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"Call Me Adam" chats with...

Entries in New York City (61)

Friday
Jul252014

Call Answered: Lorraine Rodríguez-Reyes: Mami Confessions

Lorraine Rodríguez-Reyes"Call Me Adam" chats with award winning actress and playwright Lorraine Rodríguez-Reyes about her one woman show Mami Confessions, which was THE ONE Festival's winning show, will now have an encore run NYC from July 30-August 3 at Teatro Circulo (64 East 4th Street). Click here for tickets! 

Mami Confessions is about becoming a MOM, being a MOM. What does it mean? How does it change and define us? Lorraine Rodríguez-Reyes went on a personal quest and interviewed a host of fascinating women who were brave enough to share their stories. Mami Confessions gives us insight into these amazing women. Lorraine Rodríguez-Reyes remarkably channels the lives of fifteen women with a thread of her own life experiences. 

For more on Lorraine be sure to follow her on Twitter!

1. From July 30-August 3, your show Mami Confessions will be playing Teatro Circulo in NYC. You created this show by interviewing 15 women about their journey in becoming and being a mom as well as talking about your own. What made you want to write the show with everyone's story and not just your own? I found that once I became a Mother...I was accepted into a secret society. I experienced women confiding in me, sharing their deepest secrets and fears. I discovered that motherhood is not the same for everyone. We all have different experiences, philosophies and emotions.This has also been a cathartic and healthy experience for me to share their stories as well as my own.

2. How did you decide which stories to keep and which ones not to use? This was the most difficult because every story was important. I decided to hire Jane Barnette a dramaturg, she helped me find the arc of the story.

3. What is it like to channel all of these woman? How do you prepare yourself for quickly jumping between stories? I found this part fascinating. I am not imitating them - I have been merely capturing their essence/energy. I used character work, speech patterns, physicality, and dialects. I used costumes as a vehicle into the character and to catapult me into the next story.

4. What excited you about having Mami Confessions in the ONE Festival? How did you feel this festival nurtured the show in a way another one might not? The festival enabled us to explore and incubate the script. For the actual festival, the show was 30 min. Once we won it was back to the drawing board...we had to make it a 50 min production. The festival has been a part of the growth of the play.

5. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing Mami Confessions? I hope the audiences can relate to the stories and have moments of connection. For the non - mothers I hope it is an educational process. I would also like to increase the empathy for the challenges of motherhood. I also hope Mami Confessions incites conversation.

Lorraine Rodríguez-Reyes rehearsing for "Mami Confessions"6. Who or what inspired you to become a playwright/performer? When I was expecting my first child, I had this yearning to write my story. As women spoke to me about their experiences, I felt I had a responsibility to share their stories. Playwrights Marco A. Rodriguez and Carmen Rivera encouraged and supported me during the process. They also convinced me that I needed to be the actor in the piece.

7. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? That is a very long list! The first person that comes to mind is Sandra Bullock. She comes from the theatre world. I admire her ability to do comedic work as well as prolific dramas.

8. You are recurring guest star on What Would You Do. What do you like most about being on this show? How do the stories make you think about what would you do in a similar situation? Working on WWYD has made me more aware of my surroundings. Being a native of NYC you tend to block out all of the chaos. I also feel less fearful in putting myself out there.

Lorraine Rodríguez-Reyes rehearsing for "Mami Confessions"9. What's the best advice you've ever received? Always be yourself and have fun on the journey.

10. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer/playwright? There are many facets of myself I discovered on this beautiful journey. Some I love and others not so much. I have realized I am tenacious and I truly love telling a story.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

11. As it turns out, we have something in common. The American Repertory Theatre. I used to work there when I lived in Boston and you trained with their program. I know what a great program they have, but how do you feel their training prepared you for a life in the arts? Yippy! That is exciting. A.R.T. kept us on a vigorous 6 day schedule, Monday being the only day we had off. We were also working on multiple projects simultaneously. This happens often in the real world. You may be filming, then heading to your 8pm curtain...I also believe studying at the Moscow Art Theatre School truly gave me the necessary training to truly be a malleable actor.

12. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? Time Turner from Harry Potter for a super power. 

13. If you could be any original flavor lifesaver, which flavor would you be? Pineapple.

14. Favorite skin care product? Anything that is on sale. :)

15. How do you want to be remembered? A loving, caring and generous person.

Lorraine Rodríguez-ReyesMore on Lorraine:

Lorraine Rodríguez-Reyes received her MFA from Harvard’s American Repertory Theatre (A.R.T.)/Moscow Art Theatre Institute for Advanced Theatre Training, illuminating an acting career that has led her to the stages of the Cherry Lane Theatre (Verse Chorus Verse), Mint Theatre (On the Edge), Repertorio Español (La Gringa), Theatre Row (A Bicycle Country, Dog Day Afternoon) and so many others. Lorraine’s love of character development is what makes her such a versatile actor and she insists it’s difficult to choose favorites, but if pressed, she may tell you she’s quite fond of Three Sisters, performed at Columbia Stages, Dostoevsky Demons, performed at Moscow Art Theatre, Melancholy, a show she did at the beginning of her career at Harvard, directed by Scott Zigler and the role of "La Extraña" in De Dónde at The Looking Glass Theatre, which earned her an OOBer Award.

Lorraine’s on-camera work is nearly as prolific as her stage work. Some highlights include the HBO mega-hit series, The Sopranos, as "Nurse Ramirez" & on ABC, as a recurring Guest Star on What Would You Do?

In film, Lorraine again joined team HBO as part of the HBO International Latino Film Festival as "Carmen" in Taught to Hate. Another of her many film projects, Willets Point, an independent film by TJ Collins, made its World Premiere at the Quad Cinema in New York City. For her performance as "Doris," one of Willets Point’s leads, Lorraine was nominated for Best Dramatic Actress at The Long Island International Film Expo.

Wednesday
Jul232014

Call Answered: Joey Oglesby: Friday Night Lights and Lone Star

Joey Oglesby"Call Me Adam" chats with actor Joey Oglesby about starring in NBC's Friday Night Lights and Contemporary Theatre of Dallas' mounting of James McLure's Lone Star through July 26 at Theatre Row's Clurman Theatre in NYC (410 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Avenue). Click here for tickets!

1. From July 5-July 26 you will be starring in Contemporary Theatre of Dallas' production of Lone Star, written by James McLure's about a pair of Texas "good ol’ boys" who go carousing on a Saturday night. What made you want to audition for this show? I was in a production of Lone Star in 2006 with Contemporary Theatre of Dallas and was offered an opportunity to do the show again. I also directed the show in college and played "Roy" (I play "Ray" in this one) in high school. So I have a great familiarity and affection for the play and jumped at the opportunity to do it here in New York.

2. What do you identify most with about your character? His non-judgmental and affable demeanor. Unlike his brother "Roy," "Ray" takes everyone at their best. In a lot of ways he is like a puppy dog, willing to please and be friends with anyone who accepts him and generally concerned for those he cares about. I sort of base him on my Great Dane Bruce: he is simple, easily distracted and sometimes his instincts lead him to make some bad decisions, but ultimately he doesn't have a malicious bone in his body.

Mike Schraeder and Joey Oglesby in "Lone Star", Photo Credit: Julie Ann Arbiter3. What made you want to work with Contemporary Theatre of Dallas? This is my third time working with CTD: Lone Star previously and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Over that time I have become very close to the Loncars, who founded the theatre. They have been tremendous supporters of both me and many other artists in the Dallas area, both in Dallas and as they left to pursue their careers in other places. Sue is very loyal and when she asked me to be apart of her dream to take the show to New York, I gladly accepted.

4. What excites you about performing in NYC? I lived here in the early 2000s after college, so just returning to do a play is fantastic. But I love the simple things about it: riding the train to work, the busy streets after the performance, the education of the patrons. Theatre is more alive here than any other place in the world. So to be a small part of that is exhilarating after a hiatus from the stage while pursuing my film and tv career.

5. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing Lone Star? First of all and most importantly, I hope they laugh. But more than that, I hope they are able to see the current relevancy of the script 30 plus years after it was written. Yes, this is a play about small-town Texas and big personalities and sometimes simple people. But at its heart, Lone Star is about a soldier coming home from Vietnam, struggling with PTSD, trying to find his way in a world that continued on without him. And those things are happening every day, everywhere in this country as we face the consequences of sending our soldiers to war. There is a huge cost (our current soldiers suicide epidemic being the most pressing) of this tremendous sacrifice and, between the laughs, this is Lone Star’s true meaning.

Mike Schraeder and Joey Oglesby in "Lone Star", Photo Credit: Julie Ann Arbiter6. Texas has played a big part in both your personal and professional life. Not only were you born in Texas, but Lone Star takes place in Texas, and you played "Guy Raston" in Season 2 on NBC's Friday Night Lights, which also took place in Texas. Why do you think so much of your work has been with Texas based projects? I spent about half my childhood in the suburbs and half in tiny towns in Texas and Tennessee, so I  I have a a lot of personal experience around rural, southern characters. I also have a blue collar look and there were times in my career where I really fought that casting and didn't want to always play lower class characters. But as I have gotten older, I have embraced it more and found that there is a lot of range with which you can play these characters. And it doesn't always have to be Texans, sometimes it's Oakland street thugs or a immigrant New Yorker. And working mostly on camera the last 7 years, you learn the camera doesn't lie so you better figure out who you are, how you come across, embrace it and get damn good at playing it.

7. Speaking of Friday Night Lights, what did you enjoy most about your time on that show? Everything.  It was my first major film/TV experience and it couldn't have been a more perfect scenario. Coming from the stage where you aren't worried about camera angles or hitting marks, I was given absolute freedom with their filming style. The show shot on three steady cams with the camera operators moving around the scene throughout each take. And if possible they would try to edit the scene from the same take, using edits from each of the cameras to give a more accurate depiction of the arc of that particular take.

I think it is one of the reasons why the acting on the show was universally praised and appreciated for its authenticity. In the audition process, after going through the sides, most of the guest star actors were basically put through a lengthy improvised interview of the character. It was intense, but the director Jeffrey Reiner wanted to make sure we were able to keep up with the sometimes improvised nature of the show. Before the first day I shot, Reiner basically told me, "I don't care what you do, where you move, or what you say, just be the character you were in the audition room." So there was a lot of trust given to the actors, even the guest star ones like me, and I think it shows in the great performances throughout the show.

Mike Schraeder and Joey Oglesby in "Lone Star", Photo Credit: Julie Ann Arbiter8. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? I was always dressing up and doing some sort of "Top Gun" or Weird Al lip synchs or Sunday school skits, etc, as a kid, and I was also an athlete, so it was pretty obvious I liked to be in front of an audience. From an early age, I loved Saturday Night Live and grew up watching Dana Carvey, Chris Farley, and the rest. But I had one cementing experience my senior year in my major studies high school program at Plano East High (outside of Dallas). One of my classmates wrote a play about the loss of her younger brother to a drinking and driving accident and I was cast to play him. And although it was only one performance and just a high school play, the spiritual experience of that night changed me forever. All of her family came to see the show and the beautiful and emotional, cathartic and magical experience I was apart of that night left me knowing how important this form of art is and how I desperately wanted to be a part of it as a career. And getting to be a part of Fruitvale Station last year, where I got to once again be a part of the telling of a story of a son gone too soon was inbcredibly fulfilling.

9. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? Bryan Cranston. I have a couple friends who have worked with him closely on Breaking Bad and All the Way and couldn't speak higher of him as an actor and as a professional. And being someone who really didn't "break" till later in his career I would love to pick his brain on finding contentment in the daily grind most of us face.

