Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Meet the Cast: Leif Steinert (ANIMALS)

Leif Steinert (Robby) moved from Massachusetts to New York after graduating high school in 2004. Passing on college, he opted to take some acting classes in Manhattan and get a job (there have, in fact, been several jobs: a clerk in a laundry center, a U.S. census taker, a Central Park tour guide, a bartender, and a doorman dressed as a toy soldier in front F.A.O. Schwarz, just to name just a few). Over the years, he has learned countless lessons and had countless experiences that are of the kind that only New York can offer.
  • You’ll be performing in our upcoming production of Animals for the New York International Fringe Festival. Can you tell us some of your initial thoughts about the piece and your character? How are rehearsals going?
I play a guy named Robby who's just moved back home after being away for five years. He's a pleasure seeker who's trying cope with the many changes that are happening in his life. Rehearsals are going very well.
  • When did you know that you wanted to be an actor? How did you get started?
I didn't get good grades in high school, so my father gave me an ultimatum in my junior year: either to be locked in my room for 3 hours a night to make a desperate push for college or to join my school's production of West Side Story. I chose the latter, and fell in love with the sensation of being on stage in front of an audience.
  • Who or what do you consider to have been your biggest creative influences to date? Why?
I am influenced by my day-to-day life as it plays itself out. The basic human responses that life provokes inside of everyone on earth is what I go fishing for whenever I play a role.
  • What is your favorite part of the creative process before you perform for an audience? Do you have a particular pre-show ritual that you engage in before curtain? If so, can you share it with us?
The pre-show stuff depends on the part, and I guess my ritual is that I like to hug or connect with everybody in the cast before the stage manager calls for us to take our places. It's an expression of support, unity and gratitude for sharing the experience.The table work is my favorite part of the process because it's like preparing for a bank heist.
  • I believe this is your first time working with Wide Eyed. We’d like to get to know you a little better. Could you tell us a little bit about your last project? Is there something cool that you like to do in your spare time?
I’ve been enrolled at the New School for Drama's M.F.A program for the last year, which is where I’ve worked with Kristin [Hoffmann] and Sam [Byron] a couple of times. I just did a reading at M.C.C. for a play they are considering to produce. I love to ride my bicycle around the city.
  • Are you working on any additional projects at the moment? Care to share with us?
The other day, I got cast in a short film called Life in a Box. It's a great script, and I believe it will turn out to be something quite special.

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