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#selfie 2.5 ACTOR EDITION Nick N. (with questions by Jen B.)

Lather, Rinse Repeat is blessed to have actor, yoga teacher and all around lovable guy, Nick Neglia on-board for the upcoming shorts series, Mistakes Were Made: A Night of Rom-Com and Political Shorts.  For this round of questions playwright Jen Browne tapped into Nick’s twitter account for inspiration.  Be sure to read the whole thing!

#selfie 2.0  is an interview series where Lather, Rinse, Repeat playwrights interview the actor ensemble for their next night of short plays.  Playwrights have free reign over the questions. The interviewee must then post an actual selfie, because we told them to.

JEN B.    Based on several tweets I think it would be safe to say you really liked Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812.  What was it about this show and perhaps other recent pieces of theater that really get you excited?  What do you look for in a potential project or character?

NICK N.     I love long, Russian Novels.  Natasha, Pierre… is based off of War & Piece so it is pretty much right up my alley.  I would say that new ways to approach old stories always get me really excited about theater.  You can only get so much out of reading something.  When looking at characters or potential projects, obviously I go where the work is, but also, once cast, I really do try and take time to figure out what it is that I and nobody else can bring to the production or the character.

JEN B.    It seems we have both at one time or another absorbed some of the “Poetry in Motion” entries on the subway.  Do you have a favorite mass transit poem or otherwise?  Do you think public art initiatives like this are important?  If you received a large grant to create a public work of art what would you do?

NICK N.     Yes for all things public art!  I forget what the poem was, but they always remind me of reading poetry out loud to my class mates during first year at drama school.  Anything E.E. Cummings can make me feel all emotions.  I spent my summer working with the New York Restoration Project performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  It was bilingual and was performed in public parks all over the Bronx, Brooklyn and Harlem.  Each performance, we had audience members tell us that it was their first experience with Shakespeare.  It was a fantastic production, but it was also fantastic to be involved in something that wasn’t just for a specific group of people to appreciate.  With a large grant of money, immediately I would send it to public schools that are losing funding for the arts.  It is so much easier to get people when they are young to realize how important art can be for your soul.

 JEN B.    If your uncle paid your rent how would you live your life differently?

NICK N.    Haha.  If my uncle paid for my rent, I would be famous because I wouldn’t be spending all my damn money on rent!  I would have time to do other things that could further my career.

JEN B.    Let’s talk about Nashville, you seem to be a fan of this prime time drama, I am too.  Why do you think this show works?  If you could create a role for yourself on the show who would you be, where would you go and what fires might you cook up?

NICK N.    Love Nashville.  Love country music.  I think the show works because it is just equal parts everything (including trashy).  It is pretty much my guilty pleasure that I can not stop talking about.  I would definitely be cast as someone who would be able to say bitchy things with Juliette, sing beautiful duets with Scarlett, and then make out with Gunner.  I would be that guy who goes around saying, “I don’t want drama” and then pisses everyone off.

JEN B.    Aside from the public’s inability to maneuver umbrellas and of course the onslaught of tourists you claim to still love New York.  Why?  What keeps your heart beating for this crazy city?

NICK N.     I will always love New York.  I think it is pretty fashionable for people to go around saying otherwise.  Most of my NY friends have moved to LA where they claim to be “happier.”  I don’t know what that is all about.  I think other cities make it really easy for you to be focused on one thing.  New York is constantly grabbing your attention and putting it elsewhere.  It takes you one place and then throws you somewhere else.  When dealing with New York, I just accept what is happening, where I am at, and then find the positive of the situation.  I am definitely an optimist, so that helps.  Plus, I just would not be able to see incredible pieces of theater like Natasha Pierre… anywhere else

To catch Nick and all the #LRRit gang in action be sure to keep November 2nd free and clear and Buy tickets for Mistakes Were Made: An Evening of Rom-Com and Political Shorts

Nick and his pooch!

