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POP INTERVIEW: Tiffany Rothman on Being on Actress: Studying, Rejection and Literally, Drama

Stage actress Tiffany Rothman helps us learn what it is like being an actor before you hear your name announced at the Golden Globes.



I wanted to break with my Q&A tradition on Pop Goes the Week! to interview someone who isn’t yet a household name but is striving to be one. Stage actress Tiffany Rothman helps us learn what it is like being an actor before you hear your name announced at the Golden Globes.

tiffany rothman

You’re more in acting for the sake of acting, versus the glamour. How can you love a profession that doesn’t pay anyone well until you “make it?”
My coach, Lenore Harris, once told me that the great Italian actress, Anna Magnani , said “All actresses are a little mad. You have to be! It’s a strange fire which burns constantly and dominates you completely.” I feel that the process of transforming oneself into a completely different character is wonderfully stimulating. For example, once I portrayed a character who was a madam, who had earlier been sold into prostitution as a young teenager. These sordid background circumstances were initially repellent ; but ,the actor, in the process of developing the character, must immerse herself into these circumstances in order to become the person she is portraying. This process can in turn lead to emotional, spiritual and intellectual growth in the actor.

Last but not least, Lenore also told me: ”When you have a dream, a desire, a goal that is really meant to be, it gives your soul a sense that it is doing what it was meant to do. You feel “placed” on the Earth. Your reasons of choice may have psychological reasons behind them that have influenced you, that you may not even realize until later but the thing is you have found your “path” in who you are and what you want to contribute to the world. And “glamour” as you say is exciting but those are not what makes you devote your being to the acting profession.”

How much of acting is facial expressions, and how much is sound?
Facial expressiveness is completely necessary for all acting. This is used to show all kinds of emotions as well as predicting the outcome of a situation. Facial expressions reveal the feelings and the thinking process of an actor. Mime movements are non- verbal;, therefore, facial as well as bodily movements must carry out the story line. Sound is extremely important. One of my greatest challenges with acting is to learn to eliminate my accent and to have better diction. I am fortunate enough to have Lenore Harris as my acting coach. An actor needs to appropriately project her voice.

When you rehearse and perform a stage play, is every performance different?
Broadly, all performances are similar; the details vary from one performance to another.

Do you ever read plays and scripts for fun? Do you have recommendations?
I do read plays and scripts outside of work. I would recommend that if a person finds it too challenging to read classics (i.e., Shakespeare) ,one should read contemporary plays such as those of Tennessee Williams, William Inge, Arthur Miller and original plays by local writers. If one’s time for leisure reading is limited due to work/educational commitments, an alternative is to read brief one act plays. Since plays tend to be published in small light weight paperback books, they are quite portable (as are, of course, e-readers). For those who commute via public transportation, reading can be done during traveling time. There are many wonderful writers who are available for reading; the list of recommendations is endless.

What is a good solo way to practice acting for a totally broke person who doesn’t want to or cannot afford take lessons?
If an actor refuses to take lessons, she is cheating herself. If an actor is totally broke, I would recommend her to get a job and save up money so that eventually she could afford to pay for lessons. In the meantime, the actor should read a lot of plays, perhaps try to become an usher so she can see free productions, volunteer to be a production assistant so she can learn more about theater or films and see tv shows and great movies including art films such as those directed by Ingmar Bergman and Michelangelo Antonioni . The actor must study plays, scripts, see theater and films. Films can be viewed over and over again on DVDs, You Tube and videos without incurring any significant expenses.

I’m sort of in fear of sounding depressing, but I have to ask, what is the secret of why most talented actors are unsuccessful? And why someone who is no big deal is an overnight sensation?
“Overnight sensations” are largely a myth in the acting field; the term refers to those who gain notoriety from a particular role. However, in most instances, the actor has been working for a while without achieving public notice. Acting is a business and like every other business it involves the marketing of a product. In this case, the product is the actor. Most actors who have achieved success have gone through an earlier stage when they worked in obscurity.

Acting, at one level, needs to be regarded as a business because possessing talent is only one small aspect of what may culminate in success. The actor needs to market herself and be able to work well with others and to be realistic about choices that have to be made. Those who do achieve success often tend to have a strong support system such as parents/relatives who are willing to invest time, effort and money in furthering the actor’s career. Take the example of a medical doctor. The more successful ones that I know tend to have attended very good schools. One of my doctors (a dermatologist) told me that he had attended an elementary school and a high school that were both quite rigorous. Because this was all he experienced, he had become accustomed to being required to satisfy high standards and thought that this was normal. Then , when he went to college and medical school, he claimed that he had an easier time than most of his peers. He was able to enter the field of dermatology because of his academic success. Another dermatologist told me that she received a master degree in medicine in England and that helped her to achieve her position. Of course, their parents thoroughly supported their education.

