Tim Intravia won "Best One Man Comedy" at the 2011 United Solo Theatre Festival for his one man show "From Busk Till Dawn: The Life of an NYC Street Performer", which is now coming to the 2012 NYC Fringe Festival. In addition to being a street performer, Tim has been featured in such films and television series as "Dead by Friday," "Theo" the recently released "Bill W." documentary, F/X's "Rescue Me," "Blue Bloods," and "the Onion News Network." He’s been a silver man in a variety of commercials, movies, and awkward Bar Mitzvah’s. His stage credits include Off-Broadway's "Tony 'n Tina's Wedding" and "Channeling Kevin Spacey" as well as the title role in the world premiere of "Oswald."
"From Busk Till Dawn: The Life of an NYC Street Performer" tells the story one of those silver statue dudes in a "hilarious, perfectly paced solo effort" (nytheatre.com) presented by an actual NYC street performer. This 45 minute comedic adventure shows you what it's like to go through life as a "silver guy." From crazy tourists to the NYPD, women with strange fantasies and constant requests to "do the robot," this laugh-out-loud show reveals why it's not easy being silver.
"From Busk Till Dawn: The Life of an NYC Street Performer" will play at The Gene Frankel Theatre (24 Bond Street, between Lafayette and Bond Street). For tickets, click on the date you want to see the show. Saturday, August 11 at 7pm, Tuesday, August 14 at 2pm, Sunday, August 19 at 9:45pm, Friday, August 24 at 5pm, Saturday, August 25 at 4pm.
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1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? What made you become a street performer? I had a teacher at Circle in the Square Theater School named Moni Yakim-he is still there and he helped me realize how good I was at standing still. I had seen other guys on the street when I first moved to NY and I thought "wow, that looks cool." I never thought I could do it, then after studying with Moni I realized I had some physical facilities and I started using them. I started doing it for fun and quickly realized I could make some decent money doing it.
2. You are one of the "Silver Statue Guys" seen on the streets of NYC. You are about perform your show "From Busk Till Dawn: The Life of an NYC Street Performer" at the 2012 NYC International Fringe Festival. What made you want to bring your story to the stage? This is kind of a selfish answer---I got tired of answering 50,000 questions every time I told someone what I did, so i thought, if I write a show, when people start the barrage of questions, I can just hand them a flier and say "Check out the show."
3. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show? I hope they laugh mostly. I guess part of me wants them to realize I am more than just the silver dude that stands still, and part of me wants them to think I am a good writer with a promising future, but I really just want people to laugh, it's ok that it's at the expense of my life.
4. What excites you most about performing in the 2012 NYC International Fringe Festival? I have never done Fringe, in all my NY summers and all the auditions for shows I have never been part of it and I am most excited that total random strangers will accidentally or purposefully choose my show. Years ago when I started looking into doing a solo show I went and saw every FringeNYC one I could so that I could learn what I liked, what I didn't like and what kind of tactics/approaches worked best. Everyone knows FringeNYC and I am confident that this will be a springboard for the future of this show which I have been working on for a long time.
5. What kind of regimen do you go through to get into "Silver Guy"? How do you protect/rejuvenate your skin from the silver? I wish I could tell you there is some crazy routine or ritual I do before I busk, but well, it's not that exciting. I do it so often that it is just another day at the office for me. I do like to stretch a little and be hydrated before starting but that's usally the extent. The makeup doesn't really hurt my skin (at least yet, I worry I'll wake up at 50 and have no face) but of course it gets annoying having it on so often. The most annoying part is that it always hangs out in my eyelids a day or two after. I'll go on an audition in normal face and be all worried my eyes are too sparkly.
6. What do you enjoy most about being a street performer? What are some struggles you face as a street performer? I love that I am my own boss. I can go out and make a living and never have to worry about kissing my supervisor's butt or being nice to customers for fear of getting fired. I am generaly nice to people anyway, but it's nice to know I don't have to be. There are many struggles I face as a street performer, as great as being one's own boss is, it can be stressful. After all it is all on me to get out there and make that living, sometimes it can be hard to have to work on a holiday and/or weekends when I would like to chill with my fiancee or friends, but I have to get out there and work. Saturday for me is the equivalent of Monday-Wednesday for most people, as much as I'd rather sit around drinking bloody mary's and relaxing that's the day when I generally rake it in. Other struggles include the cops, the people who want to punch me, grab my you know what and just be generally rude, but I can't tell you too much or there'd be no reason to come see the show.
7. In addition to being a street performer, you have been seen in film, television, and theatrical endeavors. What do you get from these endeavors that you do not get from street performing? Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? I moved to NYC to be an actor, that is what I studied, that is what I am. The street performing came after acting training as an acting exercise and it has turned into a survival job. I enjoy my street performing and it is fulfilling to a point, but there comes a time when it feels too cheap artistically. Walk through Times Square and you'll see 5 other Silver Guys, 3 Statues of Liberty, a Ninja, 20 Elmo's, the Naked Cowboy (or one of his franchisees), Batman, Spiderman and Buzz Lightyear, not to mention 3 guys with "need money for weed signs" and a Naked Indian--it's great for tourists and they obviously love it, but it's essentially a gimmick. The skill and talent that I have becomes irrelevant because it's the silver paint/wacky NY picture factor that interests people. I am much more than a dude who just slops paint on his face. Sure standing still is admirable, but to be able to make people laugh, cry, feel something with my humanity and talent versus my "tinman act" is an amazing feeling. Sure I still use my humanity in my silver man, and that's a good feeling too, but it's so much more enjoyable when I don't have to slop that paint on.
Who would I like to work with? Ever heard of Steven Spielb---I kid. I mean I don't know, at this point in my career, I just want to work, and preferably on good stuff that is well written. I am doing a lot of my own stuff lately (this show and a webseries--parkerandsteve.com), which is very fulfilling and rewarding, but I'd like to be able to put the silver paint away and pay those bills with legit acting work, who it's with is not my most pressing concern right now, they'll be time for that later.
8. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? I don't know if I've learned things from being a performer or vice versa. I don't wanna get all philosophical here, but I'm constantly figuring out who I am and how I am. As I get older it gets clearer and as I prepare to share my life with another human being forever it becomes more obvious as well. I know what I am and what I am not good at and what I enjoy vs. what I will do for the right reasons.
9. What's the best advice you've ever received? Matthew Lilliard spoke to my class at Circle and said "don't be afraid to call yourself an artist." It seemed corny at the time, but it really has helped me put a value on my ability and my time. An older actor once told me to "outlive the competition," I'm working on that, but I'm mostly working on outdoing the competition.
10. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? If I don't say my fiancee I'll have to change my september wedding plans, so let's go with that.
11. Favorite way to spend your day off? Watching baseball, petting my cats, brunch with the lady, and the baseball articles in the Sunday Times and some good mexican.
12. Favorite way to stay in shape? I run 4 days a week, it's not my favorite way to stay in shape, but it's the cheapest and most convenient here in Brooklyn.
13. Boxers or Briefs? I'm a boxer-briefs man, so both.
14. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? I'd like to be able to tell you any players stats for any baseball season of all time. It wouldn't come in handy often, but when it did, it would be awesome.