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INTERVIEW WITH SARAH K. LIPPMANN

Filmography:

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 something. 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 do.

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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