What are your next goals as an actress?
I will keep on studying acting with my wonderful coach Lenore Harris and will continue to acquire additional skills through belly dance training and movement in drama from Isadora Duncan International Institute. I will also try to market myself and to continue acting in the theater productions. In addition, I am doing my doctorate in counseling psychology. My thesis is based on a play that I was in called “Flowers : A Thorny Romance”. It is about domestic violence. I will be trained as a volunteer for a domestic shelter . Hopefully, I can provide some healing to others.


What’s Brian Tryin’? The Crispy Sandwich Maker by Apod!



This weekend I tried out a new product that’s been crowdsourcing on IndieGogo. (The link is here.)

It’s called a Crispy Sandwich Maker, made by Apod.

I always love trying out a new gadget, so it was fun to see how this one would play out.  What makes this one a bit different than most sandwich makers is that this only requires just one single slice of bread to make a compact, easy to eat snack that can be sweet or savory. It can be used over a gas stove flame, or, with caution, a campfire, although the design’s arm length better lends itself to a smaller flame like a home kitchen stove.

Because I love a s’more, I decided to do an interpretation of that using  nutella spread and marshmallow spread. My friend John and I were happily making these little sandwiches in the kitchen while I friends taste tested the results along the way.

While the product description says that it requires no oil, we did decide to butter the bread to give a nice brown color to the sandwich, although it could easily be done without it.

The results of the nutella and marshmallow spread crispy sandwiches were consistent and delicious. After about two minutes per side, sandwiches were golden brown and the inside filling was oozy and delicious.

Then it was on to make a savory snack in the form of a crispy ham and cheese with dijon. Again, about two minutes on each side over the flame was just enough to brown the bread and warm up the savory fillings.

This was a fun gadget to play with, and the results were delicious. All in all, everyone gave the results a thumbs up!

To be part of this indiegogo campaign, visit this link!

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Get The Look! A Buyer’s Guide To Brian Balthazar’s Philadelphia Home Redesign



As the world was forced to spend more time at home, Brian Balthazar found himself in a position where he had sold a house before the lockdown and had to find a new one.

“We sold our home with all the furniture in it, so not only did we find ourselves struggling to find a new place, once we found one we didn’t have any furniture to put in it.”

And so, Brian and partner Dennis got resourceful, turning to refurbishing and buying store floor models. They were inspired to make bold, fun choices in color and style when they started shopping around for wallpaper.

Below is the segment as it appeared on the Today Show, and further down, a rundown of where you can find the pieces or ones with a similar look!


Let’s start with the Dining Room!

Move the slider dividing the image to see all of the before or all of the after!

Brian saysThe dining room was the first space we wanted to do. I haven’t had a true dining room since I was a kid, and I’ve always wanted a big table for dinner parties! There were no tables within the price range we wanted, so we found a floor model at one of our favorite go-to stores, Arhaus. We easily saved 75 percent on this table by getting the one that they weren’t going to carry anymore. The chairs are from Wayfair.  On each side of the fireplace (not seen in the photo, but visible in the Today Show video) are two black tall lanterns flanking the fireplace. I got them at Target. I can’t currently find them on their app, but similar versions pop up every year. Get thee to Homegoods! Homegoods and Homesense (same parent company) are my go-to spots for home accessories for virtually every room in the house. You never know what you’re going to find, which is part of the fun.

But let’s focus on the real WOW element to this room – the wallpaper! This pattern is called Bellewood, by RebelWalls.   As you will soon see, I’m sort of obsessed with their patterns. To me, this room is magical with the added whimsy of this forest pattern. (They also have a more muted version with grays and even one with blues.) I also love that by hanging the paper from the chair rail up, you almost get the feeling that you’re standing on a balcony overlooking the forest. I surrounded the whole room with this paper, which I love, but you could easily add the same magical feeling by just doing one feature wall. Their website shows how it can translate to a bedroom or office. You might be intimidated by hanging wallpaper but don’t be! This pattern has so much going on that it really looks perfect when it goes up!



Brian says: The guest bedroom is on the top floor of the house, so it’s got roof lines on two sides that make it a tricky space to navigate if you’re not careful. The planning of this space alone resulted in a few bonked heads. On the upside, the wall where the bed goes is tall, so it was an obvious place to create some visual pop. Again, the wallpaper takes the spotlight.  Called “Nude Roses,” also by RebelWalls, I love this design. Floral wallpaper was ‘big’ in popularity back in the 1920s when this house was built, but the patterns at that time were smaller, repeated more often, and were often really bold in color. This interpretation is so fun to me! Gone are the small roses in favor of oversized blooms, and the bold colors are more subdued pink and gray hues, with touches of dark green and creamy whites.

