Monday, June 30, 2014
Spotlight On...Tessa Skara
Hometown: Richmond, BC, Canada
Education: New York University
Select Credits: I perform all over NYC with my musical sketch group Pop Roulette, most frequently at The PIT. I've performed as my comedic alter ego "Janelle Bonae Ramsey" in Janelle Bonae Ramsey's FAM3 WH0R3 (Total Rejects Live! at the Public Theatre) and Janelle Bonae Ramsey: Cannibl Sup3rS4r (Dixon's Place) and lots of queer nightlyfe events, but now I'm focusing on bringing my mix of performance art/stand up to more "traditional" comedy clubs. We can only change the patriarchy from within the belly of the beast/Carolines on Broadway.
Why theater?: Because I couldn't break into plumbing. Kidding, I just didn't get enough love as a child.
Who do you play in Too Many Lenas 3?: Apologetic Lena, she's the anxious, dramatic, and self-obsessed Actress with a capital "A".
Tell us about Too Many Lenas 3: Too Many Lenas 3 is a psychidelic, absurd, computerized romp through our NEED for self representation, not only as citizen's of the 21st century, but as womyn.
What is it like being a part of Too Many Lenas 3?: Kind of like hanging out with your best friends making each other laugh so hard you want to pee on the studio floor or explode through a window
What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I'm inspired by/love to watch female identified artists. What we think of as the "cannon" of Art and Performance has been largely populated and decided on by men, so seeing the art that women choose to make, in any medium, with such limited examples of what a "traditional-lady-artist" is really interests me. It's why I think we're seeing so many awesome female artists who play with the status quo of their medium, cross-genres and make risk-taking work: because they don't have a tradition to uphold. As a comedian, I love to see women doing stand-up because comedy clubs have become a very "bro-centric-space" and when a talented woman does stand-up I feel like I see the most original work in the field: like Kate Berlant, Kristin Schaal, Maria Bamford, Sarah Silverman and Margret Cho. Also shout outs to Kathleen Hannah, Blondie, Rineke Dijkstra and, of couse, Miranda July.
Any roles you’re dying to play?: Myself in Funny Art.
What’s your favorite showtune?: Judy Garland singing "Come Rain or Come Shine" with just those bongos accompanying her gets me every time. But also Liza Minelli "singing" anything. GOD I LOVE THAT FAMILY!
If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: The band Of Montreal. Basically my entire freaky + absurd yet campy aesthetic has been cultivated by being a super fan of theirs in my teens.
Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: I WOULD PLAY MYSELF ONLY I CAN TELL MY STORY.
What show have you recommended to your friends?: I love (and sometimes perform at) my friend Chris Tyler's queer nightlife performance-party TRL>>>Total Rejects Live at This N That every first Wednesday of the month. I also love Champagne Jerry, Bridget Everett and Erin Markey's work around the city. I love anything that blends art with comedy, music and (hopefully) A #PARTY!
What’s the most played song on your iTunes?: "Eli's Coming" - Laura Nyro and THEN "Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe"-Kendrik Lamar. I am an intricate valley of contradictions.
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: I guess a lot of people would say smoking weed, but I don't feel guilty. Just high.
What’s up next?: Doing a run at the PIT with Pop Roulette every Saturday @ 9:30 in Sept-Oct and performing stand-up around the city. Check out www.tessaskara.com for show times and to contact me for #shows.