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Entries in Daphne Rubin-Vega (5)


Call Redialed: Daphne Rubin-Vega: REBEL VERSES Youth Arts Festival

Daphne Rubin-VegaI feel so lucky to get to do another interview with two-time Tony nominee Daphne Rubin-Vega. I am definitely one of her biggest fans and when I found out she was going to be the spokesperson this summer for REBEL VERSES Youth Arts Festival, I knew it was time to give her another call to talk about this venture. Much to my delight, Daphne answered my call yet again! 

I love how Daphne & I tied in her life experiences with what she hopes these students will learn from her & the program. Daphne always opens up to me with great personal experiences and these kids are very lucky to be learning from her.

Developing Artists, in a new partnership with Vineyard Theatre, brings its REBEL VERSES Youth Arts Festival to a new home at Vineyard Theatre (108 E. 15th St.) with performances Thursday, July 27th, July 28th, July 29th, August 3rd, August 4th and August 5th. Daphne Rubin-Vega is the spokesperson for REBEL VERSES Youth Arts Festival, which presents some of the best youth companies in the region. Unlike any other theatre festival, REBEL VERSES provides an opportunity for high school students to perform their own original work and to celebrate the work of their peers, and gives audiences a platform for open dialogue with emerging young artists from other companies in New York City and around the region. Now in its 13th year, the festival was born out of the need for a platform where young artists can express themselves honestly and in an environment that recognizes the legitimacy of all stories and backgrounds. With a mission to journey into the unapologetic and unrestrained creativity of the next generation, REBEL VERSES Youth Arts Festival values diverse stories ranging across age, sex, race and time. For tickets and further information visit! 

For more on Daphne be sure to visit and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

1. This summer you are the spokesperson for the REBEL VERSES Youth Arts Festival. How did this come to be? I have known Jill [DeArmon] and Jinn [Kim], the founders of Developing Artists and REBEL VERSES Youth Arts Festival, for many years. We share roots in the theatre going back to our days at The LAByrinth Theater Company. When they approached me about working with their students this summer, I was ready to jump in and help any way I could.

2. What do you hope the kids partaking in this festival will come away with after the festival is complete? I hope these kids experience a level of awareness that their voices have an impact - that they are not alone in their struggles to be heard and they can find strength in discovering and developing their own voices. I want them to walk away knowing that their creativity matters in a world that often appears neither to notice nor care.

3. What do you feel you will bring to the festival that another spokesperson might not? I bring me! I was in these students’ shoes - I was that child that wished for and would have benefited so much from this artistic outlet. I know how vital this program is for the development of a young person in poor or working class conditions in this city, especially in the middle of summer, when distractions and temptations are around every corner.

REBEL VERSES Youth Arts Festival students, Photo Credit: Bobby Rodriguez4. What do you think the kids will find the most fun part about this festival and what will be most challenging for them? The fun is in the challenge to express themselves at this vulnerable stage of their lives. It’s exciting and terrifying all at once! It’s also a great experience to discover talents you didn’t know you had, or cared to explore further, and be encouraged and empowered to pursue them. Perhaps not everyone will pursue work as an artist, but everyone involved in REBEL VERSES will grow for the better because of the tools they gain here.

5. What excites you about working with this next generation of artists? It excites me to be involved with and of service to the younger generation, period. If these kids want to exercise their creative voices, so much the better! I’m here to encourage them and say, "Yes, I came from where you are. I did it. And you can too!" I also can’t underestimate what I learn from them - most times, I think that I’m the lucky one here!

6. As a mother yourself, if your son wanted to take part in this festival, why do you think it would be a good idea for him to do so? omg My son plays soccer, which is all about teamwork, as is REBEL VERSES. It would present him with different approaches to collaboration and leadership. These students learn to work together, respect and support one another, and have fun while doing it!! My son plays soccer.

Daphne Rubin-Vega with the REBEL VERSES Youth Arts Festival students, Photo Credit: Kevin WeinboldDaphne Rubin-Vega with REBEL VERSES Youth Arts Festival students, Photo Credit: Kevin Weinbold7. What do you think the established artists taking part in this festival will learn from the students? We have the opportunity to wonder again! We are reminded why we are artists in the first place. That’s a huge idea to meditate on. I get very moved and inspired watching young people create. There’s infinite possibility in wonder. The older I get, the more fascinated I am by the resilience of youth.

