Texas native Jenn Dodd is a character actress living in Astoria, Queens. She has spent the past few years cultivating her craft which has led to both her current variety show Buttski & Glasscock’s New Talent Blowout as well as her upcoming one-women show No Show: A One Woman Show, which takes the stage tonight at Stage Left Studios in NYC.
AC: How has your variety show helped you grow as a comedic actress?
JD:Well, it’s a big step up from hosting it at indie venues and bars. For one, I don’t have to change in the pee soaked bathroom stalls that house puking drunk girls and graffiti. There’s a green room! The PIT is awesome. I’ve worked with them for years and I’m proud to be producing my character/variety show there. “Buttski and Glasscock’s New Talent Blow Out” has been running monthly for over a year now, and it’s finally starting to build an audience. I think at first people were like “what the heck is THIS?!”. It’s a weird show, but I think people have grown to expect that.
AC:What’s the difficulty involved?
JD:I’m producing it and hosting. So it’s like juggling a million balls; booking, promoting, getting a tech, writing, setting up the space… the list is never ending. So once it’s time for me to get onstage and perform what I’ve written, I’m a total scatter-brain. For me, I’ve learned a lot about the booking process; how to do it and what makes a good, well-rounded show. I also think it has made me a better host. I don’t have time to agonize over what I’m going to say next. I just have to run with what’s given to me at any given moment.
AC:How would you describe your one-woman show?
JD:Well, Buttski and Glasscock is a character show. I host as a different character every month and all of the comics who are guests on my show are playing alter egos. So, after a year at The PIT (and another year before that at The Luca Lounge), I have quite a large arsenal of live material. I’ve been SAYING I was going to write a one woman show for years, but I think I was finally ready to put the pen to paper. So, here I am. If I were a musician, it’d be my first “album”, really. That’s how it feels, any way.
AC: Is it a mixture of any other comedies the audience might be familiar with?
JD: It’s a show within a show, essentially. The premise is that it’s opening night of my one woman show and I am not actually there. So, I play all of the crew who are desperately stalling, audience members and even family who came from Texas for the occasion. It’s very meta. I’m not sure I could compare it accurately to something, but here’s a go at it; it’s like if Noises Off was played by the same person, and that person was a little weird and dark. There are a lot of pop cultural influences, as well.
AC: Are there are lot of costume changes and how do you accommodate that within the performance?
JD: YES! Costumes and wigs (because I’m a wig hound)! So, to supplement the costume changes we’ve written some really hilarious videos which will play between characters. Multimedia! It definitely is a very fast turn around for me to go from one to the next (I’ll be performing as 7 different people), but I’ve been developing these characters for several years. So, they really come quite easily to me. Though, I sometimes need to take a quick look at myself in the mirror to remember who the hell I am.
AC: You’ve also started an indiegogo campaign to help fund the performance, correct?
JD: Well, it’s basically to help fund part of what the show will ultimately coast to run; renting out the theatre space, the director, crew, video editor, props costumes, rehearsal spaces, marketing tools, etc. There’s a lot that goes into getting a show up and running. It’s ‘spensive.
AC: Who’s producing the show?
JD: Technically, I have 2. Producer A is KL Thomas and she runs a show at Under St. Marks Theatre called Sketch Block. It’s a really cool alt comedy variety show downtown. My other producer is my friend Sharon Jamilkowski who I’ve worked with on I’ve Got Munchies.
No Show: A One Woman Show will be at Stage Left Studio beginning October 10th.