Actress Roxanne Fay was Monday’s guest on The Catalyst Sessions. Fay, who’s also a playwright, director and teacher, is a prolific presence (she hates the word “ubiquitous”) at Jobsite Theater, where she’s created some of the most memorable characters in recent memory, and at freeFall, and at the Dali Museum, where her one-woman shows always draw sellout crowds.
If the Dali were open right now, you’d see her in a special film created just for the Midnight in Paris: Surrealism at the Crossroads, 1929 exhibit. She speaks the words of Gala, the soon-to-be wife of Salvador Dali, in a conversation with pioneering surrealist André Breton, played by Ned Averill-Snell.
Fay begins The Catalyst Sessions with a brilliant monologue from this film, and later in the conversation discusses the high-wire act that is solo stage performance, where there are no other performers off which to bounce:
“The engagement with the audience always puts you in a conversation with another human being, with another entity. I find it extremely challenging and rich, and really rewarding, and really so much more of a give-and-take than people think it is.
“It’s really not about one person onstage. It’s about a conversation between you and me.”
This versatile performer, a student of Shakespeare and of theater history, is also an engaging conversationalist with a warm, winning sense of humor. Although she is one of just a handful of local artists who can make a solid living out of “doing theater,” Fay is smart enough not to take herself so seriously:
“Professional is not a good word, really. I am considered a professional actor because I am a union actor who makes their living exclusively in theater. But that doesn’t mean that my work ethic, or my talent level, or my dedication or passion is any different from anybody who does have a day job and does it (theater) at night. It means this is my job. This is what I do. It is my passion, and I’m very fortunate that my job is my passion.
“I call myself a practitioner. I am a professional creator. That’s kind of fun to say.”
Today (Tuesday, May 12) on The Catalyst Sessions: Imagine Museum executive director Jane Buckman.
Streaming live weekdays at 7 p.m. on the Catalyst Facebook page.