8. What is something that you wish you knew as a young actress that you can impart on the next generation? Society is stumbling over itself to mold and define you. When you look a certain way, wear certain clothes, and speak a particular way, the world is making judgments and trying to understand where you fit in. This is YOUR time to see that - rebel against it, accept it, reject it, question it, embrace it; but whatever you choose to do with that, be undeniably YOU! No one else is or ever will be you - make that a good thing!

9. What is the one mistake you made, either professionally or personally, that you hope they don't make? There was a period in my life when I was very ashamed of my past. What a waste of time! My past and my experiences are the very things that make me special. Don’t forget that. Also…be punctual. Early bird gets the worm.

10. What is a F.U.Q. you hope to be able to answer for one of these students? OOOOH! What is the one things that separates us all? Being me. Otherwise, we are all one.

Daphne Rubin-VegaMore on Daphne:

Daphne Rubin-Vega is a two-time Tony and Drama Desk nominee (1996/2004) and the recipient of the Theater World, Obie (1996) and Blockbuster (1998) awards. She has been a member of the Labyrinth Theater Company since 1992. Daphne is perhaps best known for originating the roles of "Mimi" in RENT and "Conchita" in Anna in the Tropics; both were Pulitzer Prize winning Broadway shows for which she was nominated for Tony Awards. She originated the role of "Rahmi" in Karen Hartman’s Gum, "Sofia" in Nilo Cruz’s Two Sisters and a Piano, "Canary Mary" in Suzan-Lori Parks’ Fucking A (Lucille Lortel nomination) and "Lucy" in Bob Glaudini’s Jack Goes Boating at the Public Theater. She also starred in the Broadway revivals of The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Magenta) and Les Miserables (Fantine).

Daphne’s film credits include detective "Gloria Perez" in Wild Things, starring Kevin Bacon and Matt Dillon (Blockbuster Award for Best Supporting Actress); "Tia" in Flawless, opposite Robert De Niro; and, most recently, reprising the role of "Lucy" in the film version of Jack Goes Boating, which was Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s film directorial debut. Other films include JusticeSkeleton Woman (New York Independent Film Award), VirginSex and the City, and I Like It Like That. Daphne is recognized for her singing as well as her acting. She was a member of the girl group Pajama Party, whose single "Yo No Se" reached the top of the Billboard dance charts. They made two albums on Atlantic Records before Daphne began writing and recording solo singles for the indie dance label Maxi. In 1997 Daphne released her first album of original music Souvenirs on the Mercury label, and in 2006 she produced, performed, and primarily wrote Redemption Songs (Sh-K- Boom). Daphne has contributed to various musical projects, including her notorious version of "Feliz Navidad" for Broadway Cares and her club smash cover of "Rocketman." In 2005, she received an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Kean University. "Dr." Rubin-Vega was born in Panama and raised in New York City, where she lives with her husband and son.


Call Redialed: Rori Nogee: Siren's Den

Rori Nogee, Photo Credit: Chris LaPointeI met Rori Nogee at a Daphne Rubin-Vega concert in 2001/2002 and we've been friends ever since. When Rori told me she was writing Siren's Den, I said to her, when it's done, we must do an interview. It sounds like a fascinating layered story that we need to talk about. So, Siren's Den is done, our insider's look is below and the show is getting ready for its first public partly staged reading/workshop presentation on April 3 and 4 at 7pm at Under St. Marks in New York City. Click here to support Siren's Den and for more information!

For more on Rori be sure to visit and follow her on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, and YouTube!

Logo designed by Amara Nogee1. This April you are presenting part staged/part workshop of your brand new musical Siren's Den, a cautionary tale about the emptiness of fame, the blindness of love, and the healing powers of writing through the darkest times. What made you write such a powerful piece? I took a class with Stephen Adly Guirgis and he said, "When I go to see a show, I want to know what keeps the writer up at night." That’s when I realized that I HAD to tell my story. While the characters and events in this musical are fictional, it is still a deeply personal and somewhat autobiographical piece. I spent many years being a groupie for a Broadway show and got a firsthand look into how manipulative and jealous that girls could get over receiving attention from their favorite actors. It's a whole underground community that people on the outside know little about. During that time, I fell madly in love with someone who both inspired me to write songs and be the best version of myself, and hurt me so deeply that there was nothing to do BUT write. I wanted to capture that double edged sword of love.

