We know you are loving our Murder Mystery NYC Diary entries, but today we’ll be returning to another favorite, our Live in Theater Actors Series. In this series, we focus on some of immersive theater’s top talent, many of whom work with Live in Theater!
Experiencing outdoor immersive theater in NYC is a unique treat, with many surprises, twists, and turns. For these productions to be successful, our actors must use their distinct set of skills to bring a story to life and captivate an audience.
This week’s featured actor is Tanya Perez. Find out about her upcoming work, her process, and be sure to catch her in one of our immersive theater productions in NYC!
Q: How did you become a part of the Live in Theater cast?
A: I was acting in my very first short film along with Carlo many years ago before there was a Facebook. We started following each a few years back on social media and I saw he was looking for actors for Live which involved grounded improvisation. This has always been my type of improv, so I reached out to see what his company was doing. After a catch up and going to watch a few immersive shows, I joined the cast of Fierce and Deadly as Shade.
Q: What are the differences between interactive theater and traditional theater?
A: For me, it's beyond breaking the fourth wall that traditional theater loves to live in. It's an invitation for the audience to become part of the story. Interactive storytelling doesn't allow those in the space to hide, it actually needs the audience to be present along with us as actors.
Q: What is your favorite element of interactive work?
A: No performance is ever the same.
Tanya Perez as Shade in Fierce and Deadly 1988.
Q: What is your experience with acting on the streets of New York?
A: One of my former day jobs was promotional brand ambassador work on the streets of New York, so I have a pretty thick skin when it comes to being outside and performing. I am living these characters lives the second I step outside. I love watching bystanders going about their day notice me, dressed in turn of the century dress, and either think nothing of it or have a myriad of reactions while I'm reading aloud from the bible.
Q: Who would be one historical figure in history you would like to play?
A: Get back to me on this one.
Q: What do you love about the character(s) you play?
A: My favorite is Shade. Well, right now anyway. I had the chance to live her for a few years and I feel she is a real part of me. I mean, we are completely opposite people on paper, but there is something about her that is just raw and vulnerable. I also really dig playing this messed up, high-end hooker from one of my favorite time periods, during the Paris is Burning era in New York.
Q: What’s the biggest challenge about taking on your character(s)?
A: When I step into a newer role, I am still merging what I know about the person and what is important to the story. It's like the early stages of dating and I am still getting to know this character. Sometimes it's an awkward date and all I want to do it end it before dessert.
Q: What’s the last thing you do before an experience begins?
A: Pee. I drink a ton of water.
Q: What did you add to the persona of the character during the interactive experience?
A: I add a lot of things another actor who plays the same role might do differently. When I play Chief Miller, I play her from a perspective of being a female who has had to fight her entire life in a male dominated world. So she has a layer that I don't think the other guys who step into that role can play. My Chief REALLY doesn't like being told what to do by men and she delivers the death stare.
Tanya as Chief Miller in The Lombardi Case 1975
Q: What do you do when you’re not doing theatre?
A: My life is filled with writing plays & short films, acting and producing in them or working with other gifted creators all over the country doing what I love. My dog child, Tia Tortilla, takes up the remainder of my down time as we gallivant around the city looking for tasty treats and enjoy long walks chasing squirrels.
Q: If you had a magic wand, what show would you do next?
A: A full stage production of Beige by Desi Moreno Penson. It's an incredible play that deserves a Steppenwolf scale run and so very timely.
You can catch Tanya in the screening of Veronica during the International Puerto Rican Heritage Film Festival on November 17th!
To learn more about Tanya’s work in Veronica, click here.
If you have any questions you would like to ask Tanya, leave a comment below!