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iMime, There’s An App For That

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Kirsten Stephens
January 21, 2013

What is your job on this show?
Everything.

What is your show about?
The ultimate low-tech adventure of human nature in a high-tech world.

Where were you born? Where were you raised? Where did you go to school?
I was born in Denver but raised globally. Growing up, my family lived in Libya, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Scotland, Bahrain, Wyoming and Oklahoma. Then I went to Paris (France, not Texas) on my own to attend l'Ecole Internationale de Mimodrame de Marcel Marceau. I had three years of studying with Marceau and an amazing faculty of brilliant professionals in dance and various styles of mime. That was an amazing experience.

Who is more important in the theater: the actor, the playwright, or the director?
I chose to delve into mime and movement theater in large part because it allows me to be all three at the same time. All three roles are crucial, but there are no scripts for what I do. And when you make movement primary, the actors necessarily have a larger role in determining the overall feel and direction of the play. This is true even in an ensemble with a director because you have to work with the bodies you have. It is even more so with a solo show like iMime.

Is there a particular moment in this show that you really love or look forward to? Without giving away surprises, what happens in that moment and why does it jazz you?
Well, there's this thing I do with a roll of tape. At first the audience doesn't know what I'm doing and they get really curious. Then there's this audible gasp when they see it. I love that, it's just magic. Occasionally one person gets it before everyone else, and that cracks me up. I'm not going to tell you what it is though... you have to come see the show.

Which cartoon character would you identify your show with: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Mickey Mouse, Marge Simpson?
Daffy Duck. I'm definitely more in the Warner Bros. cartoon style than Disney. And whereas Bugs is always in control even when he's being hunted, Daffy is full of bluster but never quite master of his situation. Quite a few of my characters could identify with that.

Who are your heroes?
Besides Marcel Marceau, who performed a 2 hour solo show into his 80's, Buster Keaton, Chaplin, Red Skelton, Danny Kaye, Lucille Ball and Tex Avery (cartoons again!). Also physical comedy is a very male dominated field, so Imogene Coca and Nanette Fabray, who worked with Sid Ceasar, are very strong female roll models for me.