It brings me great pleasure to introduce today’s LTYM:NYC member Elizabeth (Kizz) Robinson. Kizz actually auditioned for us LAST year, and we absolutely loved her, but her piece just didn’t quite fit into the show we were building. We were so hoping she would come back and audition again this year, and she did… and knocked our socks off! So come see her on May 12th so she can de-sock you, too.
ELIZABETH (KIZZ) ROBINSON is an actress, writer, singer, blogger, photographer, animal advocate, and administrative ninja. She grew up listening not only to her mother, but to other strong New England women and role models. She has created and performed three cabaret shows, including her most recent, Back Where I Belong, which will return to the New York stage this summer. Robinson has written and performed her own work and the works of others in the US and the UK. She lives in Brooklyn with her dog and two cats and wishes they would listen to their mother more often.
That’s the short version. The long version? MUCH more interesting, as I’m sure you’ll agree…
According to her parents Elizabeth Robinson’s first words were, “hi,” “cat,” and “goddamn.” The story goes that the last one escaped her toddler lips when she faced a setback while rearranging her very first bookshelf. She thinks that bit of family lore explains all you need to know about her love of literature, her inability to keep a clean house, and her salty language.
The greatest third grade teacher in the history of third grade teaching, Miss England, noticed that Elizabeth had a flair for telling stories. Miss England helped Elizabeth to see that her imagination could produce things that other people, even perfect people like Miss England, not only liked but valued. There have been few days between then and now that Elizabeth hasn’t told someone a story about something.
Elizabeth left her small, New England hometown to grab the brass ring of a college education in fruity delicious New York City. The powers that be at NYU saw fit to lead her to Marleen Pennison. Ms. Pennison is a dancer, choreographer, teacher, and writer. She is the foremost practitioner of narrative dance of her generation. Through her Elizabeth learned to tell stories without words which, in turn, made her stories with words even better.
In her mid-twenties Elizabeth fled an overwhelming feeling of being pigeon-holed. When she stopped to catch her breath she found herself in London learning how to tell the stories of long dead people like Aeschylus and Shakespeare and Chekhov. She completed a one year post-graduate certificate course in acting at the London Academy of Performing Arts that made her smarter, braver, and louder.
The year she turned 30 Elizabeth was hired by a now-defunct children’s theatre company to tell a very silly, very loud story to school kids across the midwest. There she learned that if your story includes banging on pots and pans most kids will like it and wish they were you. If only those kids that wanted to be her then could see her now.
Since then Elizabeth has told stories in many forms. Her play about speed dating; A Drink, A Date, A Ding! enjoyed great success in its limited New York City run and she continues to brainstorm ways to bring it back to the stage. The mission of her photography business, 2B Photo Studio, is to capture her clients’ stories so they can carry a memory in their pocket. Her one woman cabaret, Back Where I Belong, tells the tale of her 25 year love affair with New York City. It played to sold out houses at Don’t Tell Mama this winter and will return to an as yet undisclosed NYC venue this summer. Since 2004 Elizabeth has written about her life on a personal blog, 117 Hudson.
Elizabeth lives in her beloved Brooklyn with two elderly cats and a small, smart terrier. They don’t care what her story is as long as she serves dinner on time. She is tickled several shades of pink to be participating in this phase of the Listen To Your Mother Movement. She can’t wait to tell you all her story.
And we can’t wait to hear it. Thank you, Kizz.