November 30th, 2012 11:38 EST
Judyth Piazza interviews Actress Tiffany Rothman on The American Perspective
Five and a half years after nailing her first audition and earning a role in the play Happy Hour " at the Big Little Theatre on Manhattan`s Lower East Side, Tiffany Rothman is an unstoppable creative force, a multi-faceted award winning actress building a dynamic theatre and film resume in a variety of roles and genres-- from Lady Montague in Romeo & Juliet " and a part in King Lear " to recent featured performances in three one act plays by Love Creek Productions at the Producers Club.
Quickly on her way to becoming a breakout star beyond the world of Off Broadway, the Vietnamese born, NYC based Tiffany "who went to high school in Brookline, Massachusetts with Conan O`Brien--won the organization`s Best Performance in a One Act Drama award for her work in Will`s Grill, " was nominated for the same award for Women of the Wild West " and also appeared in the company`s Divorce First Class. " Further expanding her repertoire beyond the dramatic roles she has focused on, she is following up these performances with a part in the comedy Splitting Hares, " also at the Producers Club, and doing a series of comedic monologues at the newly launched Front and Center NYC Theatre Company. She will play a nosy, gossipy neighbor in Welcome to the Neighborhood " and a waitress in Green Diet. "
Other key credits for Tiffany over the past few years include The Legend of Dragons and Fairies " at the Long Island Children`s Museum in November 2011; The Fourth Stage of Matter " at the Theatre for the New City (Cino) in August 2011; Flowers: A Thorny Romance " at The Producers Club (2009), Center Stage (2010) and Workshop Theatre (2011).
An equally talented ballet and jazz dancer and choreographer, Tiffany has been featured in nearly 20 student and independent feature films, from Grace " and Subtotals " for NYU students to Sentiments Adrift " for GT Visionz Productions. In recent years, she began doing print work, including ads for Astarte Cosmetics and Hyrdoxatone Night Cream. She appears in the October 2012 issue of Redbook as one of 20 women chosen to participate in a feature entitled Skin Secrets of Women Who Look This Good. "
Tiffany has also begun giving back to the artistic communities she has both struggled and thrived in, creating Temple of Roses, a non-profit organization that supports the arts and artists. Located on the top floor of the Brooklyn townhouse she shares with her husband Robert and 13-year-old daughter Elisabeth ( Bethy "), Temple of Roses hosts theatre rehearsals and small dance classes while currently seeking funding to pay teachers for movement and yoga classes.
What I love most about the opportunities I have to play so many distinctive roles is that I can transform into a completely different person, as if I were creating a new individual with every performance, " says Tiffany, whose many years of acting education include an ongoing relationship with renowned acting coach Lenore Harris. I enjoy live theatre because it gives me the opportunity to captivate the emotions of the people in the audience. In the days when I was dancing, one of my artistic directors said that I would do something different that would connect with those who were watching. So it`s always been very important to me. When I do a film, I reach out for the person behind the camera, knowing many people will eventually be watching. Each performance is a learning and growing experience for me, and that`s what my life and career are all about. "
Tiffany Rothman brings a very unique set of life circumstances to each of her roles as an actress, drawing emotions from a traumatic early childhood in Viet Nam which included her father, a law professor and politician, being taken away at gunpoint (after her life was threatened as well). She visited him in jail after his second arrest when she was only two years old. Along with her pregnant mother, younger brother and aunt, Tiffany left for the U.S. two days before the fall of Saigon in 1975; her father, who she never saw again, was later put into a concentration camp. In 1988, nine years after his release, he died of lung cancer.
Because of my father`s involvement in politics, and despite how they tried to shelter us, I was always in the public eye, " she says. Unlike most people who grow up to pursue acting, I didn`t want to perform then. My aunt was and still is a famous singer and her best friend`s parents were the studio bosses. They could have put me on TV in a snap back then. Later when I was 14, I wanted to be an actress, but my English was bad and I was learning disabled so studying acting was out of the question.
I grew up loving the Chinese actress and dancer Chen Pei Pei, who was famous in Viet Nam and later appeared in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,` " Tiffany adds. Later I became a big fan of Cyd Charisse and foreign actresses like Isabelle Adjani, Liv Ullmann, BiBi Anderson and Vanessa Redgrave. Living in Massachusetts, I took an acting course in high school but had a hard time because of the language. So the following year I started dancing, which I loved. But when I left for college, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst didn`t allow a non dance major to take a class. I took a non credit dance class and, ironically, it wasn`t as good as the one at Brookline High or the studios I studied at in the Boston area. "
Tiffany`s varied interests throughout her 20s led her to seek and apply degrees in various disciplines. She earned a B.S. in Fashion Marketing from U. Mass Amherst and received two Master`s Degrees from Long Island University: an MBA in Human Resource Management and a second in Educational Psychology. During these years she worked in Human Resources for the City of New York, and she later took dance lessons at various places throughout the city (including the Isadora Duncan International Institute) and taught dance to kids and adults, using choreography as a way to help people connect with each other. She currently works for the Department of Education as a school psychologist.
Tiffany is certified in Dance Education Laboratory from the 92Y, Isadora Duncan Movement Analysis from the Institute and the Rommet Floore Barre Ballet. She also held a certificate in Reiki II (with a special designation as a Rising Star Healer ") and Expressive Arts Therapy and has been studying belly dancing again for five years. Her acting training includes Intensive with Jack Garfein (a friend of Marilyn Monroe`s who was the second husband of Carroll Baker), the Pan Asian Rep., Scott Power Studio, TVI and HB Studio.
Having taken the required 14 courses at the Modern Psychoanalytic Center, she is currently doing her thesis for her Psy. D. in Counseling Psychology from HEED University. The thesis is based on the play she was in, Flowers: A Thorny Romance, " in which she played a victim of domestic violence; a film called Story of Adele H. " (about Victor Hugo`s daughter who suffered from erotomania); and a Duncan dance choreography entitled Death and a Maiden. "
I am hoping that I can bring to every role all that I have learned and imagined from my life, " says Tiffany. My ultimate goal is to spend the rest of my life being an actress who can give back to and support other artists who seek the opportunity to express themselves and share their talents with the world. "