Nick and his pooch!

selfie #2.4 ACTOR EDITION: julia g. (questions by tim d.)

Julia Giolzetti is a rockstar member of our acting company for our Fall Shorts series of (mostly) political plays, recently playing a role in a RomCom date play about sex-cannibalism. So, needless to say, she has a lot of range as an actress! Read on about the superiority of In ‘N Out to all so-called “burgers” in this city, what about new plays excites Julia, and find out about a music video featuring one of Julia’s best body parts…
#selfie 2.0  is an interview series where Lather, Rinse, Repeat playwrights interview the actor ensemble for their next night of short plays.  Playwrights have free reign over the questions. The interviewee must then post an actual selfie, because we told them to.
TIM D. Do you have a favorite role that you have performed? What made it stand out?
JULIA G. In 2009, I played a 12 year old girl in a production called Pink! with Down Payment Productions. It was a 90 minute real time thrill ride which took place in a single cabin. I, along with my 4 castmates, became completely immersed in the world of tweens, including going on a 2 day “retreat” where we stayed in character and came up with team cheers and such. It was great because I got to sing a song about Twilight, play with period blood, get shaving creamed in the face, and have a total emotional meltdown every night. Weirdly, after the show lots of strangers told me “I completely identified with you.” Lots of closeted 12 year old girls out there, apparently.
TIM D. Like me, you are a California transplant to New York City. Do you still feel like a Californian at heart? What does that even mean? What are your favorite and least favorite parts of this big ol’ town?
JULIA G. I moved to New York from San Diego 9 years ago last month. I feel like having spent so many years here now, New Yorker-ness is creeping in on my Californian-ness (those are definitely not words). I like to curse out cabbies and people on CitiBikes, but I usually end up shouting some California-ism at them like “Cool man!” or “Way to run that red light dude!”. Everyone to me is a dude. I like to wear flip flops everywhere and get confused when people think it is gross, and Valley Girl up-speak does creep into my speech. And I spend every winter muttering about how I am moving back to California ASAP. NYC likes: Gray’s Papaya, walking everywhere, the one time per year it snows and doesn’t immediately turn into brackish sludge. Dislikes: the 6 train and having to carry groceries. And no In N Out…what is UP with that.
TIM D. Do you think the Chargers will do well this season?
JULIA G. The Chargers are terrible. I’m saying this from a place of love–I was indoctrinated at an early age and try to make it out to at least one home game each year. The O line is just sad. Rivers throws almost as many INTs as TDs. Only a miracle could get us into the playoffs, let alone finishing at .500.
TIM D. Which nonexistent people close to Manti Te’o do you expect to die?
JULIA G. I predict his goldfish will die of fish cancer.
TIM D. What excites you most when you read a new play (or a classic)?
JULIA G. I enjoy reading any plays, new or otherwise, because I love discovering characters and voices. Anytime a character has to go through crazy shit, or reveals some universal life truth, I am definitely drawn to play with that. We all experience insane shit (especially in this city) and we all have moments where we figure something out or have earth shattering revelations. But being able, as an actor, to jump into another person and express those thoughts and feelings artistically so other people can share them is what it’s all about.
TIM D. What makes you instantly say “I have to play that role”?
JULIA G. If the part involved making out with a hot dude. Apologies to my husband.
TIM D. What are you working on next and where can we go to see more of you???
JULIA G. You can see me (hopefully) in the upcoming music video for the band Luscious Jackson. The song is called “Number One Bum”, and it’s about a very special butt. I also just began a year long journey with Theater in Asylum to devise a piece based on what it means to be extraordinary. I also also frequently perform entirely unrehearsed Shakespeare plays with the amazing group Accidental Shakespeare Company, and I am a company member of the Tempest Ladies, an all female ensemble devoted to making Shakespeare accessible through clear and engaging storytelling. Here is my website:
Julia at a Mayan ball court in the ruins of Coba, having just learned that court was used for blood rituals… hence the apprehensive face.

selfie #2.3 ACTOR EDITION: edward b. (questions by brandon l.)

