By day Halley Wegryn Gross is an NYU student studying economics and writing. By night she is performing in Hurlyburly amongst the likes of Ethan Hawke. Not a bad after school gig.
The play ends at the beginning of July, but we're pretty sure you'll be catching Halley in plenty after the run is over. Recently we asked her a little bit about what it's like to live a life onstage and in New York.
Seeing as how you all have acted on-screen before, how is being on-stage different…preferable or not to on-screen? Was this the first experience for any of you?
The stage is more of this complete experience that is unstoppable, astoundingly invigorating and can be terrifying at the same time. Elizabeth [Berkely] equates it with a rollercoaster ride, and I think that sums it up quite well.
So far during the run have there been any “annoying audience member” stories?
I think we have pretty nice audience members! Sometimes we get really loud laughers, which is great, but when they’re sitting next to the microphone that pipes through to backstage it can be, for a moment, horrifying!
Throughout the play we’re watching the secret lives of men, which is a scary thing, what would this play be like if women’s secret lives were the focus?
I’d like to think the set might be a bit neater. But then looking at my own dorm room, I realize that might not necessarily be true.
Often between scenes, or as incidental music in the background, the Talking Heads, Blondie and other 80’s bands are heard. How important do you think the music is in the play?
Amazingly important. Especially when “Under Pressure” is being played. I’d be hard-pressed to find a song fits more perfectly in that exact moment.
If you could add one song from the decade to the play, what would it be?
I Want a New Drug, by Huey Lewis & the News
Did you get to help in picking your individual looks for the show? (For Parker especially, giant 80’s hair!)
Jeff Mashie and Parker both collaborated on my look, and the entire cast and crew helped decorate my Converses to make them look extra swanky.
Being that we’re a New York-centric site, we have some city questions for you as well…
What is your first conscious memory of New York City?
The commute. Oh goodness the commute.
What is your favorite/least favorite memory involving New York?
My favorite memory is constantly changing, but at the moment it is getting bagels and having a Pete and Pete marathon after a show last week. My least favorite is anytime someone mumbles something invasive as I walk by. Gives me the creeps!
Do you have a favorite New York place/bar/restaurant to go?
Being the representative student within Hurlyburly, I have to go with Chipotle. Oh, and Magnolia’s bakery. OH! And Pressed Toast. OH! And Coldstone Creamery. OH! And this one pizza place on
McDougal called The Pizzeria. AMAZING.
Share a personal (and hopefully interesting) NYC taxi story.
In hindsight, I should NOT have eaten the orange the cab driver gave me. But I was hungry and it was after a show.