10. What's the best advice you've ever received? My mom and Dad have always hammered into me the mantra: "Keep on keepin’ on."

My Dad has an incredible work ethic and no matter the many obstacles, he just gets up in the morning and keeps on working. And they both could not have been more supportive of me following my dreams. Being an actor is a marathon and you just got to hang in. I recently had a friend get a huge lead on a show after years of not much on the acting front. But she stayed in the game and ultimately ran into the right part and now is getting the just reward for her considerable talent and belief.

11. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? That when push comes to shove, I can step up and perform when the pressure is on. As an actor you go through so much self-doubt, but when you get the job, you have to lean on your training and your inner confidence. And when the lights go down or they yell action and whether your across from an Oscar winner, in front of New York theatre critics, or a reading with your friends , you know that you have something to say as an artist and that you belong.

Joey Oglesby, Photo Credit: Kate ButlerBONUS QUESTIONS:

12. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? I would fly. I am not a big fan of hurling through the air on compressed cylinders, but I suppose if I could do it naturally, I could spend a lot of time in different places in the world, learning about different types of people and cultures. Plus I would be able to dunk nasty, so I could play shooting guard along side Dirk and the Mavs. That would be badass.

13. What do you want to be remembered for? That I was a man of great compassion.

Tuesday
Jul222014

Call Answered: Sue Loncar: Contemporary Theatre of Dallas: Laundry & Bourbon

"Call Me Adam" chats with Contemporary Theatre of Dallas' Artistic Director and actress Sue Loncar who is mounting James McLure's Lone Star and Laundry & Bourbon (which she also stars in) through July 26 at Theatre Row's Clurman Theatre in NYC (410 West 42nd Street, between 9th & 10th Avenue). Click here for tickets!

Lone Star is a character study of a pair of Texas "good ol’ boys" carousing on a Saturday night while Laundry & Bourbon focuses on the discontent and very funny gossip of three small-town wives whose marriages have turned out to be less than ideal.

For more on the Contemporary Theatre of Dallas visit http://www.contemporarytheatreofdallas.com and follow them on Twitter!

1. From July 5-26, you are bringing Contemporary Theatre of Dallas' productions of James McLure's Lone Star and Laundry & Bourbon to NYC. What made you want to have a NYC run of these shows? I wanted to bring the "real" Texas to New York. I wanted New Yorkers to see Texas as Texans know it, not Texas as it's displayed on TV and in movies. As part of that, I wanted our company to be made of Texas actors. James McLure (who just recently passed away) loved Texas, and it shows in Lone Star and Laundry & Bourbon. I also knew James McLure personally, and thought he was hysterical. We successfully produced these two shows in Dallas twice, in 2004 and 2006 to critical raves and full houses. It remains to this day one of our most beloved shows. I also thought it was good timing with all the love out there for Friday Night Lights, the TV show that they filmed in Austin that was so brilliant.

2. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing these shows? I hope audiences get a sense of how proud we are of our state and culture, but that we are also able to laugh at ourselves. To me, though, the much bigger theme of the show is the love and strength of family and friendship. And how that sustains us in our life. That's what I get out of it every time I perform.

Sue Loncar as "Hattie" in "Laundry & Bourbon"3. You are going to be starring in Laundry & Bourbon. What do you identify most with about your character? Her hectic life with her kids-I have six! I understand her love and devotion to "Elizabeth," her best friend, and how they will always be there for one another. I love that "Hattie" is a survivor; you can throw a situation at her, and she will come up with a solution and turn a negative into a positive. My friends would probably say that we're most alike because I'm loud and talk a lot! Everyone has always said this is the perfect role for me, and I'm not quite sure how to take that....