In terms of relevance to today's world, I also noticed that modern day pop stars are churned out like clockwork; they are put through the fame machine and end up resembling each other and losing their musical individuality along the way. I wanted to explore who these icons really are behind the spotlight, and if they truly deserve to be on a pedestal.

2. You wrote the books, lyrics, and music for this show. What was it like to write this show yourself? For an introvert, it was a wonderfully solitary thing! Everything seen and heard in this show came from my heart, my memories and my imagination. Writing it was the easy part. The scary part now is handing my baby over to the creative team, letting go, and trusting it in their hands. It’s also terrifying to finally share this show with the world and watch how audiences react.

Cast of "Siren's Den" from West Village Musical Theater Festival3. What do you get from writing that you don't get from performing? Wow this is a loaded question!  First of all, I LOVE being on stage. When I am in a favorite show or playing a dream role, little can compare.  But often times as an actor I take gigs to make money. While happy to be working, there is sometimes little artistic fulfillment. Also, the business side of acting is very harrowing with all of the rejection and people telling you that you can’t do something.

When I produce my own work…nobody can tell me no. Instead of sitting around waiting for opportunity, I create my own. I get to watch actors bring characters to life that only previously existed inside of my head. I also get to perform and say my own words that strike a deeply emotional chord. Performing in book musicals is a rush, but so far, producing my own written work trumps all.

Cast of "Siren's Den" from West Village Musical Theater Festival4. Since this show is about the emptiness of fame, the blindness of love, and the healing powers of writing, how have you felt the emptiness of fame? When have you been blinded by love? How has writing helped heal you? I have definitely felt empty at times while starring in regional shows and looking all glamorous from afar, while at the end of the day, feeling homesick and bored and lonely.

I am perpetually blinded by love. I have a habit of falling for emotionally unavailable people who are often batshit CRAZY, but I overlook their flaws and make excuses because I am certain that the good outweighs the bad. I need to stop doing that…

If it weren’t for writing…oof. For me, writing exorcises all of the demons. It helps me to organize my thoughts, to give me a sense of power over things that are out of my control and to give me closure on certain relationships. Writing is complete catharsis. Siren’s Den is the culmination of all of that.

"Siren's Den" cast from West Village Musical Theater Festival5. What sets your show apart from others that written on similar themes? It is interesting that right now on Broadway we have Beautiful and On Your Feet, two musicals that feature the music industry and a female protagonists rise to fame. Siren’s Den deals with that, but it takes a look at the dark side of that journey. There is also a romantic relationship between two women at the forefront, which is rare in musicals.  The word "lesbian" is never mentioned in Siren’s Den. Instead, there are two fully developed females who understand that sometimes love just…happens. This musical has nothing to do with loving a gender and everything to do with loving a whole person. Think, All About Eve, except it isn't fame that "Remy" is after, it's the love and mutual respect of someone she idolizes.

6. In Siren's Den, one of the characters, "Remy," who is the biggest fan of "Skylar," a seductive indie rock singer, goes down a road into drugs, lust, and empty promises. How have you stayed grounded in an industry that lead others, like "Remy," down a darker road? I am more based in the theater world than the music industry, but regardless, I have a very strong sense of self. I know what I want and I am not easily distracted or influenced. And I know it sounds cheesy, but I live off of the natural highs in life…probably because I am SO addicted to love. But it makes drugs very unnecessary!

Rori Nogee in "White Christmas" at Arizona Broadway Theater7. What singers have lured you in with their songs? Who would you like to sing a duet most with? In addition to showtunes, I grew up listening to angsty female rockers like Alanis Morisette, Melissa Etheridge, Joan Jett and Heart. Every song on the Jagged Little Pill album is brilliant. Siren’s Den has that angry 90’s rocker chick kind of sound. Today, I’d love to sing with Daphne Rubin-Vega. Have you heard her song, "Broken?" You haven’t?? Go download it!!

