Category Archives: Gina Femia

#Selfie 4.1 Meet Our New Members! Gina Femia (w/ Questions from Amanda Keating)

It’s the return of the #Selfie!  We are so excited to bring you three new #selfie interviews featuring our three new members!  First up we’ve got Amanda Keating interviewing Gina Femia.

Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for when Gina turns the tables on Amanda and an interview with Matt Barbot by the illustrious Lauren Ferebee.

Aaanndd here we go!

Amanda Keating: What’s your favorite place to write?

Gina Femia: I’m partial to writing anywhere I can be curled up, my laptop or notebook balanced on my knees.  Preferably wearing sweats with an oversized sweater that covers a graphic tee.  This usually means writing on my couch or on my bed, but I like writing on the subway, too.

AK: Do you write on a computer? Pen to paper? On a typewriter? In the air?

GF: On my laptop, work computer or pen to paper – anything that gets the words out!  I’ve never tried typewriters, they look frustrating.  In the air sounds awesome but I think I’d have a hard time sharing it with actors.

Writing on my laptop is usually the best.  I close my eyes and just write.  It feels like a different kind of instrument, or like an extension of my hands.  I feel the most Me when I’m doing that.

AK: What time of day do you like to write? Why?

GF: I used to only like writing at night but now I prefer writing when there’s light outside.  I think I’m part plant and the sun energizes my brain, lights it on fire like kindle.  There’s more possibility in the beginning of the day, or even at the beginning of the afternoon.  I’m freer, I can practically smell the words in the air, practically see them darting around like butterflies that I can’t wait to capture in my hands.

But I’ll write whenever I can.

AK: Do you share your work with anyone while you’re writing it? Or do you prefer to wait til it’s done? If the former, who do you show it to?

GF: It depends on the piece.  Usually I want to get a draft out as soon as possible and will force myself to write it fast and then I’ll want to hear it just as fast, if not faster.  I’ll show it to whoever will listen, whoever will read it out loud with me.  My boyfriend is especially supportive and has read many-a-play out loud with me, from multiple characters to 2 sisters in a kitchen.  He says he’s not an actor but he does a great job impersonating one!

AK: What’s the first story (not necessarily in play form) you ever wrote?

GF: I wrote an instant classic when I was in Kindergarten called “The Very Blind Whale”.  I still have the original manuscript, it begins “One day a whale looked up at the sun. ‘Ahh, I am now blinded!’ screamed the whale.”  The rest you can buy at your local indie bookshop, I’m sure.

AK: What are some things that inform/inspire your writing? Music? Images? Other writing? The universe?

GF: Brooklyn and magic inspire and inform my writing the most.  I can’t escape Brooklyn – it’s where I grew up and where I continue to live.  All of my stories started here and they continue to bloom here.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve written plays that don’t take place in Brooklyn, but the characters are still very much from Brooklyn in some way.  Not literally but still, in some way.

Somebody once challenged me to define magic, saying that when they thought of it, they thought of magic as tricks.  And I think that’s what people tend to think of when they hear the word magic, they think of clowns at kid’s birthday parties, folding balloons into shapes and pulling cards out their asses, a reason for everything, a sly hand movement here and a distraction there.  But my definition of magic is simply this: When something that shouldn’t happen, happens.  Which sounds a lot like the definition of a miracle.  But I never really saw a difference between the two.

AK: Fill in the blank: On Saturday mornings, you can find me _______ .

GF: Making breakfast, making lists, making plans!  And drinking coffee.  Copious amounts of coffee, always.

gina Thank you Gina and Amanda!!

 

Mega Weekly Roundup: Vol. 1 and 2

For the first week of our new cycle, we heard Raindrop and Sundrop, a new play by Gina Femia, one of our new members! Composed by Gina in one whirlwind week, Raindrop and Sundrop tells the story of two estranged sisters reunited in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. The incendiary situation leads to some dark revelations about their family and their past relationships.

Impressively, Gina’s play also takes place on one set and transpires in real time! If he had been alive and able to join us for her reading, Aristotle would have been proud.

What about the second week, you ask?

Great question.

On the most recent Tuesday, we heard a new draft of Isaac Rathbone’s play Chub, a comedy-drama about parenthood, puppets, and the Great Recession. If you’ve ever wanted to steal a rental car and track down an eBay seller because the stench of one of the used puppets you bought has exacerbated marital tensions, then maybe this play is based on your life.

Here’s a list of things we learned over these two wweeks:

1) Abusive relationships make for bad vacations.

Conventional wisdom would suggest that vacations are always fun, but Gina showed us that, under some circumstances, they are not.

2) One should do one’s best to attend one’s father’s funeral, even if it’s in another borough.

The fact that it’s in Queens and there are weekend service changes is NO EXCUSE.

3) All of Gina’s other plays have unicorns in them.

Gina’s other plays feature magical realism. All magical realism has to do with unicorns. Therefore, it follows that all of Gina’s other plays have unicorns in them.

4) Amanda may not be able to make Jeremy’s funeral.

She’s got plans.

5) The playwrights of LRR know a surprising amount about real estate.

So says Matt Barbot. As a new member of LRR, he has obviously not made it through the Lather Rinse Repeat Playwrights’ Guide to REIT Investing. All proceeds go to our reading series.

6) When your marriage is in trouble, consider the bowling alley in Syosset.

Maybe it’ll get your marriage back on track, but even if it doesn’t, at least you’ll get to bowl.

7) Chub the puppet is not actually named Chub!!

We won’t tell you what he’s actually named, because that would be a spoiler.

8) Puppets are great.

This is self-evident.

 

Gina and the actors of Raindrops!

Gina and the actors of Raindrops!

 

 

Jeremy and Ike ponder Chub.

Jeremy and Ike ponder Chub.