4. Since Laundry & Bourbon focuses on the discontent and very funny gossip of three small-town wives whose marriages have turned out to be less than ideal, how have you gotten through moments of discontent in your life? I lived in Amarillo, Texas for 12 years in a very tightly knit community that was filled with generations of family. I didn't know anyone and had to work my way in, which was no easy task! It was a place where getting into the Junior League was like trying to win a senate seat, and until then I had been a big city girl having grown up in Atlanta and Houston. Everything you did was under scrutiny, and everybody did talk about everybody. It was like living under a microscope. You don't have the luxury of any anonymity. The only way to get through that or anything is faith, family, and friends.

Sue Loncar, Marianne Galloway, Marisa Diotalevi in "Laundry & Bourbon", Photo Credit: Julie Ann Arbiter5. What made you want to be the Artistic Director of Contemporary Theatre of Dallas? What has been the most rewarding part of this journey and the most challenging parts? I didn't! Honestly, I just wanted to do a couple of shows a year that I loved with roles that really mattered to me. The shows had to be important to me if I was going to take that kind of time away from my family! I wanted to be close to home so I didn't have to spend a couple of extra hours in the car driving. The next thing you know I own a building, and I have a full season and subscribers. The whole project snowballed on me! It got totally out of control from what I had had in mind. I was not remotely prepared to do this job; I still am not (my 14 year old daughter knows more about theater than I do)! I have an English degree! I know next to nothing about the technical end of theater and less than that about the business end. I hadn't even acted a lot by comparison, and Dallas has a huge acting pool. My focus has always been on being a Mom! It still is my #1 priority. It's my staff that makes everything possible. They make this happen, and I get to work on the artistic projects. Ignorance truly is bliss! My secret is that I've always found and hired the best people in town! They surround me and make me look good!

The most rewarding part of acting is the family we create when making a show. It is always devastating to me when it is over. I go through an almost crippling withdrawal and depression. I miss the show and the people so much. Plus, our patrons are the loveliest, kindest, most supportive audience you could ever hope to have! They love us, and they feel like CTD is their home. They never stop telling me this. They fill my heart with such love and joy and such a feeling of appreciation that I can't even describe it. I always say, "Damn the naysayers or critics. If my audience loves the show I have done my job!" That's who I aim to serve and please.

Sue Loncar and Marisa Diotalevi in "Laundry & Bourbon", Photo Credit: Julie Ann Arbiter6. Contemporary Theatre of Dallas' mission to present plays that depict relationships of all kinds. Whether it is a mother, sibling, a lover, a friend or a child, we all struggle to connect, to communicate, to find intimacy, acceptance, tolerance and above all, love. How did you decide for this to be the theatre's focus when choosing plays? I'm all about relationships. I wish I had been a therapist. I would have been a damn good one. I wanted the theater to be an extension of who I am. I wanted it to feel like a home, and it's close. Our building is actually an old church! The building brings its own personality to the whole enterprise. I wanted the theater to represent what I think is important, which is relationships, community, overcoming things, and not feeling alone in this world with your problems. I want people to leave feeling like they have had a shared experience, that they saw themselves and their life play out on that stage. I want them to hear their story.

I think we all want to feel a little less alone in our struggles and be able to identity with one another. We are all so much more alike than we are different. I want to highlight that. The best is being able to move people, to touch their heart. I love when three days later they are still thinking about a scene from the play, or something a character said, or that a character (as they often tell me) is either "just like" them or someone they know. That just thrills me! Someone just told me "Hattie" was the spitting image of her best friend all through high school. I loved that. She then proceded to tell me all about her!

7. What's the best advice you've ever received? Take reviews and critics with a grain of salt. It's just someone's opinion. That is so true. One day you're up and the bees knees and the next time maybe not so much, so you can't let the critics be your litmus test. Unfortunately, as a producer, it can effect the box office, so it does matter. Just don't take it personally. Maybe you were having a bad day or maybe the critic just doesn't like that play, and that's okay. It's not the end of the world, and it doesn't mean I was wrong to choose that show. I love that about art. There is no right or wrong.