8. What was the hardest part about writing this musical? What was the most fun? REWRITES ARE HARD. I brought in pages weekly to R.C. Staab’s writing group. Every time I thought the show was done, the group voiced suggestions and constructive criticisms and I would have to go home and revise it all over again. I think the workshop script is actually draft 9. Tracking the music is also very difficult. Ultimately I would like a live band, but for now, each individual track takes 7-10 hours to create in a recording studio. It is truly a labor of love.

Hearing it out loud in readings was probably the most fun; To hear scenes read with full passion and know that they were really working just the way I intended was pure joy.

Rori Nogee in "Showgirls! The Musical!"9. Of the following roles you've played, "Cristal Connors" from Showgirls! The Musical!, "Maureen" from Rent, and "Rizzo" from Grease, who would you want to sleep with? Go see a show with? Spend a night on the town with? HA!!! I’d sleep with "Maureen" because…she’s totes my type (bats hit crazy!). I feel like "Rizzo" could show me a fun night out on the town, all the latest hot spots. I’d want to see a show with "Cristal" because she would be so amazingly bitter, mocking it and all of the performers and how much better she is than them, that it would be hilarious.

10. On "Call Me Adam," I have a section called One Percent Better, where through my own fitness commitment, I try to encourage people to improve their own life by one percent everyday. What is something in your life that you want to improve by one percent everyday? Gratitude. I spend so much time comparing myself to others or wishing I was someplace else or doing more…that I rarely take time to stop and appreciate everything that I have. I need to live in the present moment and just be grateful for all of the good.

Rori Nogee, Photo Credit: Chris LaPointeMore on Rori:

Rori has appeared on Broadway (Joseph…Dreamcoat), Off-Broadway (Showgirls, the Musical!), in national and North American tours (Disney Junior’s, Chuggington, Live!) and in regional productions including Rent (Maureen), Grease (Rizzo), Gypsy (Mazeppa), Murder Ballad (Narrator) and Arizona Broadway Theater’s upcoming Rock of Ages (Regina). Rori has also appeared in the NYC Fringe and Midtown International Theater Festivals and on America’s Got Talent. Her voice can be heard on the Love Quirks concept album. She can currently be seen in Truffles! at The Cutting Room.

As a writer, Rori’s play, Down This Road, was selected for readings with Sink or Swim Rep, Chelsea Rep Lap, and Identity Theater’s Self-Aware Reading Series. Her concept musical, Fragments, was presented at Don’t Tell Mama. She also has two completed screenplays and is currently writing two other full length plays entitled Borderline and Aftershocks.

Rori’s training includes The Lee Strasberg Institute, Circle in the Square, and the LAByrinth Theater Intensive. She started writing music at 16, which incidentally, is also the year she first fell in love.


Call Redialed: Daphne Rubin-Vega: "Empanada Loca"

Daphne Rubin-VegaThe first time I saw Daphne Rubin-Vega on Broadway was in The Rocky Horror Show (I was not living in NYC while she was in RENT). I was so taken in by her. Shortly after seeing her on Broadway, I attended her solo concert at The Cutting Room in NYC and made 3 friends that night. Those two events have lead to 14 years of seeing Daphne perform, whether it was on Broadway in Anna in the Tropics, a developmental reading of her semi-autobiographical show FUQs, or one of her many numerous concerts I've attended all over the city! 

When I found out Daphne was teaming up with rising playwright Aaron Mark, I knew, whatever they were creating was a must see and that is just what their new show Empanada Loca is, a must see! It is with great pride that I got to talk to Daphne about this amazing show and collaboration with Aaron!

Empanada Loca, a thrilling new play about an indomitable woman who knows that in this dog-eat-dog world only one rule matters: eat or be eaten. Drug dealer. Masseuse. Ex-con. Survivor. "Dolores" has led a life like no other. Now living deep under Manhattan in an abandoned subway tunnel, she has a story you won’t believe – or ever forget. Inspired by the legend of Sweeney Todd, Empanada Loca, presented by LAByrinth Theater Company runs through November 15 at Bank Street Theater (155 Bank Street, between Greenwich and Washington). Click here for tickets!

