Robert Galinsky talks about ‘Everything in New York Goes Bang!’

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Robert Galinsky
Robert Galinsky. Photo Courtesy of Robert Galinsky

Director, actor, playwright and filmmaker Robert Galinsky chatted with #Powerjournalist Markos Papadatos about his solo show “Everything in New York Goes Bang!

This past weekend, the solo show at Jefferson Market Library was sold-out and a standing room only show. They had to turn away 30 to 40 people as the room was filled to capacity. We are in talks to do an encore performance in order to accommodate those who were turned away.

A review from audience member Yasemin Gulbahar stated, “The actor was amazing. The reading progressed in an interactive and joyful way, and we chanted “bang” slogans and sang together with the actor. This allowed me to get more into reading. We had a lot of fun at first. But the devastating blow in the end destroyed me. I left the reading crying. It was a very impressive and meaningful reading. Everything was in balance. It was a unique experience for me. I would love to see an encore at Jefferson Market Library.”

What inspired you to write this show?

I was inspired to write this show to inform people about the challenges our youth are facing due to the dragnet of incarceration. Through my experiences in multiple jails, including the infamous Rikers Island, I witnessed conditions and behaviors that are beyond abhorrent and perverse. I decided I needed to tell the stories and at the same time, weave in my journey from the suburbs of Connecticut, to the once thriving Alphabet City NYC performance scene. Through humor, comedic characters, and poetry, I tell part of my journey in an hour long show. 

What do your plans for the future include?

My future plans include producing the movie version of my first Off Broadway one man show, “The Bench, A Homeless Love Story” and touring this new show, “Everything in New York Goes BANG!” at colleges, universities, and acting schools.

Any New Year’s resolutions?

New Year’s Resolutions? Be more disciplined with my time and how I use it, continue growing through Transcendental Meditation, and continue to throw myself deeply into creating film and theatre while also working with our incarcerated youth.

How does it feel to be a director and filmmaker in the digital age? (Now with streaming, technology, and social media being so prevalent)

I was an early adopter of digital technology, as early as 1992, and helped to create the color and personality of Silicon Alley during the 90’s doctor boom through a ground breaking start up called Pseudo.com. So seeing what has transpired over the past 25 plus years has been exciting and I eagerly embrace all of the technology and the ‘business as usual’ busting ways that tech has to offer. I’m always excited and anticipating the next wave of technology before it breaks. I don’t always utilize emerging tech in my work as artist but it does find a way to resonate within my work.

Were there any moments in your career that have helped define you?

The moments in my career that have defined me are many. To name a few… working with the legendary Nile Rodgers to develop curriculum and to facilitate it to global teen leaders through his “We Are Family Foundation” and TEDxTeen taught me a great deal about world cultures and also allowed me freedom to inspire and create programming for exceptional youth around the world.

Working with Jamal Joseph, a former Black Panther and Oscar nominated songwriter, also has informed me that when I enter a space that others do not have access to, ie: Rikers Island Jail, it’s my responsibility to report what I witness; hence a good portion of “Everything in New York Goes BANG!”.

Lin Shaye’s Off Broadway one woman show that I recently directed, “Tripping on Life” also lifted me to another level as I was able to interact with Lin’s creative genius and learn from the experience while lifting the production to great heights. People who have been pinnacle to my career also include: 5 Time Tony winning producer Terry Schnuck; theatre artists Jay O. Sanders, Amy Seham, Mark Schoenfeld, and Gina Rugolo Judd; my brother Philip.

What is your advice for young and aspiring filmmakers?

My advice – make your art, not your excuses. There are too many open avenues now to create and produce film and theatre and any form of art, so there are no reasons not to do the work. 

What does the word success mean to you? (My favorite question)

Success to me means waking up in the morning and not knowing what day it is. When I do that, I know that I am fully engaged and wrapped up in working for myself, not working for someone else in a job that is on the corporate matrix. 

To learn more about Robert Galinsky, check out his official website.