Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fringe Q&A With Jay Sefton of The Most Mediocre Story Never Told!

By Byrne Harrison
Photo by Ed Krieger

Name: Jay Sefton
Show: The Most Mediocre Story Never Told!
Website: www.mediocrestory.com

How did you first get involved in theatre?
I played Jesus in an eighth grade passion play and remember not being nervous in front of people and I normally was doing anything else. It would take me 10 years to gather the courage to try it again at West Chester University in Pennsylvania.

Who are your biggest influences?
Anyone who uses the idea of their own death as motivation to do something frightening.

What is The Most Mediocre Story Never Told! about?
It is a comedic deconstruction of the typical "hey, here is my story" solo show. So this show kind of turns it upside down and puts forth the notion that the stories I tell about myself keep me from experiencing anything new in life. The show gets hijacked by my hardcore Philadelphia alter ego and becomes a tug of war about which stories get told and how they get told.

What inspired you to write it?
I had a friend who had a good bit of success with her solo show and she taught a workshop, and I thought maybe I could do the same and start working as an actor. However I didn't feel like I had a story to tell, so I started from there and then came across some bits of philosophy about story versus event and the truth of how we create our personal narratives. I tried to create a theatre piece that gets those messages across in a humorous way.

Who are your collaborators and how long have you been working with

Debra De Liso is the director and we have been working together for about 2 years, and there would be no play without her.

Dave Ashman is the managing producer, and he has been on board for a year and produced the run in LA, which would not have happened if not for Dave.

For the fringe run, we have Chris Massimine as producer, David Rambo (writer/producer CSI) as executive producer, and Shane Marshall Brown as the press agent. They have all been on board since May and have been hugely helpful and fun to put this together with.

Fringe shows are notorious for their short rehearsal schedule. How has
the rehearsal process been?

We are lucky. We have next to no set, one actor, Dave Ashman in the booth and a show that ran for 10 weeks in the fall and at a few Universities since then. So we have gotten a chance to spend more time at Malachy's on 72nd street than some companies. Not sure if that is a good thing.

What's next for you after Fringe?
I would love to extend the show here if at all possible. There is another run planned for the winter in LA and a tour of colleges in Ohio, PA and Michigan for the show in the fall.

And finally, if a genie were to grant you one wish, what would you wish

Sold out houses for the next 5 shows here in New York and um . . . lots of nice things for nice people cause the first wish sounded a little selfish.

The Most Mediocre Story Never Told!
Written by Jay Sefton
Directed by Debra De Liso

The Actors' Playhouse
Sat 15 - 2:15 PM
Sun 16 - 10 PM
Fri 21 - 7 PM
Sun 23 - 7:15 PM
Wed 26 - 6:15 PM

Visit FringeNYC for more information.

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