Sunday, August 18, 2013
Spotlight On...Amy Weaver
Hometown: Muldrow, Oklahoma
Education: University of Oklahoma
Why theater?: It's my roots! I grew up on the stage, but because I am based in Los Angeles, most of my career has been focused in front of the camera. I've been fortunate enough to be a part of some great productions in LA, but it hasn't been as plentiful as I'd like. Don't get me wrong, the talent is there, but it isn't as accessible as it is here in New York. So, right now, I am loving every minute! It feels so good to be working these muscles again! Feels like home.
Tell us about Waiting for Waiting for Godot: In Waiting for Waiting for Godot, two understudies stuck in backstage limbo grapple with art, life, the "biz" and their absurd existence. As it turns out, the only two people who truly understand waiting for Godot, are the understudies.
What is it like being a part of Waiting for Waiting for Godot?: Dave Hanson, the playwright, and I met performing improv at Improv Olympic West in Los Angeles. It was an instant friendship! I have enjoyed all of his creative endeavors since the beginning, so it is a complete honor to be a part of this creation. Overall, it is always exciting to work with talent you admire and trust-- and this show truly does have it all with my castmates, Chris Sullivan and Dave Hanson, and our fearless director, Alex Harvey. But, in truth, I simply just love this play! I love its fresh comedy and smart nod to one of the greatest plays of the last century. And, I love what it has to say-- the questions it asks-- about the choices we make as artists. I've never known what I would do if I weren't an actor-- I never had a back up plan-- and this play addresses that deep-down, it's-in-my-blood desire to stick it out-- the instability and insanity that goes along with that. It's a really funny show, but there are a few lines in the second act when Ester (Sullivan) and Val (Hanson) are discussing waiting for "promises that never come" and their everyday sacrifices for the greater goal, that always rip my heart out. These moments take me back to when I was starting out and struggled. I think most actors are probably only once-removed emotionally from those days.
What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: My taste is pretty eclectic. I love really raw, everyday characters that battle real demons. In general, I would say I am pulled toward stories and characters that have a darkness to them-- and if that comes with comedy in tow, you've made my day! As far as what inspires me, I find inspiration all along this city: the buskers in the subway, the art in the MET, the farmers in the farmer's market, the kindness of strangers... If you take a moment to look around, there are stories everywhere. So much to learn and so much to tell!
Any roles you’re dying to play?: Most of my work has been in comedy. For this reason, I think it would be great to dive into a really tragic character-- maybe something from a classic playwright, like Tennessee Williams or Eugene O'Neill. Their characters are always working through very complex facades. I love the layers to these characters and I would like to sink my teeth into something like that soon.
What’s your favorite showtune?: Anything from Mack & Mabel, and of course, I love a good tragic Jason Robert Brown song.
If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Right now, I am in love with actors who create their own material, like Tina Fey, Holland Taylor, Mindy Kaling, Kristin Wiig & Annie Mumolo, Steve Martin, and Tracy Letts... I also have a mad talent crush on Michael Shannon, whose performance in Mistakes Were Made at Barrow Street Theater a few years ago made me lose my mind.
Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: I once shot a commercial whose casting called for an Amy Adams/ Penelope Cruz type (because this makes absolutely no sense). So, I guess either of those ladies would work fine. I am a sucker for classic Rom-Coms, so the film would definitely be something like “BRIDGET JONES' DIARY (AMY WEAVER'S DIARY?)”-- without a cool British accent and with a lot more bad dates in there. Luckily for me, the happy ending would be appropriate!
What show have you recommended to your friends?: I have been working out of New York for the last 6 months, so I have been a complete crazy lady with the theater-going. I saw First Date on Saturday night and really loved it! Michael Weiner and Alan Zachary (the show's composers and lyricists) are friends of mine, and they are just so talented! Such a fun night out! It will make you cringe thinking about your past dating experiences. (Or, maybe that is just me!) Within the past year, I loved Pippin, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (please tell me you saw Tracy Letts' Tony acceptance speech for this!), The Last Five Years, and Sleep No More is an unforgettable experience.
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: A mean cocktail? Not sure if this is a guilty pleasure or just a really good decision.
What’s up next?: I am a really finding a lot of joy creating original material for myself, telling the stories that speak to me. The whole process is thrilling, heartbreaking, and everything in-between. I wrote and starred in a television pilot a few years ago, a comedy called "A Temporary Life" which was based on my life-- leaving Oklahoma for the Big Apple, the naiveté and growing pains that came with that transition. I was really proud of the work, but ultimately, it wasn't picked up. So now, I am working on a fresh approach to that idea in the form of a webseries. A webseries gives me a little more flexibility to explore the story lines-- the comedic tone and layers I personally find funny. I am really finding there is a freedom in not feeling beholden to the formulas that make up network television. I am even working on a musical episode! This webseries and a feature screenplay I am also writing continue to be exciting challenges. And, while I love acting in film and television, I hope that this experience with Waiting for Waiting for Godot is a catalyst for more stage work to come.
For more on Amy, check out @AmyWeaverTweets and www.funnyordie.com/videos/858015a4b5/do-the-work. For more on Waiting of Waiting for Godot, visit www.wfwfgodot.com