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Help Yourself

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Lauren Hunter
June 10, 2013

What is your job on this show?
Writer and Performer.

What is your show about?
A native New Yorker searches for true enlightenment and the right shade of blonde.

When did you know you wanted to work in the theater, and why?
I was born and raised in NYC. When I was a babe, mom hung custom-made curtains on a clothesline over a platform in my bedroom and I put on plays for the doormen on the upper west side. It was during the times of indie restaurants, hookers and rent control. You know, when it was cool up there. She took me to see Off Off Broadway plays with naked people in hell and raved about Bette Midler in the bathhouses. My first stage production was Really Rosie for an after-school program at Columbia Prep. I choose the play after seeing it Off Broadway. It was an age-appropriate option (thanks mom). There were bright lights, boas, hand-held mics and a full 99-seat house. I was Rosie. I was good. I was hooked.

Why do you do theater (as opposed to film, or TV, or something not in the entertainment field)?
There is nothing like the thrill of being in the darkness with 20 to 500 other people and no one really knows what is going to happen when the curtain goes up. It's incredible to share space, stories, and even air with a live audience and experience responses, be they laughter or tears, in real time. Theatre is a moment in time, and that's all any of us really has. So it's great to have it together.

How did you meet your fellow artists/collaborators on this show?
My director, Kitty Lindsay, and I were both accepted to The LAByrinth Theater Company's Intensive Ensemble, an exclusive annual residential week of workshops and new play development that enables emerging artists to push their boundaries, create their own work, be part of a collaborative ensemble, and generate vital new theater. We all lived on top of each other in college dorms for a week and created theatre together 24/7, sleeping little and laughing a lot. The program had a "just-do-it" philosophy and that is what we're doing.

Which “S” word best describes your show: SMOOTH, SEXY, SMART, SURPRISING?
Seriously, I know everyone says this, but all of the above! My director thinks so too! Like literally. It's personal, funny and never predictable. I talk about and use my brilliant body and my bodacious brain!

Can theater bring about societal change? Why or why not?
I have always believed the personal is political. The only way to bring about societal change is by changing as individuals within that society. Every time I make theatre, or see theatre, I am changed, along with everyone else in the audience. I have been so moved by certain shows, that I walked out a different, more compassionate, more enlightened, and more open human being.