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FRIGID New York Festival 2011 – Five Questions For: JOE: The Perfect Man

by Karen Tortora-Lee on February 21, 2011

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Welcome back to another installment of FRIGID New York Festival 2011 Q&A!  We’ll be running these throughout February until the Festival starts, so be sure to check back to read all about the great shows that will be taking part in the festival.  Also – don’t miss the winner-take-all game of Rock Paper Scissors! Today’s Q&A is with Rachelle Elie who is the Writer and Performer of Joe: The Perfect Man

After losing his job, Joe’s passion to play all the lead roles in “The Scottish Play” explodes to the surface. Soon after he stumbles upon a Macbeth Open Call Audition and sees it as his one chance to fulfill his destiny. Through ridiculous failures and absurd attempts at brilliance he stumbles through the opportunity of a lifetime.

RACHELLE ELIE as JOE: The Perfect Man

RACHELLE ELIE as JOE: The Perfect Man

answers by Rachelle Elie – Writer and Performer

Antonio Asks: What makes FRIGID such a warm and welcoming experience for your production?

Just the fact that it’s in the booming metropolis of New York City makes it a warm welcoming experience. I am travelling from Toronto Canada and I jump at any opportunity to perform in The Big Apple. Also the staff so far have been super duper!

Diánna Asks: What about this play do you feel most drawn to personally, and because of that, what message do you hope the audience walks away with?

I feel most drawn to JOE the lead character in this this play. Getting to step in his shoes every night is such a great privilege. Being able to disappear into this lovable loser is a blast. That is what I hope people will go home with… feeling that they have watched an actress disappear into her role for 1 hour. Hopefully it will leave you dreaming about this wonderful character!!

Karen Asks: That’s some title.  How did you come up with it – and what does it mean?

I personally find titles are often very difficult…We definitely knew JOE would probably be somewhere in the title because it’s really about JOE and the perfect man part came up because in improvs JOE always talked about being the perfect man for the job. The show is a Macbeth audition so because JOE felt he was “The perfect man” to play all the lead roles in Macbeth the title emerged from that line … I have at times wished I just called it JOE but there’s no going back … next title – JOE’s inferno!

Stephen Asks: You must have a favorite part of your show.  What makes it your favorite?

I sing and dance to George Michael a la Macbeth I love doing that part. I still love George and I alwasy feel happy when i sing “last xmas…”. It’s very physical fun and ridiculous. I also love the Macbeth as a rock opera bit. I get to play with new people every night and there are always surprises. Lastly I love the fight between JOE and the cranky theatre director. I get to really lose my temper as JOE and that is super fun!

Lina Asks: How much of your show was inspired by true events?

When the show was being developed I created a JOE mask with Mike Kennard (Mump and Smoot). A lot of the show was created around mask explorations with Mike Kennard and improvisation I did with Adam Lazarus (quiptake). Much of what came out was new and from JOE’s back story. There are mini tidbits that come in and those are personal events I experienced growing up mostly in theatre school i.e: Joe says he played HYMEN in “As You Like It”. I actually played “Hymen” in theatre school and it was very traumatic so I was so happy to give that to Joe’s story and it seems to fit him well. I also had a teacher that said “you’re in a boat and it’s sinking.You can get out and swim or you can sink.” I gave JOE those lines as they seemed to suit him well.

THM Bonus Question: If you could play a virtual game of Rock, Paper, Scissors with another FRIGID Show which show would you take on?  And what would you throw?

I would take on ONEymoon and I would throw scissors!!!

Thanks JOE: The Perfect Man – for participating in The Happiest Medium’s FRIGID New York Festival 2011 Q&A.  And for playing our game!  You’re officially SCISSORS. You took on ONEymoon who – quite coincidentally also challenged YOU. I sense a bit of collusion here! However, regardless – ONEymoon threw ROCK and smashed your SCISSORS to bits. Sorry, JOE:The Perfect Man, you’ve been bested.   This is how it works in the crazy world of the VIRTUAL ROCK PAPER SCISSORS TOURNAMENT!

Meanwhile, for the rest of you – don’t forget to check out JOE: The Perfect Man

Joe: The Perfect Man
Written by Rachelle Elie & Directed by Adam Lazarus
Presented by Crowning Monkey Toronto, Ontario, Canada
The Kraine Theater (85 East 4th Street) $16

Fri 2/25 @ 4pm, Sun 2/27 @ 4pm, Mon 2/28 @ 7:30pm, Tue 3/1 @ 6pm, Fri 3/4 @ 8:30pm, & Sun 3/6 @ 2:30pm

FRIGID New York Festival 2011 will run February 23-March 6 at The Kraine Theater & The Red Room (85 East 4th Street between 2nd Ave and Bowery) and UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place between 1sr Ave and Ave A). Tickets ($10-$16) may be purchased online at or by calling Smarttix at 212-868-4444. All shows will run 60 minutes long or less.

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