Actress Maya Lynne Robinson moved from New York City to Los Angeles in May, 2012. Two months later, she booked her first play in LA. And what a play and production it turned out to be! To her (and our) good fortune, Maya was cast in the ensemble as the gossipy Nia in our Los Angeles Premiere of In the Red and Brown Water. The production has drawn critical acclaim, been named “Best in Theater 2012” by the Los Angeles Times, and has been extended to Feb 24th.
Why did you move from New York to Los Angeles?
I wanted a change. I was living in NYC, but working regionally and I wanted to move somewhere where I could live and work. I also came to focus more on film and television. I have an extensive theatre background and wanted to broaden my options.
Any preconceptions about LA being a “theater town”? The Hollywood Industry?
I didn’t know that LA was a theater town! I thought my focus immediately would be on film and television and “networking.” That’s the Hollywood Industry perception I was told about. LA has been much more than networking for me. It’s helped me create a little family, a sense of community and belonging that I hadn’t felt in a long time, professionally and personally. I moved here knowing only three people.
I knew the acting talent pool would be fierce, but I didn’t have any thoughts, one way or the other, on if the actors would be great. All I thought about was becoming a part of that acting pool.
‘In the Red and Brown Water’ is your first play in LA.
Yes, it’s is my first play here. I moved here in the middle of May and by August 2nd was cast in this fabulous production. I feel really blessed. Thank you Shirley Jo Finney and Erinn Anova for believing in my talent, with no one knowing anything about me. I was fresh off the boat! And thank you to Stephen Sachs, Simon Levy and Deborah Lawlor for allowing me to be a part of the Fountain family.
What has the ‘Red/Brown’ experience been like for you?
This experience has been very interesting for me. Extremely emotional; taking me out of a comfort zone that I didn’t know I had. I expected it to be professional. I never expected the personal bonds to be so strong with the rest of the cast and crew. We’ve become a family. I’ve also grown up a bit and learned a lot about who I am. I felt very “East Coast” when I moved here. Now I just feel like me. It’s hard to put into words, you know? I’m still transitioning.
How has your experience been working at the Fountain?
The Fountain has been fabulous. I love the fact it looks like a home. Theatre should feel like coming home. It’s been a great experience. I didn’t have expectations of what LA theatre companies would be. I just dove in.
How do you like living in Los Angeles?
It’s winter time! 70 degrees! How do YOU think I like LA?! I love the snow, I’m originally from Cleveland, but a snow less winter hasn’t been that bad. The traffic though… I can do without the traffic.
Is it different being an actor in New York versus being an actor in LA?
I’m not sure I’ve processed the differences yet. I’ve just been blessed to meet people and work immediately. I spent one week performing ‘Red/Brown’ at night and shuttling to San Diego to be on set during the day. It was a very different experience for me; exhausting and fulfilling.
What are your plans after ‘Red/Brown’ closes?
To keep acting, finish my one woman show, introduce LA to me. I’m also looking for representation. I booked this show on my own, but some help, would be fantastic. Oh, and go on vacation!
In the Red and Brown Water Now – Feb 24 (323) 663-1525 More