With only three performances (April 23, 26 & 27), Ruthy will no-doubt prove why she was named as Variety’s ‘Ten Comics to Watch’ and called ‘a gifted physical comedienne’ by the NY Daily News.
A Puerto Rican-American from the Bronx, Ruthy got her start studying under the infamous Stella Adler at New York University/Tisch School of the Arts. Her creativity has been on full display in her four original solo shows and numerous other projects, which have found her working opposite Vin Diesel, Betty White and Danny Aiello.
We recently caught up with Ruthy Otero to talk about her solo show, returning to New York and more.
Tell us about your solo show “Dancing with My Demons”
RUTHY: “Dancing with My Demons” is a comedy about a woman who desperately tries to take control of a recurring nightmare gone awry. She's on stage, in front of an audience without a script. It's a metaphor for life, but ultimately it's about not letting your fears stop you from following your dreams or doing the thing you think you cannot do. It's also got a disco theme because disco music makes me happy.
What inspired you to originally create this comedy show?
RUTHY: After my first solo show, a comedy about God and my experience growing up in a religious household, my director suggested I write another show just for fun. Although I consider myself to be an adventurous and fairly bold person, I couldn't understand why I allowed certain fears to stop me from moving forward in my life. I decided to explore some of them and hoped that by putting them out in the world, I'd finally overcome them.
Why did you decide to bring it back to New York? And, is there anything different from your original production?
RUTHY: Fellow solo performer Ernie Silva had performed his show at The One Festival. He had seen my show in LA and suggested I submit to the festival. I've been thinking of moving back to NY and I thought this would be a great opportunity to re-introduce myself to the industry here. Turns out I'll be sharing the evening with Michele Carlo (Fish out of Agua) again. We both opened our first solo shows on the same evening 15 years ago. It feels like a good sign.
Anything different.....? The original production was just a series of characters dealing with different fears. With the help of a dramaturg in LA, I cut out a few characters and added segues based on actual dreams I found in my journals. A writing teacher later helped blur the lines between reality and the recurring nightmare happening in the play.
Have you learned something new about yourself doing this show?
RUTHY: I've learned that my fears are not as unique as I thought they were. Lots of people have thanked me for writing the show because I've made them feel normal or put into words what they couldn't.
I've also learned that this show evolves as I've matured as a person. I used to measure my performance by how many laughs I got and now I measure it by how honest I am in my characters.
What do you hope audiences walk away with after seeing your show?
RUTHY: I hope they walk away having had a good time and feel emotionally cleansed by laughter. I'd also like the audience to leave with a sense of hope that even if you have crazy fears, you don't have to wait to be perfect or fearless in order to go after your dreams. Life has a way of helping you out.
Anything else you’re working on these days?
RUTHY: I recently completed a season of my vlog series “The Self-Help Crack House.” It's about a junkie who wants to stop abusing self-help books so she can finally start living a bigger life. There's a messy side to this self-improvement movement that no one talks about. It's not as simple as having an ‘Ah Hah’ moment and then living happily ever after. I'm looking to tap into the portion of Oprah's audience that has a sense of humor about it!
I'm also excited to be teaching underrepresented actors: women, minorities, LGBT and performers with disabilities to overcome the fears & obstacles that keep them from sharing their untold story with the world.
How can your fans keep up with your busy career?
Thanks, Ruthy! We’ll definitely be ‘dancing’ with you along the journey!
"Dancing with My Demons" at The One Festival
April 23 & 26 at 8pm and April 27th at 5pm
The 4th Street Theater (83 East 4th Street, New York, NY 10003)
Tickets are available online at: www.TheOneFestival.com