Jay Leibowitz is an actor, musician, writer, and producer based in Brooklyn. He's performed in ten seasons with The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey since 1999 in critically acclaimed productions of Comedy of Errors, Tempest, Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), Around The World In Eighty Days, Grapes of Wrath, and more. Jay is also an alumni of The Acting Company's 2008 US Tour of The Tempest and Orson Welles' Moby Dick Rehearsed. Jay is the primary author of Who Doth Inhabit the Primary Position? (AKA Shakespeare's Who's On First). After independently releasing Pedestrian Life, his first independent solo rock album in 2012, Jay co-created, produced, and performed in a staged concert reading sponsored by the Gibson Guitar Company's NYC Showroom of Very Very, a new rock musical based on Shakespeare's As You Like It.
VS: How did you get involved in theatre?
JL: It's awesome because I get to blame my sweet mother for this. She taught an after school class in acting to the third graders when I was in kindergarten. I helped. Then she enrolled me in a class at the nearby regional theatre when I was ten and I loved it. Also, my mom and I watched a lot of sitcoms together when I was a kid. Carroll O'Connor, Michael McKean, Tom Hanks, Michael J. Fox ... these guys taught me how to get laughs from mom.
VS: When did you know you wanted to be an actor?
JL: A choice made by logic. I was a very curious kid and I wanted to grow up to do everything. One day when I was pretty young I realized that if I was an actor, I actually could. Do everything. In short bursts. And then give up and do something else two months later. Like an insane person.
VS: Tell me about WHY WE LEFT BROOKLYN. How do you feel rehearsals are going? What do you love most about the show?
JL: It's this dark, smart, witty extended episode of a sitcom you've never seen but instead you've actually been living. Or have you? Hard to say. I love that I get to be the guy in the room who isn't an actor.
VS: What kind of writing inspires you?
JL: I like when it's written in English. Otherwise, it's useless to me.
VS: Who or what has been the biggest influence on your work as an actor thus far?
JL: My mom.
VS: What else are you working on right now?
JL: My partners and I turned Shakespeare's "As You Like It" into a rock concert and called it "Very Very". The Gibson Guitar Company's NYC Showroom sponsored a performance of it earlier this year and it was a hell of a thing. Working on next steps in development for that and playing with my band.