Sandy Simona wrote and is starring in a multimedia-solo performance-storytelling-love letter called LOST IN LVOV. It is inspired by her Russian-Jewish family. Her parents immigrated to the United States and have many stories to share.
The Playbill Collector (TPC): Give me some background about your family and how you got introduced to performing.
Sandy Simona (SS): When I was four years old, my brother had a bar mitzvah. It was the first time my parents brought me to a restaurant with live music. I sprinted to the dance floor and started dancing. I have pictures of me putting on a performance as if the music was playing for me and I was performing for people. I was feeling the music. Right after that, they put me into dance class. I started as a dancer in jazz and ballroom latin dance.
TPC: Did you go to college for arts?
SS: My family are immigrants. I’m the first born American in my family. There was no question that I would go to college and I studied journalism at Rutgers. My passion though was to be on camera or stage.
TPC: What was your first gig?
SS: When I was 18 I booked an on-air host on Total Request Live (TRL) for “The Pirates of the Caribbean”. I got to interview Johnny Depp, Keira Knightly and others.
SS: Growing up I wrote a lot. When I went to Cal Arts for grad school, I decided I wanted to write a story about my family and play all the characters.
TPC: What does the show look like?
SS: The show is a love letter to New York City and a tribute to my family. This is the fourth time I’ve performed this piece. I’ve always performed it with musicians but in New York City, I am doing it all alone. No musicians, completely solo. The audience comes in like a family gathering. However, I’ve got home footage of my family playing during parts of the show.
TPC: How many characters do you play in the show?
SS: Myself, my mom and her two sisters, my grandmother, my grandfather, my father and a few surprise characters in the story. There are about ten characters in the piece. They all talk to each other as well.
TPC: How long is the piece and what does the theater look like?
SS: It’s one hour. The theater is very small, around 50 seats.
TPC: What’s the timeline of the piece?
SS: It starts in the World War 2 era and goes to present day.
TPC: What are the next steps after this?
SS: Heading back to Los Angeles and work on some film and television projects. However, I’ve got a week after the show ends to meet with some people and audition. I’m excited about creating personal narrative theater that is multi-media. I’d love to teach, hence getting my masters degree.
The show has only two performances in NYC and both are almost sold out! For more information check out: www.lostinlvov.com