Lauren Weedman: Calling all theater kids
She likes to approach the stage like an athlete. Getting her focus on what she needs to do, she listens to dance music to get herself psyched. She does everything she can to resist drinking a Red Bull. ''I get physically ready to just get my body pumping, do some push-ups here and there,'' said Lauren Weedman.
The comedian-writer-performer is bringing her bag of treats to the Broad Stage in the form of a one-woman show. “No... You Shut Up!”, a walk through her life as an adopted daughter, and her relationship troubles later in life.
”I had to come up with a title [that] would show that it was comedy, but it was also about family and, to me, it was like a ‘no, you shut up’ family,'' said Weedman. “It's never really been easy for me to be in a family, or to be in a group. Like, I wish you guys were all gone right now, in this room.”
Her performance is not a stand-up act, but a one-woman play where she acts out various characters in rapid exchange. “It’s just me and a chair, no props, it’s storytelling and it’s acting,” said Weedman. “Come watch my fucked-up life and feel better about your own.”
Starting her career in Seattle theaters and moving on to shows like “Almost Live” and “The Daily Show,” Weedman has been in the entertainment industry for some time. She admits to being recognized mostly for her stints on VH1’s “I Love the-” series and her appearances on HBO. “I was just on ‘True Blood’ as a werepanther, and I raped a guy,” said Weedman. “Pretty happy about that.”
Though Weedman has been guesting on various shows and even some movies, she proclaims that she is, above all, a theater person. “I’ll be at a theater that’s part of a college, and the theater kids don’t come. That to me is crazy,” said Weedman. “I hope that there’s student discounts, there must be.”
Describing her performances as real and personal, Weedman revels in the idea that there is no such thing as “T.M.I.” She makes sure to be as open as possible about her life while on-stage.
Weedman recently volunteered with the Los Angeles County prison system where she worked with women who didn't have families. Meeting with people as an advocate for those who didn't have people to visit them, she wrote a play about her time as a volunteer entitled “Bust.” “I want to think that I’m doing something that matters to other people,” she said.
Lauren Weedman doesn't want to just come up, perform, and leave; she wants to leave something with the audience. Money is not why Weedman performs, but because she revels in the reactions of others to what she has to say. “My shows are not just comedy, they get personal and real,” she said.
“When I was doing solo theater, it was like I found my thing, I loved it. Even when it's hard, I love it,” said Weedman. “When you find your deal, it’s pretty awesome.”
She will be performing at the Broad Stage on Sat. Oct. 29 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 for general admission.