Wednesday, November 19, 2008

2008 Interview with Ann Randolph

Currently on tour with her marvelous solo show Squeeze Box, Ann Randolph is a brilliant comic actress, solo performer and writer. She will make her annual appearance in Bob's Holiday Office Party here in LA @ the Zephyr in a couple of weeks, creating 2 of her many zany characters.

Q: Do you keep SqueezeBox as originally written or do you make changes when you perform it?
AR: It changes every night as far as performance, but the text stays the same. I keep discovering new layers in the characters, and it’s so much fun to play with.

Q: How many years have you been doing "Bob's..."?
AR: This will be my 13th year of doing the nasty.

Q: Will you tell us briefly how the characters from both shows developped?
AR: The characters usually develop from looking at parts of myself and exaggerating them. For example, I have both a born again and a brothel inside me. I just let them out. I like to play in the mirror and see who wants to come out. Also, working at the homeless shelter and living/volunteering at a mental institution, you see lots of characters. I watch and listen closely to their behavior, speech patterns, mannerisms and I find what part of myself shares that. We all have it in us. I like to explore what I'm afraid to look at in myself.

Q: Tell us a little about the seminars you're currently doing.
AR: Ahh, I've been leading workshops in "Sharing Your Life Story." And I love it. I love teaching as much as I love performing. These are workshops that I teach at Esalen and Kripalu and also ongoing classes in Santa Monica and San Francisco. I so believe that everybody has an incredible story to tell and I want to guide them in their creative process and help them to tell their story. I believe stories connect us to one another and we learn from one another's experience.

Q: What does Christmas mean to you?
AR: Seeing my family who make me laugh and singing. My family loves to sing and we sing lots of carols. My favorite is brightest and best, and it's an old kentucky song sung by Jean Ritchie.

Q: What in you mind constitutes the ideal Christmas gift?
AR: Homemade CDs.

Q: Who are your favorite actors and why?
AR: I am more influenced by musicians than actors. When I write, it is music that inspires me.. Music breaks down boundaries for me. When I hear Astor Piazzola, a composer of classical music and tango- I hear whorehouse, perversion, sacredness, desire, longing- it's all in his music and it helps me find those parts in myself. I feel the same about Copland and Bach, Beethoven. Each composer brings out a different element.
I also love Carol Burnett and Gilda Radner, Chris Rock and Drew Hastings and Maria Bamford. The absolute best in comedy.

Q: Any roles as an actress that you're burning to play?
AR: If they ever did a movie version of Grey Gardens, I'd like to be the daughter.
Come take my workshop and tell your story. I start up again in January.
www. for more info
-and Also, Dec. 3rd, I'll be participating in a xmas burlesque comedy show at the Steve Allen Theater.

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