Edward B. Bauer first came to LRR as a cast member of Jen Browne’s play Lona Means Island, and now he’s a stellar part of our our acting ensemble for our Fall Shorts Series, the Rom-Com section.  Pretty much, he’s awesome. Check out more of Edward’s work at

#selfie 2.0  is an interview series where Lather, Rinse, Repeat playwrights interview the actor ensemble for their next night of short plays.  Playwrights have free reign over the questions. The interviewee must then post an actual selfie, because we told them to.

1. People google people. And when you type in “edward bauer actor” the first bit of information you will acquire is that you are a founding member and the Co-Artistic Director of The Assembly ( Bad ass. Tell us about your company and the work you aim to create as a collective of multidisciplinary artists.

My company, The Assembly, is a collective committed to devising new theater that speaks truthfully to the world around us by really embracing the creative abilities of everyone involved. Our last full-length production, a play about the Weatherman Underground entitled “HOME/SICK,” was developed over the course of a year and written by a cast of six, a director, a dramaturg, and several others. It was also influenced significantly by the contributions of its designers from an earlier point in the process than you see with almost any other new plays being made these days. Our current project, “That Poor Dream,” is an adaptation of Dickens’ Great Expectations, and is being devised by the group in much the same way. Telling a story this way, with so many minds and so many voices working together — sometimes in unison, and frequently in contrast — creates an experience that’s unbelievably rich and deep.

It also, like I said, can take a year or more to create one of these pieces, but hey. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

2. I too studied both Theatre and English in college. How do you think that duel degree shaped your professional career as an actor and theatre artist?

Apart from preparing me in absolutely no way for any practical real-life situations at any time in my future ever? I kid, I kid. I think the biggest benefit of combining those two majors was the way that my English degree taught me to read books and stories holistically, and for their big pictures. As an actor, that gives me a sense of where my character’s arc exists within the larger movement of the play as a whole, and that effects so much in my performance: tone, rhythm, pacing, etc. I guess I’ve always felt that however important the emotional truth of my performance is, it’s only important because it’s a crucial piece of that bigger story. And having grown up with my nose in a book most of my life, I tend to have a good handle of what that bigger story is.
3. What were your favorite toys as a kid and do you or your parents still have them stashed somewhere?
Oh, boy. I did have a number of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figures back in the day, but those are all long gone. Noble sacrifices to a church yard sale, as I recall, in the age when yard sales were still a thing. I like to imagine that they’re in a better place, now, and not just having their plastic weapons choked upon by toddlers.

Sigh. Excuse me, I need to go pour one out for Bebop and Rocksteady.

4. What do you think are the best and the worst parts of being an actor/artist in NYC?  How do you think the city informs the work?

Hmm. This question pre-supposes that there are good things about living and being an actor in New York City, which… Look, here’s what I do like about it here. We’re all in it together. This city is a hell of a grind. It’s overpopulated, overpriced, and the market for actors and artists is way over-saturated, but for all that’s obviously not ideal for us here, I think the crucible of shit we’re all going through makes us stronger people with more compassion for each other’s struggles. I really do believe that, because for all of the “All About Eve”-esque backstabbing and sniping that I’m sure must be going on somewhere in the city, my own experience has been much more in line with, say, “The Grey.” Us actors are all just huddled up in our winter clothes, basking in a slowly-dying fire and sheltered by the wing of our downed airplane. And yes, it’s getting cold, and the food is running out, and I don’t like that sound of pacing paws and guttural breathing coming from the treeline any more than you do, but goddammit if at the end of the day we aren’t going to stand ourselves up, brush ourselves off, fashion crude weapons out of duct tape and broken mini-bottles of liquor, and go out there and punch some wolves. Together.

5. And now I will ask you to pimp your wares.  Any new work on the horizon?  New shows?  New endeavors?  How can we get our Edward Bauer fix? 

