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No Oddjob

nytheatre.com q&a preview by David Lawson
July 8, 2013

What is your job on this show?
Playwright / Actor.

What is your show about?
A multimedia filled solo performance about video game culture.

Where were you born? Where were you raised? Where did you go to school?
I was born in Alexandria, Virginia. I lived within a dozen miles of Washington, DC from birth 'til I went to Emerson College in Boston. I went to the National Theater Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Fall 2007 and it was the best decision I ever made in my life. I've lived in New York City for over five years.

What are some of your previous theater credits? (Be specific! Name shows, etc.)
I'm in the middle of a crazy "four productions in nine weeks" period. In the first weekend of June I performed Birthright, a solo show about the Birthright Israel program, at the Brooklyn Launchpad. In the last weekend of June my play Jimmy's Corner was performed at The Secret Theatre as a part of their wonderful New Voices Project. No Oddjob plays July 12th, 24th and 27th at The Brick. THEN on August 2nd and 3rd my play Public Service...a partly-staged, partly-extemporaneous event starring two janitors, beer, cheese and the audience...is being produced by Lust & Liberty Productions at Alchemical Theatre Laboratory.

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?
There's a multimedia part of the show that involves a teenager being addicted to World of Warcraft. I think it will result in either a huge laugh or a crowd of thunderstruck faces staring back at me. I'd be OK with either.

Which “S” word best describes your show: SMOOTH, SEXY, SMART, SURPRISING?
Gotta be "smart." It's the type of show it is. I mean I'll be up there, wearing my glasses (mainly because I'm out of contacts and can't afford the new exam right now...) and I'll be talking about VIDEO GAMES. I think that fits "smart" (since "nerdy" and "geeky" wasn't an option...) Furthermore, in No Oddjob I am ultimately trying to say we can "have our cake and eat it too" in terms of the art we consume. More specifically: We can strive to make and advocate for art that is more progressive and inclusive...yet we can also consume art filled with mindless violence and over-the-top sex without becoming murderous perverts.

Who are your heroes?
Anna Deavere Smith. I was eighteen when I read Fires in the Mirror for a college class. I was thinking "Wait...you...you can do this? You can stand alone onstage, telling stories that are unified by a single theme...and THAT can be theatre?" It blew my mind. It lit a fire in me that continues to burn to this very day. I hope it burns til' I'm dead.