I was able to catch up with DC/NYC actress, Lynn Filusch today, and ask her a few questions about her upcoming showcase, Choosing Helen, as well as some questions related to nothing in general. Here is how it went..PS...She was at the dog park with her beloved dog, Sadie(my Buddha's sex slave), and I was cooking hamburgers in the back yard...FYI
SGS: Lynn..tell me about Choosing Helen.
Filusch: Well, it is a musical based on the story of Helen of Troy, from The Iliad, although it is a very liberal take on it. The character of Paris cannot decide if he wants Helen or Ajax (a man), although it's not THAT liberal a take, considering the sexual politics of the time. The music is very...well...Sondheim-ish, with LOTS of wordy songs, gorgeous harmonies, and actually, stunning ballads, even given the circumstances in the show. These characters are foolish, yet singing many heartfelt and lovely songs...not seeing the irony therein.
SGS:Any correlation between Choosing Helen and Raising Helen?
Filusch:..or Boxing Helena? No. None. Very predictable, Stephen.
SGS: Ouch. Tell me about your role, and what you drew from to create it.
Filusch: I am playing Aphrodite, the goddess of love. She kind of gets the ball rolling in Paris's love life. You see, she's SO bored on Mt. Olympus. It's such a drag. Nothing to do, except the other gods, and she's done them all. So she meddles...she makes Helen and Ajax available to Paris as lovers, but constantly screws things up, and tries to right them again. And she's a big whore. Now, as far as what I, personally drew from myself to play this role? Hmm...my own supernatural abilities! I channel Mae West and Kim Catrall's Samantha from Sex and the City when Aphrodite is being honest and straightforward. When she is trying to get something or being charming, she's more...Judy Holiday.
SGS:Have you ever done the "One Titty Shake"?
Filusch: Try though I may, I have not mastered the 1 titty. Got lots of jiggle with both, though.
SGS: I am SO not surprised. What's up next for you?
Filusch: Well, I'm going on tour with LA Theatre Work's production of The Great Tennessee Monkey Trial, which is based on the famous Scope's Monkey Trial. It features a revolving cast of some very notable actors including Marsha Mason, Len Cariou, Tyne Daly, Ed Asner, and Mike Ferrel. It proves to be very thought provoking. It actually makes a stop at the Clarice Smith Center from January 31st to February 1st. I'll probably start a blog documenting the tour itself. I'll keep you posted.
SGS:PLEASE do! Compare and contrast DC and NYC theatre.
Filusch: Well, I have to say, I've seen some of the worst theatre in my life here in NYC. Some of the worst acting, too. Abominable. I think that because there are SO many here, the chances for it to be dreadful rise...however, I HAVE seen some theatre here that I have been BLOWN AWAY by here on and off-broadway. I think DC theatre has stiffer competition amongst it's own theatre companies to put on better material.
SGS:What is in your CD player right now?
Filusch: Well, I just bought an I-River..so MANY things...I've been rediscovering some Pink, some Lyle Lovett, OH, a duo from here in NYC called the Knuckleheads...SO hysterical...also a mixed CD you gave me...I think there is some Gwen Stefani, Justin Timberlake, Paula Abdul, and the song Mercedes Boy on it...
SGS:So embarrassing..my bubblegum phase from last spring... What is the last movie you forced yourself to watch?
Filusch: Being Julia.
SGS: What has the transition from DC to NYC actress been like for you?
Filusch: Well..it's hard. No one knows you up here, you know...and they don't know what you can do, either...so until they do, you kind of have to rely on other people introducing and putting good words in. It is frustrating, but doors are opening for me. It takes time.
SGS:What's the secret to being happy as an actor/actress?
Filusch: ...Not wanting to be famous. Having enough of an inner life to be content between gigs.
SGS: Thanks, kitten...I'll talk to you after the showcase...
Filusch: You're welcome, baby. You got burgers to eat...talk soon..
CHOOSING HELEN...September 12th at 7PM...The Theatre at St. Peter's (home of the York Theatre Company)CitiGroup Center, 619 Lexington Avenue (entrance on 54th Street)7:00 p.m.!!! Tix are free