INTERVIEW WITH SARAH K. LIPPMANN
ADDICTED TO MURDER 2: TAINTED BLOOD
ADDICTED TO MURDER 3: BLOOD LUST
RAGE OF THE WEREWOLF
BIOGRAPHY: I'm a native New Yorker, I know that's rare, but I was born and
bred on Manhattan Island. My mother is a writer/professor and my father was
in the advertisement business. From a very young age, they exposed me to all
the museums, theater and culture that New York City had to offer. Regardless
of all the good habits they were trying to instill in me I still spent a good
portion of my childhood and teenage years watching schlocky television with
my mom on the weekends, from THE FLYING GUILLOTINE to BREAKING AWAY. Once
VCR's were affordable I rented horror films with my friends. We sat with our
pint of Ben and Jerry's ice cream, the lights out, and giggled and screamed
as we watched blood spurt everywhere.
I wasn't one of those kids who knew from age zero that I wanted to act. I
wanted to be everything from an archeologist to a flight attendant to an
astronomer to a waitress (happy to say that I have fulfilled one of those
childhood dreams). Granted, I loved to dress up and jump around the house in
my Isis cape and my Wonder Woman costume, but that was all make believe. It
didn't occur to me to get paid to do anything at that age.
The change happened in summer camp when I was ten. I got cast by accident
as Alice in ALICE IN WONDERLAND. The thespian girls were so angry I got the
role and it wasn't my "passion". I was secretly very excited, but why tell
them? It was way too much fun to watch them pout and huff about. In high
school, I went to the Young People's Program at the Neighborhood Playhouse
and then to NYU Undergraduate drama, where I studied classical theatre at the
Stella Adler Conservatory and received my B.F.A.
Since then, I've been doing a lot of downtown theater and I'm studying
American Sign Language. Eventually, I'd like to be an interpreter, but that's
going to take a while. A long term goal, I guess I should say. I still live
in Manhattan, where I live with my boyfriend and my cat Sebastian. I go to
the movies a lot, I use the VCR abundantly and I spend the rest of my time
reading books and the rest of my money seeing lots of theater.
YOUR BACKGROUND IS PRIMARILY AS A STAGE ACTRESS-WHAT GOT YOU INTO THE
WONDERFUL WORLD OF LOW-BUDGET HORROR MOVIES?:
I've always been a big horror
fan. I think since I saw my first horror film, FRIDAY THE 13th (might have
been THE EVIL DEAD…), I always thought it would be a really fun thing to do.
Hey, I act, I might as well act in whatever I can. As long as I believe in
the project I'm all over it. I really wasn't actively pursuing
The low budget thing but I was cast in TAINTED BLOOD and that made me really
happy. Only problem, I haven't gotten a chance to scream, weild sharp objects
or guns, or be covered in blood yet…
YOU'VE BEEN GETTING EXTREMELY GOOD PRESS IN THE GENRE MAGAZINES. DO YOU THINK
YOU WILL BE THE NEXT BIG "B-MOVIE" ACTRESS?:
This whole sub-culture, for
female actors, is so based on looks and I don't think I'm
vampy/volumptuous/conventional enough to be the next "big" thing, but I'm
sure there's a niche for me somewhere. At least the mags seem to think so.
HOW DID YOU GET YOUR FIRST ACTING JOB?:
My first PAYING acting job (I say
paying since that is the definition of a job and I do Unpaying stuff more
than I'd like to), was as Sleeping Beauty for a birthday party. I must have
been about ten or eleven years old. My babysitter at the time, was an
actress, and she was doing this birthday party and they needed a young girl
to play Sleeping Beauty. Enter me. I was even kissed by some guy playing
Prince Charming (he seemed like he was about 35 years old. I'm sure he was
much younger but to kids anyone over fifteen is over the hill) and I remember
being really scared and freaked out by that (Hey, I was ten). I think I got
fifty dollars for playing dead-er, I mean sleeping heavily, and having a few
lines. That was a lot of money to me. I probably spent it on smurfs or
It's hard to count that as the first, though. I'd have to say that the
first was for the Pennsylvania Renaissance Festival and I actually had to
turn it down. It was between that and missing my college graduation and I
said, thanks but no thanks.
WHAT IS YOUR WEIRDEST ACTING EXPERIENCE?":
I worked on this student film that
should have been called LIVING IN OBLIVION meets the United Nations. The
director was Japanese and the whole crew made fun of how thick his accent
was. To his fact, that is. When he would say "camera", the assistant sound
person (who was from South America) would say under her breath, but loud
enough to be heard, "camela", then when the camera was rolling she would say
"lolling" (instead of "rolling"). It was awful. The sound guy was from
Barcelona, there was a production assistant from Scotland, the producer was
Korean…you get the picture. I was the only American there. The DP was German
and whenever the boom got in the shot he'd go "na-boom" in a very deep German
accented voice. That annoyed the "Dilector" (that's how they made fun of him,
poor guy), who would then let everyone know. Meanwhile, I was there until 3am
when my call was supposed to be until 11pm. You get the idea…
IN BOTH OF YOUR RECENT MOVIES YOU'VE ACTED OPPOSITE JOE ZASO. HOW WAS IT
WORKING WITH HIM?:
Joe is such a kind and generous guy. I know he doesn't
look that way in the films but he's as dopey and sweet as a puppy (Joe, I
mean all this in a GOOD way). His looks are the total opposite of how he
really is. I love working with him. He makes me smile.
WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO OTHER ACTORS?:
That's a joke. Me, give advice?
Well…acting is work. You should treat it that way. That means always be more
professional than the actor behind you (because if you aren't they'll get the
job over you) and always be on time. Treat every audition like a job
interview (it is, now isn't it?). Do your homework, learn your lines, come in
prepared. Better to be over prepared than under prepared, right? It'' the
whole, treat-it-like-a-job mentality. And remember, you never know who you
could be talking to, so be kind and professional with everyone you come in
contact with. That doesn't mean be fake, which people can see right through.
If you're snotty to the costume designer, don't be surprised if you look
awful in your costume, and then you're shit out of luck. Actors get a bad rap
too much of the time. But most of the time, actors ARE flakey/snobby/lazy and
do give the rest of us a bad name, so I work to change that with every job I
ADVICE TO DIRECTORS ABOUT DEALING WITH ACTORS:
Well…another hard one. I think
I can be more anal than the average actor, so my answer may not be typical. I
like to know how long my day is going to be. If it's going to be longer I
want to know as soon as possible. If I don't get enough notice, I might not
be able to stay and I expect the director to understand since actors have
very tight schedules.
Actors also need breaks if it's a long shooting day. Communication is so
key. And so easy, I might add, to do.
I understand that when I come on set, the director is worrying about
everyone and everthing else but me. That's fine, but that means if a director
is shooting a difficult scene, there needs to be rehearsal for the
Actors. We all can't come in brilliant all the time, and some of us need to
study and prepare.
I think all directors should take an acting class and be hyper-aware of
how people act in daily life. Directors need to know what actors do and how
they do it. Some directors you talk to about an "arc" or a "motivation" and
they look at you like you're swallowing acid. If a director wants a scene to
be real it's all about understanding how people react and why they do the
things they do. Very important. Every director I've known who's taken an
acting class has definitely become better.
The director also needs to understand that the actor is taking a risk
every time they get in front of the camera or on stage. Not enough directors
create a safe environment where it is acknowledged that=everyone=is working
hard and taking risks. Blah, blah, blah…
ANY LAST WORDS?
Never trust anyone who doesn't like horror films.
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