For more on Daphne be sure to visit and follow her on Facebook and Twitter!

1. You are starring in Aaron Mark's new show Empanada Loca, which he wrote specifically for you. How did you and Aaron first meet? I met Aaron through Jim Nicola, who called me saying he knew this kid with a genius for writing in the solo genre.

2. What was the first thought that went through your head when he said, I want to write a show for you? I was flattered but not expecting what I read at all. It was so bold and urgent, with an uncanny understanding of the theatrical. I loved it instantly, we met and immediately struck a bond. (I heard also that he wrote it only after Jim told him I agreed to read it!!) We spent the last year working on my FUQs and Empanada Loca on our free time. We focused on making Empanada Loca as terse as we could. We're like the Harold and Maude of downtown theater right now.

3. Empanada Loca is a dark tale. How do you prepare each night to get into this dark space? Music, make-up. Vocal warm up. No drama.

Daphne Rubin-Vega as "Dolores" in Aaron Mark's "Empanada Loca"4. In Empanda Loca, you play "Dolores," who is a survivor and has led a life like no other. How are Daphne and "Dolores" alike? Well, we look alike! "Dolores" is a positive person; I like to think I am too. She lives in denial. I do that sometimes. She's been through some super rough shit. Me too. She made some very unfortunate decisions over love. Done that.

5. "Dolores" lives below the city streets in the tunnels of the subway. How do you think you, as Daphne, would survive the tunnel world? Not a snowflakes chance in hell...I'd freeze and Starve to Death.

6. If "Mimi" from Rent came in contact with "Dolores," do you think they would be friends, enemies, or frenemies and why? No. Too meta. "Dolores" would eat "Mimi" and contract Mad Bitch disease....

7. Empanada Loca is a one-woman show. What's the hardest part about putting on a one-woman show? Forgetting my place and not having any back up! Being accountable for every moment. Period.

Daphne Rubin-Vega and playwright Aaron Mark at the opening night of "Empanada Loca"8. When you are working with a cast, your castmates can sometimes do something to make you break character and laugh hysterically. When you are doing a one-woman show, it's just you and your director. Was there a time during rehearsal or tech when you or Aaron did or said something that made you break character and start hysterically laughing? If so, when and what caused that to happen? Dear God, we're Always laughing! We were working on the part where "Dolores" gets angry at "Luis" and I just blurted out "pussy face!" and we were like children! Nobody could stop laughing! So we kept it. I didn't think I'd be able to do it with a straight face, so we kept it on a dare....

9. In addition to being an actress and singer, you are a mother. Has motherhood influenced or changed the way you choose projects to work on? Yes and No. I really am yearning to do a project that my son can appreciate and enjoy. But I'm drawn to the dark side. I play a lot of broken characters with struggles. Kids have struggles too right?

10. What's next for Daphne Rubin-Vega after Empanada Loca? When can we expect a new album, with "Hurricane" on it? Aw "Hurricane!" Gotta wipe the dust off that one! Aaron and I are starting to tinker with the Mata Hari story, espionage and erotica! Then, there's FUQs (the never ending story) and a fantastic musical I'm working on.

11. Since you were in the first film of Sex and the City, if you could spend a night on the town with Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, or Charlotte, who would you choose and what would you do? If I had my druthers, I'd ditch them all and hang out in Carrie's closet...eating pomegranate ice pops and trying shit out.

Daphne Rubin-VegaMore on Daphne:

Daphne Rubin-Vega is a two-time Tony and Drama Desk nominee (1996/2004) and recipient of the Theater World, Obie (1996) and Blockbuster (1998) awards. She has been a member of the Labyrinth Theater Companysince 1992.