Sue Loncar and Marianne Galloway in "Laundry & Bourbon", Photo Credit: Julie Ann Arbiter8. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer and Artistic Director? How much stress I can take is unfathomable to me now! I would have never thought it possible to survive the chaos. I've learned I can perform after my best friend's daughter killed herself and after learning my beloved grandmother died. I've learned I can come straight from the hospital on morphine with a major migraine and perform this very show as well as Steel Magnolias. He'll, I've learned I am a steel magnolia. I've learned that actors are the most passionate people on earth and will work tirelessly to get the job done. I've learned that almost anything you think can go wrong will at some point. Nothing surprises me anymore. You just learn to deal with it-just like life! In the end it's what YOU think about your performance that matters. It's your experience! Claim it for yourself! Don't give that power to anybody else.

9. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? To create love, peace, and understanding between all people. I would promote the concept that we are all so much more the same than we are different, that we all want the same things out of life: to love and be loved, to be healthy and safe, and to guarantee our children's happiness. Wow, if I could do that...imagine!

Sue Loncar10. Favorite skin care product? Retin-A to keep the age monster at bay.

BONUS QUESTION:

11. What do you want to be remembered for? For having a heart as big as TEXAS.

Monday
Jul212014

Call Answered Again: Max Crumm: The Fantasticks Off-Broadway

Max Crumm"Call Me Adam" catches up with actor Max Crumm about starring as "Matt/The Boy" in the hit Off-Broadway show The Fantasticks playing at Jerry Orbach Theater in the Snapple Theater Center (210 West 50th Street). Click here for tickets!

A modern twist on Romeo and Juliet, THE FANTASTICKS (music by Harvey Schmidt, book, lyrics, and direction by Tom Jones) is the quintessential story of a boy and girl who fall in love and then quickly grow apart when they realize they want to experience the world. The score, includes the hit songs "Try To Remember," "Soon It’s Gonna Rain" and "They Were You."

For more on Max follow him on Twitter!

1. Starting July 8, you joined the cast of the hit Off-Broadway musical The Fantasticks as "Matt/The Boy." What made you want become part of this show? Although I had not seen (or done) the show until a couple of weeks ago, I knew that The Fantasticks was one of those shows that everyone has either seen or been in at LEAST once in their lives! I couldn't pass up the opportunity to work with this incredible company of people in this legendary production!

2. What do you identify most with about "Matt/The Boy" and the story of The Fantasticks? To me, "Matt" is an artistic man child who loves adventure. That is what I identify most with.

3. What excites you about singing some of theatre's most well known songs? These songs are beautiful! That alone is exciting enough but I enjoy putting my own twist on them as well! There is something extremely rewarding to be able to take on these songs in this particular production!

Samantha Bruce and Max Crumm in "The Fantasticks"4. What do you think you will bring to the role of "Matt/The Boy" that others have not? Hmm..I hope to bring a fresh goofy/grounded take on "Matt." I feel very similar to him. Hopefully I can bring a lot of myself to the role.

5. What are you looking forward to about working with this cast? These actors are SO hilarious and true! I can not WAIT to hop in there and play with them!

6. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? Ha! Ummm...flight?

7. I know you are a big puppet fan. If you could be an Muppet, which one would you be? I would be Janice.

8. What do you want to be remembered for? I hope to be remembered for being a magically talented goof! :)

Max CrummMore on Max:

Recent credits include "Scott" in DISASTER! and "Christian" in F#%KING UP EVERYTHING, both Off-Broadway. Max is best known for playing "Danny Zuko" in the most recent Broadway revival of GREASE, having won the reality television show "Grease! You're the One That I Want!" He also appeared in the hit film EASY A.

Thursday
Jul172014

Call Answered: Facetime Interview with Tony and Emmy Award winner Lillias White: 54 Below Birthday Show

"Call Me Adam" went live on location to 54 Below to interview Tony and Emmy Award winner Lillias White about her upcoming birthday show at 54 Below, July 18 and 19 (254 West 54th Street - cellar, between Broadway & 8th Avenue). Click here for tickets!

 

 

 

Interview with Lillias White at 54 Below: