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Entries in Sandra Bernhard (3)

Friday
Nov032017

Call Answered: Michael Harren: "The Animal Show" at Dixon Place

Michael Harren at Tamerlaine Animal SanctuaryWho doesn't love a good cat or dog video? I love animals...well, not all animals. I hate rats and mice, but other than that, I love animals. When I read about Michael Harren's residency at Tamerlaine Animal Sanctuary, where he created his show The Animal Show, I knew this is an interview I needed to do.

The Animal Show, blends humor with candor to convey the importance of keeping all animals safe from harm. Through stories, music, and video from his residency at Tamerlaine Farm Animal Sanctuary and activism on the road, The Animal Show is a thoughtful exploration of humans’ relationships with non-human animals.

The Animal Show returns to Dixon Place (161A Chrystie Street) on November 8 & 9 at 7:30pm. Click here for tickets!

For more on Michael be sure to visit http://michaelharren.com and follow him on Facebook, TwitterInstagram and YouTube!

Michael Harren and his orange organ1. Who or what inspired you to become a composer and performer? I wanted to be a performer for as long as I can remember. As a kid in the '70s I used to put on little performances for my family, playing songs I learned by ear on this florescent orange horrible sounding chord organ I got for Christmas. My mom always encouraged me to pursue my musical dreams, but it took me many years to develop the courage to start creating and performing my own work. There are so many messages we get in our culture that being an artist isn’t a "real job" or should just be a hobby. It was especially hard for me to get over that, but I am so glad I did!

2. When did you become an animal activist? I went vegan in November of 2010 when I realized that eating and otherwise exploiting animals didn’t fit with my desire to live a non-violent life. I learned so much about what we humans do to animals, I realized that being vegan wasn’t enough and I needed to hit the streets if I wanted to be able to live with myself.

3. This November you return to Dixon Place with The Animal Show, a multi-media experience of your time living and volunteering at the Tamerlaine Animal Sanctuary. First, what made you want to go live/volunteer at Tamerlaine? How long after you were there did you go, "Hey, this experience could be turned into a show? It actually worked in the reverse of that. I had the idea to do the residency because I wanted to create an experience that I could potentially turn into a show about animals. I had just wrapped up the album and book based on my previous show, Tentative Armor, and in the midst of my wondering "what next" I visited Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, and had the idea of doing a residency at a sanctuary. Soon after I met Tamerlaine co-founder Peter Nussbaum on my vegan running team, and the rest is history!

4. What are you most looking forward to about this return engagement? What do you hope audiences come away with from seeing this show? I’ve been wanting to add a video component to the show since I first conceived of the idea, but I just didn’t have the skills to get it together. Finally (after hours of YouTube study), I have some new pieces in the show that feature video, most of which I shot myself at a Los Angeles Animal Save vigil and a dairy farm I visited while on tour this summer. I’ve expanded the ensemble to a full string quartet, which really makes a huge difference in the sound of the show.

I hope people come away from the show with a different understanding about how we all relate to animals. The biggest thing I realized during my time at Tamerlaine was that every animal is an individual who wants to live. It’s such a simple concept, but even as a long time vegan activist, I didn’t internalize that understanding like I do now. Really, though, I’d like for everyone who sees the show to instantaneously go vegan, but I’ll settle for the "animals as individuals” thing. For now.

Michael Harren and his siblings with their pup Corky5. What did you learn about yourself from your time at Tamerlaine Animal Sanctuary? I’m way more resilient than I thought. Part of the "fun" of this project was that I pretty much hate the outdoors, and I knew by putting myself in a situation that made me very uncomfortable, I would have some interesting experiences to write about. It turns out that I liked doing the outdoor work way more than I thought I would. Even tasks like deep cleaning a chicken coop can become a meditative practice during which I have time to think. I don’t get a lot of that time in my regular life. I toured this summer and wound up in some pretty…rustic settings. One of the sanctuaries where I volunteered had me in a tent, with no electricity or plumbing nearby, I literally had to poop in a bucket and cover it with peat moss each time. One morning as I unzipped my tent I had a strange realiziation - "holy shit. I’m enjoying this." I never knew I was outdoorsy…sometimes.

6. Which animals were your favorite to be with? Which ones were you most afraid of? I love chickens way more than I thought I would. In fact, when I realized Tamerlaine Farm would be the best place for my project, I hesitated because most of the animals they had there at the time were chickens. I mean, what would I write about dumb 'ol chickens?? To my surprise, the stories about chickens are the heart of the show, especially one chicken I had the opportunity to rescue. Chickens are so social and cuddly. YES, cuddly! If you sit down in a yard of chickens, they will gather around you, hop in your lap, nuzzle under your arm. They are lovely and loving beings. I adore them now. Roosters, are a little bit scary though when they get all territorial, and I am especially terrified of a pig at the farm named Clara. There’s a story about her in the show.

Michael Harren at Tamerlaine Animal Sanctuary7. Did you encounter any moments similar to the show When Animals Attack and if so, what happened and how did you handle yourself? I don’t want to tell too much because this particular story is in the show, but let’s just say that even though I don't want to eat animals, that doesn’t mean that animals don’t want to eat me.

8. Which animal do you consider to be your spirit animal? Oh I don’t know, maybe a cat? A sloth? Yeah, that’s it. A sloth.

9. There are so many songs out about the welfare of animals. Off the top of my head, Olivia Newton-John has "The Dolphin Song" and "Pony Ride", two songs about the preservation of dolphins and horses. If you were to write a song about saving one kind of animal, which animal would you write about and what would you name the song? That would be a tough one, and forgive me for getting all vegan-y but the song would have to be about encouraging a consciousness of compassion for all animals. It would be called "We Are Us" and I think you just gave me an idea for a song to add to the show. I wonder if I can write it in just a week?!

Michael Harren and Sandra Bernhard10. My last question, is going to deviate from this specific show because I just love this artist so much that you play with. When not creating your own work, you tour with the one and only Sandra Bernhard as her pianist. What have you learned from working with Sandra and what is one hilarious story you can share about your time on the road with her? Working with Sandra transformed me as an artist tremendously. When I first started working with her I had these beliefs about myself as a pianist, and really as a human, that I had to let go of FAST if I wanted the gig. I was really intimidated when I first started playing with her because I came from more of a classical/theatre background where music was rehearsed and perfected, and I was expected to show up at sound check, ready to go and just do it. Working like that really loosened me up as a musician, and it has changed dramatically how I show up in my own work. I’m not so married to things being perfect, or a big deal, it’s performing and fun and we all, audience and performer, are supposed to have a good time and connect.

I think my favorite moment ever with her was not only getting to play "Me and Mrs. Jones" with her in Provincetown, but the moment she changed her iconic line to "..me and my vegan piano player. You know how we people get along so well…"

Michael Harren, Photo Credit: Diana BezanskiMore on Michael:

Brooklyn-based composer and performer Michael Harren combines elements of classical composition with experimental electronics and storytelling to create hypnotic, bold, and intimate work. He is an artist-in-residence at Tamerlaine Farm Animal Sanctuary where he created The Animal Show. Michael Harren tours as a pianist with Sandra Bernhard and serves as the musical director for Cabaret for a Cause. Michael has performed at Dixon Place, (le) poisson rouge, Joe’s Pub, Judson Memorial Church, The Laurie Beechman Theater and numerous venues around the country.

Sunday
Dec042016

Call Answered: New Year's with Sandra Bernhard: Sandra Monica Blvd: Coast to Coast at Joe's Pub

Sandra BernhardFrom pastrami lox to surprising her fans, I am so thrilled to have taken a trip into Sandyland with the one and only Sandra Berhard. Like Sandra sings on "Who Knew," "She trusted me, I trusted her, and now I trust you too."

My first introduction to Sandra Bernhard came in 1991 both because of Madonna's Truth or Dare and being cast on Roseanne as "Nancy Bartlett," the first openly gay character on a network sitcom. Sandra's talent, the way she spoke, her fashion style all fascinated me. But it was with the release of her album Excuses for Bad Behavior that really made me a fan. I loved that album. It made want to know more. So that lead me to finding Without You I'm Nothing, her groundbreaking one-woman show that captivated me. I loved her performance style of mixing comedy with music. I had never really seen a comedian do that before the way Sandra did. As she premiered news shows like I'm Still Here...Damnit! and Everything Bad and Beautiful, I made sure I was there watching. When I decided to give stand-up comedy a try, Sandra was one of my big influences in figuring out my own style of comedy. I made sure to always include music in my routine too. It was a thrill to meet Sandra in 2006 after a performance of her show Everything Bad and Beautiful at the DR2 Theatre in NYC. I was elated!

After years of being a fan, I'm honored to have the opportunity to interview Sandra about her annual New Year's shows at Joe's Pub, plus her illustrious career including her time on Roseanne! Sandra will be presenting Sandra Monica Blvd: Coast to Coast from December 26-31 at Joe's Pub in NYC (425 Lafayette Street). Click here for tickets!

For more on Sandra be sure to visit http://www.sandrabernhard.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

1. This December, you are once again returning to Joe's Pub for your annual week long New Year's Eve shows. What do you look forward to about performing these shows every year? The creativity & connection to my audience at a time of year that is rich with all kinds of emotions and needs. I am there to bring everyone up!

2. What will surprise fans most about this year's show? The fact that I will have driven all the way across country to get here.

Sandra Bernhard at Joe's Pub, Photo Credit: Kevin Thomas Garcia3. When you look back over your career, what are you most proud of? What do you wish you did differently, if anything? What do you still hope to accomplish? I am most proud of the continuity of my point of view that I care about my audience and the varying turbulent times in which we all live. Well, if I did everything differently we might not be doing this interview. I have a lot of projects in the works and have been forging new relationships in the business, so a lot is happening and I want to do my own line of oils too.

4. Excuses for Bad Behavior (Part 1) is one of my favorite albums of yours. I love "(I'm Waiting)," "Lonely Town," & "Manhattan." So, my questions are...what are you still waiting for? When are you or were you at your loneliest? What is your favorite thing to do in Manhattan? I am waiting on every corner for the light to change and see things from a new perspective. I was at my loneliest before I had my daughter and met my girlfriend and adopted our dog George. My favorite thing to do in Manhattan is walk down to Russ & Daughters for the pastrami lox.

Sandra Bernhard and Morgan Fairchild on "Roseanne"5. You made history when you appeared on Roseanne as "Nancy Bartlett," the first openly gay character on a network sitcom. Looking back, how do you feel that helped open industry doors for future gay/lesbian characters/shows? What was your favorite part about being on the show & working with the cast of Roseanne? Well yes, I think "Nancy" inspired and entertained many viewers and opened them up to new ways of looking at sexuality. I loved the cast of Roseanne: Roseanne, Laurie Metcalf, John Goodman, Sara Gilbert, everyone was open and brilliant and did their thing without a lot of fan fare.

6. 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 life by one percent better everyday. What is something in your life that you want to improve by one percent better everyday? Meditation. I am really trying to meditate more and more and clear the confusion and chaos that only hampers my happiness and creativity.

Sandra BernhardMore on Sandra:

New improved Sandy....a compelling performer who loves to engage her audience with personal, provocative, and deeply emotional content. Sandra is a sports fanatic Detroit Lions & Tigers. Venus and Serena Williams inspire her to take it to the limit. Her dog, George, a rescue from Tennessee, is a constant source of joy. Travel abroad, Morocco, Paris, London Rome inspiring. Delicious food, free range, sustainable, farm to table is a passion. The word that best describes her lifestyle is Schawazee! On the move, a fastidious housekeeper, folder of laundry and organizer keeps her on point. Fashion comes into play but does not rule her in any way. Short car trips up the California coast clear her mind. But she keeps a New York state most of all. Up late, up early. Humming, whistling, and on the move.

Sandra Bernhard began her career at L.A.’s famed Comedy Store in the ‘70s, and since then has written and starred in numerous one-woman shows, acted in movies and on television, recorded albums and authored books.

Sandra BernhardHer first one-woman show, the groundbreaking Without You I’m Nothing, ran for 6 months off-Broadway in 1988 and served as inspiration for the film and Grammy-nominated album of the same name. The critically acclaimed I’m Still Here…Dammit! opened off-Broadway in 1997, moved to Broadway a year later, and was filmed for an HBO special. The New York Times described Bernhard as a "Living, breathing bonfire" and applauded the show, calling it "an angst driven, foul-mouthed, poison-laced joy ride that banks and careens frenetically through the worlds of fashion, celebrity, rock, and religion." In 2006, Sandra’s Everything Bad and Beautiful also opened to raves. "Give the dame her due, it’s invigorating to be in the presence of a true original." (New York Times, 6/06) Her most recent show, I Love Being Me, Don’t You? played to sold-out crowds for an extended run last summer in Los Angeles. The album version of the show was released on Rooftop Records last fall, and she has been touring it with since. "She has chutzpah to spare, but it’s her articulate intelligence that earns our attention…It’s [her] combination of glamour and accessibility that accounts for Bernhard’s enduring appeal," wrote the Los Angeles Times.

Sandra Bernhard in her dressing room at Joe's Pub, Photo Credit; Kevin Thomas GarciaFrom 1991-1996 Bernhard played "Nancy Bartlett"—the first openly gay character on a network sitcom—on Roseanne. And she has had guest starring or recurring roles on numerous other shows, among them: Good Christian Belles, Hot in Cleveland, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Crossing Jordan, Law & Order: SVU, Will & Grace, The Sopranos, The L Word, Ally McBeal, The Larry Sanders Show, and The Richard Pryor Show. She has appeared more than 30 times on Late Night with David Letterman and has been a regular guest of Howard Stern’s since the early ‘80s.

Sandra’s film credits include Martin Scorsese’s The King of Comedy, for which she was awarded Best Supporting Actress by the National Society of Film Critics, Nicholas Roeg’s Track 29Hudson Hawk, Dinner Rush, and Dare.

Sandra’s music albums include: I’m Your Woman (Polygram, 1986), Excuses for Bad Behavior (Epic, 1994) and the world music album Whatever It Takes (Mi5). She has also sung with or opened for various musical acts, including: The Pretenders, Cyndi Lauper, and the Scissor Sisters. Other notable performances include her participation in the Stormy Weather Benefit, the Rainforest Benefit, and The Elton John Tribute for Broadway Cares. "She has musicality to die for," the L.A. Times wrote recently, "a voice that swoops from the bluesy basement to a top-floor falsetto and a campy soulfulness that can compellingly reinterpret the Isley Brothers’ "That Lady" or just go nuts with "Lady Marmalade."

Sandra has also written three books: Confessions of a Pretty Lady (Harper&Row, 1988), Love, Love and Love (HarperCollins, 1994), and May I Kiss You on the Lips, Miss Sandra? (William Morrow,1998). Her work has also been published in numerous magazines, including, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Conde Nast Traveler, Rolling Stone, Interview, and Spy.

Sandra Bernhard"A performer of stunning originality. Funny but foxy, super smart and slightly mad!" (WCBS) Bernhard’s live performances are a thrilling hybrid of stand-up comedy and rock ‘n roll, a raucous mix of political satire, pop culture commentary and cabaret. "The experience is like hanging out with a hip and funny friend who never fails to lift you up with her outrageous freedom." (Los Angeles Times, 8/11)

Thursday
Feb142013

Robin Byrd: The Robin Byrd Show Interview

Robin Byrd, Photo courtesy of Robinbyrd.com"The Robin Byrd Show Live", Robin Byrd, GoGo Harder, and Vicky SinRobin Byrd has been turning audiences on for more than 30 years with The Robin Byrd Show on cable TV's leased access. Now Robin is bringing her TV show to the stage with The Robin Byrd Show Live at NYC's famed Cutting Room (44 East 32nd Street, between Park and Madison) every Saturday night at 10pm! Similar to her TV show, The Robin Byrd Show Live boasts a host of talent from burlesque dancers to strippers, comedians to musicians, and celebrities to novelty acts. Click here for tickets!

For more on Robin be sure to visit http://www.robinbyrd.com and follow her on Facebook and Twitter!

1. The Robin Byrd Show has been on cable access for more than 30 years now. What do you feel your secret is to having such endurance? Just me being me and paying my bills to Time Warner [laughs]. I'm on leased access which they deem commercial use. I've always been on commercial use and we recently downsized because they changed the channel. Originally we were on Ch. 23, which was Ch. J, then we went to Ch. 35 then they changed us to Ch. 79. When they did that, the other producers that were on that channel didn't have much of a show, they only had commercials. I had the programming and they put the commercials around my show. They figured no one was watching so they all left. They left me interspersed between big blank spots. What I did was I changed all my shows to 10pm. I got rid of a lot of the other shows like Byrd Brain and Men4Men because The Robin Byrd show has a lot of men on it anyway and that's what people loved. So I thought, hmmm, everyone watches TV at 10pm, so they could watch me and go to bed early and not blame me for getting to bed late or they could get up early and watch me at 5am. I'm on Time Warner Cable 10pm everyday, and every morning from 5am-6am. Now with The Robin Byrd Show Live at The Cutting Room, I'm on 10pm there too, so it all coincides.

You can either watch the news at 10pm or you could watch me. Take your pic...you could either have nightmares about killings and robberies or you could be turned on and tucked in with me into fantasyland.

Robin Byrd's CD "Lie Back and Get Comfortable"2. Prior to The Robin Byrd show you were working in the adult film industry, most famously known for Debbie Does Dallas. Why did you initially want to work in the adult film industry? I'm a creative person. To make a long story short, I ran away from home, took a GED, went to a two-year college (Manhattan Community College) and took up film (real film). I got involved in video because I wanted to be creative, not in front of the camera, but behind the camera. I wanted to make a change in the world, so when I continued on to a four-year college (Baruch College) and took some classes at the School of Visual Arts, the nude models were so boring that I decided to do some nude modeling for some extra money. I thought, "I will be there with my smile and inspire the artists." I did the nude modeling for the same reason I did film. I love sex.

A lot of the people I was having sex with were in the adult film industry. There were the East Coast people and the West Coast people. The East Coast people were all my friends, my orgy buddies. One of them was an agent who said to me, "Right now you are giving your sex away for free, you might as well get paid for it." I thought I could do that. I'll learn how to "act" and do this. Back then, the adult films were films, had some story line to it, it wasn't just turning the camera on and having sex. In my career, I've only done 13 films, films not videos. 

I just wanted to inspire people to enjoy sex. Back in 70s, the adult films were more educational that recreational. They were made to teach people how to have sex. That's why I started doing it, plus I was getting paid to have sex. It's not like I was getting pimped out. I was doing something I enjoyed and if you enjoy something other people enjoy it while they are watching it.

3. What made you stop acting in the adult film industry? I stopped acting in it because there's always somebody younger, cheaper, and prettier. Just fill in the occupation and this applies to any occupation today [laughs].

4. Do you ever feel working in the adult film industry prevented you from doing anything you wanted to career wise? I don't believe it did. I believe what really prevented me from moving further in the entertainment world is the fact the people in those positions that can give you that work were Byrd watchers and what they did while I was on is stuck in the back of their minds. Traci Lords and Ron Jeremy have done things beyond adult film, but the suits are like "Robin Byrd, oh no, no, no." I always think that there's this invisible sign outside every door that says "No Robin Byrds." I feel I bring something out in people that is the nasty and that is what is in their heads. I don't think it's the fact I was in adult film movies because all films today have sex scenes and nudity. Maybe some people don't find me talented enough, but I'm certainly entertaining enough, so I think it's more in the person who makes these decisions than me.

Me: I get it. They can only see you as this one thing.

Robin: Right. That's totally the opposite of what I taught people. Don't put people in a folder. You are not that porn person. You are not that writer person. You are just a person. It's tough to get advertisers on my show. My average viewer, eats, sleeps, and drinks, so why can I get advertisers from Coca Cola or Arby's (R.B. are my initials [laughs] and Carson Kressley, who's currently starring in NEWSical the Musical, always jokes about that, hey RB or here comes RB (like Arby's)). While some of the original suits are no longer there, it's the children of the suits who were watching my show, who might give me a chance, but don't, so it's sort of like the suits are still up there.

Robin Byrd, Photo courtesy of RobinByrd.com5. What made you initially want to start The Robin Byrd Show and what has been the best part about hosting the show? I wanted people to have an alternative for adult entertainment, something different than The Tom Snyder Show, The Dick Cavett Show, or The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson. It's late at night, let me turn you on and tuck you in or as Michael Musto calls me, "The Mr. Rogers of Adult." Let me tell you your bedtime story. If you don't have a loved one, you always have me. I really mean that. People come up to me and tell me, "I really did have you because I was coming out of a bad relationship" or since my show was in the 70s, 80s, 90s, and today, so many people lost their loved ones to AIDS and they didn't have anyone anymore. I was always telling people to get your rubbers and have safe sex. I was reminding you to brush your teeth, put on your pajamas whether they are silk, satin, or leather, and if you were in the closet it's okay, stay in the closet. Don't come out of the closet if you don't feel comfortable, stay in there with your suits and your ties and your shoes and your skirts. It was okay to be who you wanted to be. No one else was saying that. I didn't say those things because nobody was saying it; I said it because that is what was in my heart. Your heart is really what guides you in this universe. If you listen to your heart, the universe will have everything mapped out for you. That's how I feel and how I live. I do channeling with clairvoyant and one time she was channeling Arc Angel Michael and he was saying through her "You have to bring humor into the darkness." That didn't make sense to me for a while, but I recorded it and download it every once in a while, I listen to it and now it makes sense. I'm bringing humor and my stuff to The Cutting Room every week, at night, humor to the dark.

"The Robin Byrd Show Live", Jubilee Diamond, Robin Byrd, GoGo Harder, and Vicky SinChip Duckett, Robin Byrd, Michael Musto, and Joey Stephano at CLUB MARS in 1980s, Photo courtesy of RobinByrd.com6. That's a great segue way. What made you want to bring The Robin Byrd Show to the stage and what does your live show give your fans that your TV show does not? Me, live in person. Touch me, feel me, give me a hug and I'll hug you back. With the push forward from Spin Cycle, run by Chip Duckett and Ron Lasko, they brought me out of semi-retirement. When the Cutting Room was being built, Chip called me and told me there was an opening on Saturday nights at 10pm and did I want to do my show live. Chip has done a great job of getting people to both be on my show and attend. He's a great promoter!

The TV show is in your face nakedness. The stage show is more of a tease. I'm very respectful to who may be coming who have never seen me before. I want to bring sexy back. I want to bring tease and titillation back or dickillation. I do perform some wardrobe malfunctions on the talent, but I'm very respectful of the venue.

7. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing The Robin Byrd Show live? I hope they walk way with joy, warmth, and want to come back to see another one. I said it earlier, but I feel like I'm bringing sexy back and you can't hold me down.

8. What did it feel like to have your show and you parodied by Cheri Oteri on SNL? Amazing. It felt like I arrived somewhere, I'm not sure where, but it felt like I arrived somewhere. She did three different skits in three different episodes. In the past before SNL actually came to me to do me, they had done "The Chicken Lady" and I always thought that sounds a lot like The Robin Byrd show, but they're not really saying that because they're not ready to do that. It's great to be on a national show. One skit is funnier than the next one. Cheri got me down so well. I actually made reference to Cheri's impersonation of me at last week's show because I made a movement that made think of it. Cheri had put her lip-gloss on and rubbed her lips together and then looked up into the sky because that is what I did, but what people don't realize is that I look up into the sky on my TV show because that is where my monitor was located. My monitor was not over the camera; it was off to the side. I would always look at my monitor to make sure I was centered and the sign was centered behind me; I was directing in front of the camera, but nobody knew that. Her interpretation was hilarious. The costumes she wore were perfect as well as the sign they used.

9. You have had roles in movies with two of my favorite entertainers…Sandra Bernhard in Without You I’m Nothing and Michael J. Fox in Life With Mikey. What was the best part about working with both of them? Michael J. Fox is such a sweetheart. We did that film in January, 10 degrees below zero. I don't wear fur, but they had me in a fur coat in front of the Melody Theatre (which doesn't exist anymore). I get my residual 2 cents every so often from SAG [laughs]. He was a big fan of mine. I love when they play it in the summer time; it reminds me of all the great fun we had. I had my own trailer for the movie, which was great. The trailer said "Bambi" on it (because that was the character I played) and we were filming in Times Square (and it was the seedy Times Square) and the tourists were walking by with their kids and this kid goes, "Mommy look, Bambi." When I heard that I opened the door and was like, "Hiiii," just because I wanted to bring humor and the mother whisked the kids away. It was so funny. 

Sandra Bernhard and Robin Byrd after "The Robin Byrd Show", Photo courtesy of Robinbyrd.comSandra is always a hoot to work for. I'm in the shower scene (the famous shower scene) with Naomi Campbell. We had a lot of fun making that film. Sandra has asked me to do a few things together. We did a pilot in London with Tom Jones. Sandra was very generous, flying me into London for one day to film this pilot. We haven't done much in a while together, but it would be great to have her come do my show here at The Cutting Room.

10. What have you learned about yourself from your career? That I'm persistent. That I am still myself and I'm not any different on stage/TV than off of it. I'm consistent being me. I've also learned I'm ahead of my time. I joke that maybe one day I'll catch up to myself. I'm understanding and patient.

11. What's the best advice you've ever received? That's funny because I've never received any advice. I've never been given any guidance. I've always built myself and my life. I am my own project. The best advice I could give is don't forget to breathe and let it flow.

Robin Byrd in "Modern Woman" episode of "The Robin Byrd Show", Photo courtesy of Robinbyrd.com12. You have been on a long search for your birth parents, with many obstacles blocking your way, the unwillingness of your adoptive mother to reveal that information and the sealed birth/adoption records. What initially made you want to find your birth parents? How have you found the strength to continue the search? I'm self-made; I built myself. I don't need anything from any family, but I believe in gay rights, women's rights, human rights and birthrights. You have a family. You know you're grandmother, grandfather and you know let's say they have gout, not just for health reasons, but just because. I just feel we're living in 2013 and I believe birthrights should go without saying. That's what continues me to voice out about it. My adoption records were sealed and New York State is one of the very few states that continues to maintain sealed records. What's the big deal?? It's just wrong. We have a lot of rights these days, but we still don't have birthrights. I have a right to know where I came from and that's what keeps me going. 

12a. If you found your birth parents, what would you have said to them or asked them? I actually did find my birth mom, but she never admitted it. She actually went (in a high pitched voice) "It never happened. It never happened." She reacted so vehemently, so I knew it was her. All I wanted her to do was to fill me in on our medical history. But because of the way she reacted to me, I didn't push it, but I did know it was her.

BONUS QUESTIONS:

Robin Byrd in Painter Sal Monetti's "Mother Nature's Love Child - 2001", Photo courtesy of Robinbyrd.com13. Favorite way to spend your day off? In Central Park in the Rambles. Being close to nature. I love to be on Fire Island. 

14. Favorite skin care product? Neutrogena body oil light sesame and Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face.

15. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? I would fly or transport.

 

 

More on Robin: 

Robin Byrd is an American former porn actress and the host of The Robin Byrd Show, which has appeared on commercial use cable television in New York City for over 30 years.

At the time of filming the porn classic, Debbie Does Dallas Robin was living in New York. After taking some college classes in marketing and advertising at Baruch College City University of NY, she attended The School of Visual Arts and worked as a nude model for art classes. Her adult entertainment career was launched when she was a finalist in the "Ms. All Bare America" contest and subsequently starred in porn films during the late 70's and early 80's.

After guest-hosting on a leased access cable show called Hot Legs, Robin changed the name to The Robin Byrd Show in 1979. The show has aired continuously since. Each episode features Robin in her trademark black crochet bikini and white fingernail polish, on an all-red set with a large, heart-shaped neon sign that bears the name of her show. Male and female porn stars and strippers appear as guests and perform fully nude stripteases, sometimes also taking calls from viewers. Robin and her guests also frequently engage in on screen play by the end of the episode. Celebrities from outside the adult entertainment industry such as Sandra Bernhard, Mark Kostabi, Michael Musto, among others have also been guests on her show.

In 1999, Richard Avedon photographed Robin for a feature in The New Yorker on famous and influential New Yorkers.

In 2000, Robin was a featured performer in the long running Off-Broadway production of (Shakespeare's Mid Summers Night Dream) called The Donkey Show produced by Jordan Roth. BMG released a CD called Lie Back And Get Comfortable - Robin Byrd presents Latin love songs to make love to.

Robin hosted several events during Gay Pride Week 2003 in New York. One was a frank discussion titled "Sex in the City" that featured a panel of academics, activists and physicians who explored the meaning LGBT sexual culture and health in New York today. Marc Juris, formerly of Fuse TV famously plastered Robin Byrd on New York City's bus fleet as part of its re-branding.

In 2005, Robin performed & hosted the absurd weekly "Speedo Bulge" contests at the Fire Island Pines Pavilion.

In 2012 Robin Byrd returned to the Stage with the weekly hilarious high-spirited bawdy The Robin Byrd Show Live variety show @ The Cutting Room 44 East 32 Street, Park Ave. Fun & Fantasy is back in NYC.

As of 2013, The Robin Byrd Show continues to be aired on Time Warner Cable seven nights a week, unscrambled, and uncut.

Robins show, filmography, and personal appearances have made her a local celebrity and to some extent, a national and international one. She is a frequent presenter of adult entertainment, Gay Pride, AIDS awareness and animal rights events. She also appeared on VH-1 in the I Love Series and on MTV's' New Year's Eve Top 100 Countdown.