Daphne is perhaps best known for the roles she originated, including "Mimi" (RENT) and "Conchita" (Anna in the Tropics), both Pulitzer Prize winning Broadway shows for which she was nominated for the Tony award. She also originated the role of "Rahmi" (Gum), "Sofia" (Nilo Cruz' Two Sisters and a Piano), "Canary Mary" (Suzan-Lori Parks' Fucking A, Lucille Lortel nomination) and "Lucy" (Jack Goes Boating) at the Public Theater, as well as starred in the Broadway revivals of The Rocky Horror Picture Show ("Magenta") and Les Miserables ("Fantine"). Film credits include "Sheila" in Fall to Rise, detective "Gloria Perez" in Wild Things, starring Kevin Bacon and Matt Dillon (Blockbuster Award for Best Supporting Actress), "Tia" (Flawless, opposite Robert De Niro), and most recently, reprising the role of "Lucy" in the film version of Jack Goes Boating, Phillip Seymour Hoffman's film directorial debut. Other films include, Justice, Skeleton Woman (New York Independent Film award), Virgin, Sex and the City, and I Like It Like That

Daphne Rubin-Vega is recognized for her singing as much as her acting. She was a member of the girl group Pajama Party, whose single "Yo No Se" was number one on the Billboard dance charts. They made two albums on Atlantic Records before Daphne began writing and recording solo singles for the indie dance label Maxi. In 1997, Daphne cut her first album of original music, Souvenirs on the subsequently defunct Mercury label and in 2006; she produced, performed, and primarily wrote Redemption Songs (Sh-K- Boom). Daphne has contributed to various musical projects, including her notorious version of "Feliz Navidad" for Broadway Cares and her club smash cover of "Rocketman."

In 2005, she received an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Kean University. "Dr." Rubin-Vega was born in Panama and raised in New York City where she lives with her husband and son.


Call Redialed: Facetime interview with Kenyon Phillips, Cady Huffman, Daphne Rubin-Vega: The Life and Death of Kenyon Phillips

Call Me Adam, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Kenyon Phillips, and Cady HuffmanI've been very fortunate to make some great connections with many of my participants, so much so, that when they have a new show or a show coming back around, they often contact me to do a new interview. That was the case with Kenyon Phillips who wrote to tell me his show, The Life and Death of Kenyon Phillips, was coming back for one night only at Webster Hall on August 19 at 8pm, featuring two-time Tony Nominee Daphne Rubin-Vega and was being directed by Tony Award winner Cady Huffman, who played Kenyon's mom in the show last year and now Daphne, who was Kenyon's mother in a previous version of the show, is stepping back into the role of Kenyon's mom! Well, when I heard this news, I leaped at the opportunity to interview Kenyon, Cady, and Daphne all again.

We had so much fun together, laughing for an hour and a half! I wish I could have included it all, but what's here is pure fun and heart about this dynamic show that combines theatre, burlesque, acrobats, and so much more! Click here for tickets!

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF KENYON PHILLIPS is a surrealist rock opera that uses circus, cabaret, burlesque, and vaudeville to trace the origins of downtown performance artist – and sex addict – Kenyon Phillips. Directed by Tony winner Cady Huffman, the show stars Phillips and his all-girl orchestral pop band, The Ladies In Waiting, along with TV personality Michael Musto, Tony nominee Daphne-Rubin Vega (RENT), and a host of aerialists, acrobats, and burlesquers from the NYC circus underground. After multiple sold-out performances at Joe's Pub and The Box, THE LIFE AND DEATH OF KENYON PHILLIPS moves to the grand ballroom of Webster Hall for a one-night engagement that promises more songs, more thrills, and more chills than ever before.

For more on Kenyon be sure to visit and follow him on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Instagram!

For more on Cady be sure to visit and follow her on Twitter!

For more on Daphne be sure to visit and follow her on Twitter!

Call Me Adam Facetime interview with Kenyon Phillips, Cady Huffman, and Daphne Rubin-Vega:


Sebastian LaCause

Photo Credit: Kevin Thomas GarciaFrom the corn fields of Ohio to the stages of Broadway, Sebastian LaCause has been entertaining audiences since the age of eleven, when he appeared in the ensemble of the Goodyear Community Theatre’s production of "The Music Man." Sebastian first stepped into the Broadway spotlight in the smash hit revival of "Chicago" as "Roxie Hart's" self-absorbed lover, "Fred Casley" and has continued to shine. His other Broadway credits include, "Once Upon A Mattress" with Sarah Jessica Parker, Liza Minnelli's, "Minnelli on Minnelli," and the Tony-Award Nominated revival of "The Rocky Horror Show" as the perfectly engineered boy-toy, "Rocky." He toured nationally with Chita Rivera in "Kiss of The Spiderwoman" and starred as "Zach" in the first national tour of the "A Chorus Line" revival. Regionally he starred in Richard Greenberg's Tony Award Winning play, "Take Me Out," as baseball super-star "Darren Lemming," "Marco" in the Kennedy Center’s production of "Carnival!," and at The Arena Stage as "Steven Kodaly" in "She Loves Me" and "El Gallo" in "The Fantasticks."

