say that my wife, Debbie Lannen is the playwright and director of A Voice In My Head. We met 30 years ago doing dinner theatre in Detroit. She was the choreographer and I was Nick Arnstein in Funny Girl. On a scale of 1-5, she rated my dancing a 2. Lucky for me I was given private lessons. Over the years, Debbie and I have acted alongside each other as well as my performing in her various plays she has written. We are quite a team.

How did you meet your fellow artists/collaborators on this show?
As I mentioned previously, I met Debbie Lannen, my wife, while doing dinner theatre in Detroit. For many years Debbie was the director at the Marquis Theatre which specializes in children's theatre. That is where we both met my fellow actor in the production, Ashley Shamoon. She was 7 years old when she auditioned for her first part at the Marquis. I have acted alongside Ashley as she has grown as an actor. She followed in my wife's footsteps and attended Wayne State University in their BFA program and is now ready to take on NYC. This production will be her introduction to the city. We couldn't be prouder of her.

Which “S” word best describes your show: SMOOTH, SEXY, SMART, SURPRISING?
SURPRISING would be my choice. You will have to come and see A Voice in My Head to find out why.

If you had ten million dollars that you had to spend on theatrical endeavors, how would you use the money?
My salary would be 9 million. No, seriously, I would use the money to fund free performances and tours. I believe theatre is important to everyone, whether they realize it or not. Having done children's theater for so many years, I see the enjoyment and excitement when the audience attends a live production. Being able to share this experience throughout the world at no cost would be amazing. It would help to bring enjoyment, teach audiences to appreciate theatre, and create a few jobs along the way. Doesn't get much better than that!