Well, it’s a bit late, but The Assembly just last week performed thirty minutes of new material from the development of “That Poor Dream” at CUNY’s Prelude festival. The show’s moving in a fantastic direction, and actually most of my time over the next few months will be spent further developing that. We’ve got an eye on mounting the full production in March, although several wonderful venues are in the midst of a bidding war to determine where we’ll be, so stay tuned for more news. Apart from that, in November you’ll be able to catch me at Spoke the Hub performing in a few of David Haan’s “President Plays” (last seen at Ars Nova’s ANT Fest), in which he plays fast and loose with historical fact and writes a short play depicting an apocryphal death of each of our nation’s Presidents. Last time I joined him on this project, my Teddy Roosevelt put up a pretty good fight, but couldn’t avoid getting mauled by that bear. And in December, I’ll be putting in an appearance at Dixon Place in an adaptation of “Romeo and Juliet” written entirely by internet chatbots. Hope to see you all there!

selfie #2.2 ACTOR EDITION: kate d. (questions by jeremy w.)

Kate Dearing puts the “repeat” in Lather, Rinse, Repeat.  Since she lives with an LRR playwright (Lauren F.) she has been our go-to gal since we started this crazy experiment, and by the end of Rinse Round2 will have worked with every playwright in the group.  Our own Jeremy W. commiserates with her on being a Texan and finds out what keeps her inspired.

#selfie 2.0  is an interview series where Lather, Rinse, Repeat playwrights interview the actor ensemble for their next night of short plays.  Playwrights have free reign over the questions. The interviewee must then post an actual selfie, because we told them to.

JEREMY W. I see you’ve started your own new play development series called Playdate.  Is working on new plays the Dearing way?

KATE D. I started Playdate with a couple of friends. We wanted to make a home for playwrights, actors, and directors to just be in the creative process and play together…just like playgroup for little kids but booze instead of apple juice. I am a sucker for new work. I love the collaborative team sport aspect of it.

JEREMY W. What have we done to deserve you?

KATE D. Oh stop it…I mean go on…

JEREMY W. As a fellow Texan, I make a habit of informing residents of the other 49 how much fairer Austin is than Dallas.  Secretly, I know there is some fascinating theatre brewing in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.  Do you still identify with the city?  Did it shape you as an actor at all?

KATE D. I did grow up in Dallas, which I lovingly refer to as Diet LA. Massive houses, expensive cars, groomed women, and segregated neighborhoods. However, after living in both Dallas and LA and rebelling against both cities, I have made my peace with both. Dallas taught me the art of the southwest warmth and woo. A skill set that is always useful. LA taught me the art of the hustle. Both skills have proved useful to have in my wheelhouse.

JEREMY W. Who taught you the spine of your acting craft and what is it made of? 

KATE D. For today the spine of my craft is exquisitely simple- trusting uncertainty and staying present. It’s a beginners mind. It’s saying YES and enjoying the ride.

JEREMY W. Favorite ride at an amusement park? 

KATE D. A big roller coaster. The sexy steel kind.

JEREMY W. What do you do when preparing for a role you would never want the audience to see? 

KATE D. Whenever I take on a role, I end up falling in love with that character. I figure If I truly see them and love them, I will be able to do them justice… and usually there are tears…

JEREMY W. If you could portray any real person, living or dead, whom would it be? 

KATE D. I don’t have an answer to this question. I always fail this part of the quiz.  I am a sucker for good writing. Theatre that makes it easier to be human. Laughter through tears. That is what gets me excited. That’s what I want to help bring alive.

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Natural Selection: An Exploration of the Actor Selection Process of the Lather, Rinse, Repeat People

By Dr. Terrible Hogwash, Professor of Anthropology and Archaeology

Lather, Rinse, Repeat, a playwright tribe found on the Isle of Manhattan spends much of its days lathering, rinsing and repeating, sunning itself on the warm rocks of imagination.  This fall as they embarked on another shorts program, I followed along, hoping to examine the unique characteristics of the Lather, Rinse, Repeat actor selection process an unusual and seemingly random strategy deployed to wrangle the very necessary parties to develop new theatrical work.  A beautiful and truly crucial process, as over a rather short gestation period, a matter of just four weeks, ten healthy new plays will be brought into the world for the entire kingdom to see.

