Sadly, today at midnight I am going to end my “project” which has been to interview one person a day until the election. Today when I went to vote I stood next to Patricia Keaton in line. She is very nice and civic minded, but she really didn’t want to be interviewed for the blog. Meanwhile, I am quite behind in my interviews and will be spending election night writing about the many cool people I met with instead of focusing on any poll numbers. People are coming over to watch election results around seven. My house is usually some sort of center of activity….
Who: Sandra Coudert
Where: Jack’s Coffee House, West Village
Occupation: Managing Director, Rattlestick Theater
About 10 days ago Sandra and I got a quick coffee at Jack’s, the other cool coffee house in the hood. Sandra and I have known each other since I came by her theater and introduced myself about three years ago. I’m a big fan of the Rattlestick Theater, the “awesome” theater company that Sandra has been managing with David Van Asselet since 2002. No one does as much and talks as fast as Sandra. It’s hard to keep up. The day I spent with Sandra is certainly one of the times I longed for my tape recorder.
Sandra is a dark-haired, blue-eyed “Wonder Woman.” Actually she dressed up as “Cat Woman” for Halloween, but nevermind that. This one-stop-shop does anything and everything for her theater, but act, direct and write plays. She was once the photo editor the Harvard Crimson and spent time working as a lawyer and an investment banker, before finding her way to the non-profit world of theater. That’s a long road.
“So how did you end up at the Rattlestick?” I say
“I just wanted to learn about producing,” she says.
“Well, first I worked in non-profit politics. I worked on the elections the year Schumer and Spitzer got in.” She smiles. “He (Spitzer) was good. I’m still proud of the work I did.”
We spoke at length about politics and the upcoming election (which is now today) before we moved on. Sandra is very politically active, but as of press time she hadn’t yet volunteered for her candidate, Barack. “I donated to both Hillary and Obama, but gave more to Hillary.” She says.
When I spoke to Sandra again yesterday, she said she’d probably be working the phone banks today.
Back to theater and her job, I ask the obvious: “With many non-profit theaters there is a conflict with creative ambition. What do you think about that – is there something you are looking to produce?” I say.
“Not really. I think we (David and Sandra) work so well together because I leave the creative decisions up to him. I am the money and development person.”
“So what is the craziest thing that ever happened to you in New York City?”
Sandra emailed me her response (which is sort of cheating) after she read my blog and noticed that the Nanette Lepore dress I lusted for at Bloomindales she owns and wore to her big Rattlestick gala a few weeks ago. Hilarious! So my blog is becoming fashionably trendy too!
Here’s Sandra’s crazy NYC experience:
“I used to play with a tennis pro at Roosevelt Island a few mornings a week… He also taught Harrison Ford and I would take the lesson after him on most days. Harrison was always very sweet and nice, as well as pretty funny, and one time, when the tram was down, we shared a car ride back to the city after the lesson (our pro accidentally booked us both at the same time that day, so we ended up sharing the lesson) … it turned out we were both going to LA the next week and he offered a lift out on his private jet – which I took (he was leaving the same day). He was very gracious and kind to offer me a ride and it was a great trip… Of course, I had to re-arrange my other airfare for the return trip completely, but it was worth it! I can usually talk to anyone about anything, but for some reason I felt surprisingly tongue-tied around him… which has almost never been my issue with anyone! I just felt like whenever I said something it came out wrong… Oh well.”