'Never give up on your dreams' LA actress Lois Robbins on writing and starring in her own show
Lois Robbins is an American actress who has appeared in hit TV shows Sex and the City, Kingpin and Law and Order as well as Uma Thurman movie Motherhood. She now stars in new play L.O.V.E.R. showing at the Zephyr Theatre on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles directed by Girl Seeks Girl director Sonia Sebastián. The play is an adult woman's coming of age story as she recounts her sexual history from childhood to adulthood and discovers that the most important relationship she has is the one she has with herself. Here Lois talks to Mandy News about how the play – which she also wrote – came about.
Loid, please introduce yourself to us and tell us a little bit about how you got into the industry.
I was born into a very large family, the youngest of four girls. I figured out very early on that the only way for me to get any attention in my house was to make a lot of noise and be somewhat precocious. I was generally shy, but somehow or another when I got on stage at school I felt very much at home.
In first grade, after playing the dramatic role of the month of April in a school play about the months of the year, I decided that I was born to be an actor and I would never want to do anything else. My parents were less than thrilled about my chosen profession and insisted I wait until I was old enough to get myself to auditions. As soon as I came of age, there was no stopping me.
Where did the idea come from for L.O.V.E.R. and could you please tell us more about it?
L.O.V.E.R. came out of a book I started writing. I had gotten to about page 25 and was just stuck. I didn’t know where I was going with it. A random conversation with a psychic, believe it or not, made me switch gears. She said, “tell me about your writing”. I said, “I never mentioned to you I was writing anything.” She then said, “I know, but your spirit guides told me to tell you that it’s not a book, it’s a play and you know what it’s about. Write that.”
I was a bit freaked out but I knew she was right and from that moment it literally poured out of me. In four weeks I had the first draft finished.
What are the challenges of putting on, writing and performing in a production?
The biggest challenge was finding the right director and producer. Once I did that, the rest has been completely joyful.
How did you meet Sonia and what was the relationship between yourself and the director?
I met Sonia through a mutual friend, an actress I have known for most of my life. She read the play and said, you need to work with Sonia Sebastion, she’s smart, understands comedy and you will love her. She was right. She is all the above. I feel so safe with her and she has helped shape the piece in a way I couldn’t have imagined!
What is coming up next for you in 2018 and beyond?
While we have been rehearsing the play I have been flying back-and-forth to New York to work on the TV series Younger. Darren Starr’s show starring Sutton Foster. It has been a challenge but I have enjoyed every minute. What’s coming up next is another episode of Younger and then this fall, the play has been invited to participate in the United Solo Theater Festival in New York City.
Beyond that, we will wait and see. I filmed four movies this past year. Hopefully, there will be some premiers in the coming year!
What advice would you give to aspiring actors?
My only advice would be to never give up on your dreams. You never know where an opportunity is going to take you. Always be prepared.
L.O.V.E.R. runs on Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays at the Zephyr Theatre, 7456 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles from April 13 to May 12 – tickets are available here.