The evolution of the LRR actor selection process has in itself been a sight to see.  Researchers have spent many minutes, even hours, discussing the seemingly large jump from the simple thought processes associated with early tribes of dramaticus scribicus to what can only be described as elaborate and even ritualistic practices.   Typically restricted to the Lather Rinse Repeat priestess chosen to perform the ceremony this was a rare opportunity for an outsider to document this sacred rite. 

In the beginning, after communications of an electronic variety are sent out to various past actor participants and responses gathered a sacred list is drawn up and given by one member of the group to another in a symbolic forwarding ritual.  The names are then written in black ink, presumably milked from a squid, a dying practice among many writing groups but still maintained here in LRR circles.  The paper used is recycled, made from the ashes of all the drafts that came before, a beautiful tradition that honors and pays tribute to those scripts that have come and gone.  Once the names are received and prepared the next stage of this two hour long ritual begins with the employment of a tiny glass chicken, a plastic horse, and a formerly magnetic lobster with tentacles that wiggle.

The use of totems or spirit animals is strong within the community.  These three totems in particular are anointed with numbers according to their strength and power in the ceremonial hierarchy of LRR society.  The chicken, though much beloved, is the equivalent of only a two, the horse, despite having four legs and a tail, a three and the lobster, or in the playwrights native language, dylbreshak oscbront sakastotle, or crustacean colossus, champion of sea beds.  The lobster, seemingly the most sacred of these animals, is a four.

Aside from the animal totems there are many spirit gods and goddesses that are eternal and blessed among the Lather, Rinse, Repeat people.  With totems in hand a LRR priestess enters into a spiritual den of communication with the spirit god known as Ronan.  It is said that the god speaks through the priestess selecting an animal for each LRR member. Once an animal totem is selected the priestess then consults the spotted bowl.

The spotted bowl, or the Mother’s Gift, is surrounded in myth and lore and came into the possession of the LRR people a very long time ago (approx. 5 mnths).  It is said that the mother goddess Tina appeared in a vision with her babe to a favorite LRR priestess on her 30th name day and made a gift of the bowl.  The spotted bowl while beautiful also proved to hold great power and is used in many sacred ceremonies among the tribe and was on this recent occasion the harbor and stage for one of the greater pageants among a people who spend much of their lives devoted to pageantry.

With the all-seeing power of the God Ronan and the blessing hidden deep within the Mother’s Gift, the names are revealed.  The number corresponding to the animal selected by Ronan indicates the number of names that will surface in the Mother’s bowl.  If a lobster was selected then four names will appear.  If a horse, three names and if the chicken was chosen, two names will emerge from the bounty of the bowl.  What name, is part of the mystery and the challenge of the short program festival.

The ceremony is at once fast paced and meditative.  Finally the priestess, her work complete, exits out of the den of communication to reveal, the final list.  It is here where everything comes full circle with a final mass forwarding ceremony; the list is shared with the other members of the group and a joyful chorus of laptops click, clack, clicks out from the surrounding forest signifying the end of the ritual.

Chicken, Horse, Lobster, totems used in actor selection ceremony

Chicken, Horse, Lobster, totems used in actor selection ceremony

Mythological and sacred bowl used to divine actor names.Mythological and sacred bowl used to divine actor names.

Dr. Terrible Hogwash began his studies at Oxford and has lived among the playwrights of Lather, Rinse Repeat on many occasions documenting the unique characteristics of this ever evolving community.  He is currently a professor of Anthropology and Archeology at NYU specializing in the ancient tribes of dramaticus scribicus and their modern contemporaries.