Sebastian has also developed new works with Emerging Artists Theatre Company, The Wings Theatre Company, and The Ensemble Studio Theatre .

After spending much time on stage, Sebastian switched gears and parlayed into film and television. He landed roles on "Gossip Girl," "Law and Order: SVU," "All My Children," "One Life To Live," and can be seen as "Agent Kandarian" in the season finale of the critically acclaimed Showtime series, "Homeland," starring Claire Danes.  On the big screen, Sebastian appeared in the Oscar winning "Chicago," had small supporting roles in "Showgirls," "Ghost Town," and "Premium Rush" (2012) and larger supporting roles in "Bear City," as "Fernando" and the upcoming Ira Sachs film, "Keep The Lights On," as "Russ," which will premier at Sundance in January 2012.

Now Sebastian is combining all of his talents and discovering new ones with his new original web series, "Hustling," about growing older, starting over, and figuring out what the hell you're doing. Created out of love, hard work, personal stories, and most of all, talent, Sebastian enlisted many friends to help him out including Daphne Rubin-Vega, Gerald McCullouch, Brian Keane, Gary Cowling, Andrew Glaszek, Brent Barrett, Shannon Lewis, Max Carpenter, Greg Gunter, Emily Shapiro, Todd Riegler and Jessica Press.

New episodes of "Hustling" premiere every Wednesday, with the first three already making waves! For more on "Hustling," follow them on Facebook and Twitter!

For more on Sebastian be sure to follow him on Facebook!

1. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? I was deeply inspired by Gene Kelly, Bob Fosse and the original "Fame" movie. I used to watch a lot of those MGM movie musicals as a kid. "Singing In The Rain" and "The Bandwagon" were big influences on me as child. I would watch Gene Kelly and be mesmerized by his awesomeness. The dance sequence in "The Bandwagon" with Cyd Charisse branded itself into my psyche as the ultimate cinematic blend of style and movement...that is until I saw "All That Jazz." Then the sexuality and darkness of "Take Off With Us" into that dance orgy stole the top spot. And when I saw the "Fame" movie I knew that the arts was the road for me. I started out as a dancer, trained really hard, and ended up at NYU's dance program at Tisch. I only lasted...a short while until I heard the call of the wild and started auditioning and booked my first gig and left school, with the thought of returning after a year's leave of absence. However, heading back to school was not in the cards for me. I kept working and made my way out to LA and had a prolific career as an LA commercial dancer, working on films and on TV and with recording artist like, Madonna, Prince, Tina Turner and Toni Braxton, as well as working on the East coast on Broadway. But soon it wasn't enough creatively anymore. I felt the call of New York and the desire to become an actor was too strong to resist. So I left LA, moved back to NYC and began the next phase of my career which was transitioning from a dancer to an actor...not an easy task when you're already well established as a commodity as a dancer. But I didn't care. I stopped going to dancer calls, focused on my acting class and slowly but surely I made the transition and started working as actor.

2. Who is the one person you haven't worked with that you would like to? Where do I start? Lol.

3. How did you decide to create your web series "Hustling?" What excites you most about it? What do you hope audiences come away with after watching it? How did you go about casting for the series? Hustling came about because I had reached another crossroad in my career. So much of being an actor is waiting around...for the phone to ring. I wanted to take more control of my artistry. I wanted to "do" something. So I got inspired by an idea. I had met some interesting people during a stint in LA when I was auditioning and I became fascinated by their stories. These "sex-workers" shared a common denominator...they wanted out of the business but didn't know how to get themselves out. I actually thought this was very relatable. I know people in all walks of life, accountants, lawyers, bartenders, professional dancers who are unhappy with their current careers/jobs/life situations. People who desperately want to be doing something else or who feel stuck but don't know how to make a change. I added those themes to what I was going through myself, turning forty, and the story practically wrote itself. I started writing it in June and I was shooting in August. I was also inspired by this independent TV movement I was noticing from other theater actors like, Jake Wilson and Andrew Keenen Bolger. I was so moved by the action they had taken in jumping of into these waters. I was greatly inspired by the great work they were doing.

