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MY HIGH-HEELED LIFE: Or, How I Learned to Keep Worrying and Love My Stilettos: 10 Things To Know About The Show Before You Go (2014 FRIGID NEW YORK FESTIVAL)

by Karen Tortora-Lee on February 4, 2014

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Ten Questions. Ten Answers. And One Big Decision: Rock, Paper, Or Scissors?

High Heeled Life

High Heeled Life [Image Credit: Jhana Weekes]


Learned to Keep Worrying and Love

My Stilettos

Production Company: Sparking Fuse

Have you ever had an accidental orgasm in the shoe department? Or wondered when Uggs and flip-flops became acceptable dinner attire? In this witty, seductive confessional, McLeod asks how to navigate the obsession with finding True Happiness. Perhaps it begins one pair of impossibly high stilettos at a time…

Show Times:

  • Sat 2/22 @ 10PM
  • Thurs 2/27 @ 10:15PM
  • Sun 3/2 @ 6:50PM
  • Wed 3/5 @ 5:30PM
  • Fri 3/7 @ 7:05PM

Answers by  Katharine McLeod

1. Your tag line is out there on postcards and press releases so we know the PR version of what this play is about.  But when you talk to your family and friends, how do you explain the show to them?

KM: Well, it’s about high heels. But more than that, it’s about not having to apologize for the things that bring you joy. And high heels. Lots and lots of high heels.

2. Here’s a scenario: After the show some audience members go have a drink.  What’s the part of the show you hope they’re discussing?

KM: The part where they were tricked into thinking it was a comedy and then I made them all feel feelings! The poor suckers.

3. What drives your show – character, theme or plot?

KM: Our show is really story-telling, a sort of long monologue…. so I suppose I’d say theme. Though it’s through the lens of me as a character, so that’s a big drive, as well.

4. In rehearsals, read-thrus, or prior incarnations, what’s the one thing someone said about the show so far that made you (or the team) the most proud?

KM: I think we really love it when people say they were moved by the show. Particularly men. On it’s surface, a lot of what I talk about is navigating the world as a young(ish…) woman (and there’s also a lot of shoe and fashion talk) but when men tell me they got the journey of the show, or they felt they could relate to it, or it stuck with them, it’s like “Ok, yes! YES! The audience is really listening, really hearing, and really getting it.”

5. Let’s fantasize for a moment. Let’s take the “off-off” off. Imagine this show is on Broadway. Would that change the production itself?

KM: Entirely. Wow, just thinking about that it’s hard to fathom if the show would even work on Broadway. It’s very intimate, very personal, and very— “audience interactive” is not quite the way to put it– but it’s all direct address and I really think of it as a conversation between me and the audience. So on Broadway…. I imagine it would become somewhat less intimate, the comedy a little broader, the journey maybe even a little less personal. BUT– I bet our set and props would be able to set the tone in a much more polished, lush way… and ah– costumes…maybe even costume changes! I think it would be an amazing challenge to retain the honesty and fun of the performance with a much larger house.

6. Taking that one step further – after paying everyone what they’re worth of course, what is the most lavish, luxurious, pointless thing you would spend money on if there was no constraints?

KM: Ooh– this is a delicious question! Can I have 2? First, I would buy the most insane high-end designer shoes for a big reveal at the end… like Pradas or Louboutins. Or a pair made to order just for me… really well-crafted and beautiful and off the wall. Then, I use some chocolate in the show– if we had the money, it would be hand-crafted, artisinal and local. But now I’m realizing I’m thinking way too small (this is why I hired a director! I just don’t think “production” very much)– maybe I should have like a giant martini glass to sit in during the show, à la Dita von Teese… or instead of my first entrance, I could be flown in on a giant flying stiletto. Maybe I need a bunch of chorus boys to carry me in on their shoulders… see, now I’m thinking I should try and make this all happen. This is why I’m not allowed to have the big money.

7. Is there a scene, a moment, a gesture … anything at all in the show that you anticipate may get a completely different reaction depending on the audience that night?

KM: Absolutely. Near the beginning of the show, I ask the audience a couple of questions and ask for non-verbal responses (e.g. raised hands)– this always changes. I mean, it’s sort of built that way– and it’s fun for me to take in the differences and play off of them.

8. What’s your favorite line from the show?

KM: “Fuck diamonds– high heels are a girl’s best friend!”

9. Is the world of this play sustainable outside a theatre? In other words … do you think people live the way the characters do? Would you want a world where they do?

KM: The show is almost entirely autobiographical, so I would say the answer to this question is yes! And I want every single person in the world to live exactly as I do!

10. You scan the audience and you see a face that stops you dead in your tracks – who is it? And why are you shocked?
CS: Tina Turner. How did she find out about my show?!? And does she know how much I love her? I hope this doesn’t get awkward.


Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament of DEAAAAATH

In the THM virtual Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament of DEAAAAATH which FRIGID Show do you take on? And what do you throw?

CHALLENGES:   Competition in the theatre really stresses me out, you guys. Like, really. But if I have to choose one, I guess I would choose How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Gardaí because of their brilliant title ;)

THROWS: I throw Rock.

OUTCOME: Well – High Heeled, apparently you and Gardai have a lot more in common than just a penchant for mimicking Stanley Kubrick titles for your shows!  Because if you read the Gardai Q&A you know that they threw ROCK (solid) as well – leaving you with a DRAW.  So, High Heeled, at least you didn’t have to stress out TOO much there — but don’t be fooled!  Someone else might challenge you and since you’re officially ROCK in any and all challenges, you may win, you may lose – who knows!  This is how it works in the crazy world of the Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament of DEAAAAATH!

Thanks MY HIGH-HEELED LIFE: Or, How I Learned to Keep Worrying and Love My Stilettos for participating in The Happiest Medium’s FRIGID New York Festival 2014 Q&A. And for playing our game! For the rest of you don’t forget to check out MY HIGH-HEELED LIFE: Or, How I Learned to Keep Worrying and Love My Stilettos !


Feb 22, 10:00PM
Feb 27, 10:15PM
Mar 02, 6:50PM
Mar 05, 5:30PM
Mar 07, 7:05PM

UNDER St.Marks | $10.00 / $16.00

Horse Trade Theater Group will present the 8th Annual FRIGID New York Festival at The Kraine Theater (85 East 4th Street between 2nd Avenue and Bowery) and UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place between 1st Avenue and Avenue A) February 19-March 9. Tickets are available for purchase in advance at or by calling 212-868-4444. 
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