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No Need for Seduction

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Victoria Libertore
April 1, 2013

What is your job on this show?
performer and writer .

What is your show about?
Our heroine who has been incapable of intimacy beyond pining for unavailable women and life beyond the whiskey bottle has finally gotten her act together, but will she sabotage it all on a trip of a lifetime?

Where were you born? Where were you raised? Where did you go to school?
I was born and grew up in Columbus, Ohio. The longer I'm in New York (15 years and change now), the more proud I am to be an Ohioan. I love New Yorkers (my girlfriend is one), but I've come to appreciate the aching niceness of "folks" from the Midwest. It's like my friend, Yosvany, says, "The older you get, the better nice is. You're so nice, I want to F your brains out." He's not from Ohio.

Complete this sentence: My show is the only one opening in NYC this spring that...?
. . . has a true story about almost going off a mountain in Bali with three generations of gay women in the car AND Leigh Fondakoski, the co-creator of "The Laramie Project" directing it. (I had to put a plug in because she's so awesome).

Do you think the audience will talk about your show for 5 minutes, an hour, or way into the wee hours of the night?
I mean, I'd like to think they'd be talking about it into the wee hours of the night. I take a lot of care in the words and gestures I use in a show, especially this one with all the beautiful images of Bali. One of the best compliments I ever received from someone who's seen my work over the years is that he never knows what's coming next or what emotion is going to come up through him next when watching one of my shows. This is my sixth solo show (I do get along with people), the third that's a memoir. So some of my audience has really watched me grow up. They're being there for me to reflect back to them my experience has helped me grow.

Which famous person would you most like to get a fan letter from: Denzel Washington, Maggie Smith, Ang Lee, Jennifer Lawrence?
I know I should say Maggie Smith. I got to see her in "Three Tall Women" in London years ago, and she floored me. But I have to say Jennifer Lawrence because she's such a gushing fan and is so exuberant and has no filter when she talks. I admire her goofiness in the midst of all her fame.

Who are your heroes?
I've felt very connected to the women in my family as of late. Most of them are no longer alive. But it's like I feel them in my blood moving through me, and am starting to see them in the mirror looking back at me as I age. They overcame so much from schizophrenia, alcoholism, suicide of loved ones and kept getting up each day with an openness to life. I was just talking to my Aunt Jackie last night who is 73 and has lived a quiet life in Ohio, but she was telling me how in the '70s she took her bra off and marched in a parade for women's liberation. I realized that these "quiet" lives of people are what bring about the great changes we've seen. So my heroes are the women in my family.