I hope what people come away with after watching the series is how alike we all are as human beings.  No matter what your life situation may be, we all are going through the same shit. When it came to casting I basically wrote for my friends. I wrote for people I wanted to work with and who popped into my head when I started creating the characters. I wanted to have fun making this. That also factored in to who I wrote for and who I cast. Fun, genuinely awesome, authentic people whose work I admired.

4. How did creating "Hustling" stretch your creative abilities? Creating "Hustling" stretched my creative abilities in ways that I had never really imagined before. I've always loved being the "Talent" but what I didn't know was how much I would love being a "Creative" or, that I was capable of doing some of the things I was going to have to do on this project. I discovered that I really love being not only a director working with talented actors but also being the director of photography and being the creator of the composition of the photography. That really excited me. It was fun having the opportunity to have complete creative control in every aspect. I also loved working with my collaborators. The other director of photographer, Max Carpenter really has an incredible eye and he brought so much to the table. I learned a lot about film making from this kid. And my associate producer who is also my art director and fellow editor, brings a lot of creative juice to the playground. He's fun to bounce ideas off of and I was inspired by him as a fellow artist.

5. What is your favorite part in creating a web series? Do you feel your prior TV/Film experience prepared you better for creating "Hustling"? If so, how? My past work experience in TV and film has certainly been helpful in this process but being in front of the camera does not necessarily prepare you for being behind the camera. It's a completely different set of muscles. But being an actor certainly helped when I was directing my friends. I hope that I was able to be clear about what I wanted from them or how I saw the scenes working tonally.

6. Prior to "Hustling," you starred in numerous Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regional theatrical productions. What is your favorite part of the rehearsal/preview period in a show? Where is your favorite place to rehearse/practice on your own? My favorite part of the process in theater I would have to say would be twofold, I love the rehearsal process and I love when you reach the performing part. I really get into developing a character and exploring and making different choices and trying new ways into a scene. I love getting awesome direction from a director that comes at you with a new way of thinking about something. I never think I have all the answers. In fact, sometimes I think I don't have any of them. And I love reaching that place in the rehearsal process and during performance when you don't have to think anymore. When you let go of everything and you're just "there" and present. That is the best high. That is my drug of choice.

My favorite place to rehearse or practice when I'm in a show is on the stage.

7. What have you learned about yourself from being a performer? I guess what I've learned about myself from being a performer is that I'm extremely sensitive, I love to take risks and I'm very tenacious and headstrong. I have known from a very young age that I wanted to be an artist and I have never wavered from matter how hard it has been and how many doors have been closed in my face or how many times people have said "no." 

8. "Rocky Horror" was one of my favorite Broadway shows. Looking back, what was your favorite part of that whole experience? What did you learn from working with so many diverse performers? My favorite part of working on "Rocky Horror" was getting to work that incredible cast. It was crazy! Not only was everyone wickedly talented but everyone was kick ass cool. I had some really good times doing that show. Going to work every day and getting to play with, Alice, Daphne, Raul, Tom, Lea, Jarrod, Joan, Ana and Dick Cavett was an absolute riot. And on the first day of rehearsal extremely intimidating. I was crazy nervous for most of that rehearsal process. I was having a blast but I was afraid of screwing up and not being good and blah, blah, blah. All those insecurities that come with your first co-starring role and first principal contract out of the chorus lol. It's everything you've hoped for but then you're like, fuck...I hope I can pull this off!! But what I learned from working with these diverse performers was not to be afraid.

9. What's the best advice you've ever received? The best advice I ever received was that if I was going to really pursue being an artist then I had to really love it and not want to do anything else in the world...and to have A LOT of patience.

10. Favorite way to spend your day off? My favorite way to spend a day off is to cook a nice dinner and drink a delicious bottle of wine.


11. Boxers or Briefs? Briefs...for sure.

12. Favorite website?

13. Superman or Wonder Woman? Superman AND Wonder Woman....each for different reasons.