Today I’m excited to catch up with my friend and former Tracy’s New York Life blogger, Rori Nogee. Longtime blog readers will remember Rori’s posts about living life as an actor/singer in NYC, as well as her Broadway and Off-Broadway theater reviews. If you’re a newbie reader, I hope our chat will inspire you to go back and read some of Rori’s best blog articles. Rori was part of the Tracy’s New York Life team for several years, until about a year ago when her career took her traveling around the country, and she had to take a hiatus from blogging. I miss working with her tremendously!
Rori’s had a busy year, so I thought it would be fun to take a look at where she’s been, what she’s been doing, and what’s coming up.
TK: I know you’ve had quite a year. Catch us up! Tell us what shows you’ve worked in over the past 12 months.
RN: In 2015, let’s see. I did six months of the North American Tour of Chuggington, Live!. Then I headed over to Madison, CT to join the creative team as the assistant director/choreographer of a revue called Follies. Then I went to Tennessee to perform in Speakesy, Go, Dog, Go!, Oliver! and the rock musical, Murder Ballad, (and also got to be on the television set of Nashville, twice!). Then I returned to NYC and got cast in Truffles, a jazz murder mystery show that performs at The Cutting Room. It was a very full year!
TK: Wow! I admire your versatility as a performer – you really can play any role. I ‘m not sure how you do it all, and you handle a day job too. I know you’re working on The Ride (an interactive touring experience with live performances, games and cool technology). I’ve heard great things about it! Seems like a fun gig. How did you land it?
RN: The Ride is the best ever “day job” for a performer and tour guide. I had an interview and a callback that consisted of very involved improv games. They want to know that you can think quickly on your feet, and that you have good comedic chops to keep the people entertained in any situation.
TK: Only in New York would someone have to go through an interview and callback for a day job. 🙂 So, you’ve been working on your own musical for the past several years as well. Tell me, what’s going on with Siren’s Den?
RN: I have been writing this rock musical for about four years now. Fifteen minutes of it was presented in the 2014 West Village Musical Theater Festival, but I am about to self-produce a full workshop of the show in the East Village for the very first time! It is a HUGE undertaking, but the team and I are ready. The show is April 3 and 4.
RN: Fun Home and its incredible score and story. Although I also saw School of Rock twice. The show captured the movie SO perfectly and you just can’t help but grin from ear to ear the entire time. Daddy Long Legs was also a beautiful chamber piece.
TK: I’d have to agree about Fun Home. What a mind-blowing musical! Which shows are you looking forward to seeing in the near future?
RN: I am psyched for Disaster, which I loved Off-Broadway, plus, it has Adam Pascal back at the Nederlander Theater, so that is a must-see! The Woodsman also looks incredible with its puppetry and romance.
TK: I saw Disaster last week and died laughing. Well, almost. And for the record, Adam Pascal is still amazing! I was in the third row, so I’m not lying. In your opinion, what’s the best show for a Broadway novice to see?
RN: Wicked. It’s 12 years old at this point, but I think it really is the perfect Broadway musical in every way.
TK: Yep, I’d have to agree again. I loved every moment of Wicked. It’s a show I could see again and again.
This year is off to a great start for you. What’s the one thing you’d like to accomplish in 2016?
RN: Once Siren’s Den premieres, I want to focus on getting the show into a festival and then getting representation for myself in theater and film/tv/commercials. I have gone about as far as I can go on my own at this point, but I do have a lot of exciting things coming up. In May/June I will play Regina in Rock of Ages at Arizona Broadway Theater, and then in August I head to San Francisco for Showgirls! The Musical! at the Victoria Theater, starring NYC’s April Kidwell as Nomi and Peaches Christ (famous drag queen) as Cristal Connors. I will be in the ensemble.TK: What an exciting summer you have to look forward to. You’ve traveled so much over the past year but you always come back to New York. Give me three reasons why you don’t think you could ever permanently leave NYC.
RN: 1. Broadway shows.
2. The New York Minute: I LOVE taking on 12 projects at once. I get bored anywhere else. There is so much potential for excitement and new opportunities here on a daily basis.
3. It’s home. I was born and raised here. My heart will always be here.
TK: I’m glad you’ll be sticking around. The city needs creative souls like you! I’m proud of all you’ve accomplished, and if you ever want to write on TNYL, the door is always open.
And my last question…What’s the one thing you can’t live without right now?