Fringe Femmes 2022 are a bold cohort of women who are presenting new plays, original works and solo shows that have raised the bar on what it means to be an artist, tell one’s story and continue the work by any means necessary. Each year I am reminded that no matter the obstacles or the times in which we live, you cannot stop theatre as an art form from expanding, thriving and being a vessel to reveal, heal and nurture. LAFPI has the special ability to connect women from a wide variety of cultures and experiences together in their shared love of theatre.
This year continues to expand on that legacy and I could not be more thrilled to introduce you to renaissance woman Judy Nazemetz. According to Judy her solo show NAZZ-MA-TAZZ was born out of: “My everyday life as a Hojo girl, Pathmark cashier, Santa Claus trainer, polka lover, kielbasy hunter, LA PTA President, 3-pt. shooter in a basketball league for moms 5’3” and under.”
Constance Strickland: What’s been your biggest battle in terms of your development/process?
Judy Nazemetz: Figuring out the best way to showcase what it is that I do!
Constance: After the lights and the audience disappear, what do you hope one remembers after seeing your show?
Judy: I hope the audience remembers the laughs and the fun we had together.
Constance: What joy did you discover when creating your show?
Judy: Realizing I came up with the perfect blend of song, comedy, and stories.
Constance: What has been the most delicious discovery as you created your original work?
Judy: The perfect venue (Hudson Guild Theatre) for a truly theatrical experience.
Constance: How does it feel to have an opportunity to share your work with an in-person audience? COVID expanded in many ways how the work can be seen and done, what personally changed if anything for you in how you approached creating your show?
Judy: For me, in-person audience is the only way to go because I can hear the audience’s reactions.
Constance: How long have you been sitting with this work? Why Fringe? Why now?
Judy: When I was an improv-comedy performer, I’d make up songs on the spot from audience suggestions but, when the scene ended, the song was gone. I decided to write songs and performed these and sketches I wrote in my one-woman show with a cast of 5, ALL THAT NAZ, and in various sketch and comedy shows such as SANTA-THON and Fred Willard’s comedy shows. I realized I should record the songs and, with MEAT BIRD IN BEIGEVILLE released in January 2022, I have 4 CDs being played worldwide. Then Fringe 2022 came along and I figured a one-hour solo show that showed everything I can do, all at once, would be perfect. And, NAZZ-MA-TAZZ was born.