While roses can inherently feel feminine, the plaid bedding (30 dollars for a queen set from Target) are a surprising complement that keeps everything from feeling a little stereotypical. The side tables are mismatched – partly because we didn’t want to go too “matchy=matchy” – but also to save some money – the one on the left side (hard to catch here) was from West Elm. Normally $199, we got it for half off as the floor model. The one on the right we found in the trash. It was perfectly fine, clearly someone had just gotten tired of it! Nothing some disinfectant can’t fix. That gave us some extra money to spend – To reduce the softeness we went with industrial lamps and edison bulbs. The lamps  are called “Ginyard,” from Wayfair. The headboard was on sale at Arhaus. The dark gray takes balances out the pink hues well. The pillows are from Target and Homegoods.

For the 360 degree view of this room, watch the Instagram reel below!  You’ll see the dresser, on sale for $599 from Arhaus, a lamp from Homegoods, and mobiles from Amazon which we fashioned into a ‘piece of art’ that keeps you from hitting your head on the angled wall opposite the bed. Watch the video to check it out!


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A post shared by Brian Balthazar (@brianbalthazar)



Brian says: The idea for the basement game room was to create a space that feels like a lounge you might find if you went out with friends. When you go into this basement it definitely feels like you’ve gone someplace unique! Believe it or not, I found out the Today Show had invited me to to record my house tour just a few days in advance, and so we turned around this spot in just THREE days! There was literally no pool table at the time, (although it had already been scheduled to come on Friday, the wallpaper came on Saturday, (as well as the floor tiles!) and by Sunday we were covered in paint and glue and drinking wine to celebrate it’s completion! I recorded the final video that Monday.

Some people might not think to take a bright basement and make it dark, but that was our first instinct. Clubs are dark and moody, and we wanted this to feel like that. We painted the walls Wrought Iron by Benjamin Moore, which is a very dark gray that seems to take on different hues based on where you paint it and the light that shines on it. We painted the ceiling black. This was Thursday night! Then Friday the pool table came. The floor tiles (“Tweed Indeed” in black by Flor) hadn’t arrived until the next day, so when they did arrive I meticulously trimmed four tiles to fit around the pool table legs so it looks like they were there the whole time. I had ordered the pool table online weeks before from and by sheer coincidence it was scheduled to arrive in time for me to shoot the redesign. This was the second time I have ordered a pool table from them (which was initially scary because you’re not even seeing it beforehand!) but it always arrives in perfect condition to your specific selections. I love that the felt jet black and keeps things dark and moody. In the time that has passed since this photo was taken, I’ve added more of the carpet tiles to make the carpeted floor area darker and bigger.

But once again, the wall mural steals the show in a marvelous way! This mural is called “A Priori” from Rebelwalls, and is inspired by The Allegory of Divine Providence and Barberini Power, a famous fresco by Italian artist Pietro da Cortona. Fitting, because this house is Italian in style on the outside. You can’t see it from this photo but the wallpaper runs up part of the ceiling as well. It truly gives the room a wow factor when you enter it. The lamps are from Homegoods, (we’ve since added some industrial floor lamps for extra mood lighting) and the piano was something we brought with us. The bar tables are from Amazon ($72 each) and the stools we brought with us – they were discards from someone who didn’t like their original bright colors and thought they were dated! We covered them ourselves with gray plaid fabric and they’re better than they were new!


So there you have it! Hope you enjoyed the rooms and find something you like!

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Well Sh-t, Leslie Jordan Has Shared Three Videos Of Himself Dancing In One Week And They’re All Perfect



Doing much better now, Leslie.

If you’ve never believed that “good things come in small packages” then you’ve never seen Leslie Jordan’s instagram. The 4’11” actor known for his iconic roles in shows like Will & Grace and American Horror Story has recently developed a whole new fanbase who loves him for his viral Instagram videos. Usually starting each video by greeting fans with “Well shit, how y’all doing?”, viewers have grown to anticipate Jordan’s hilarious recounting of stories from his time in show biz or growing up in the south. This week, however, the Tennessee native has shared 3 videos of himself dancing within 5 days and honestly it’s precisely what we all need right now.

The first video was posted on August 12th and shows Jordan taking part of the “Git up and dance challenge” which swept the internet about a year ago. Even though he is a little late, the video is still perfection.

On August 13th, Jordan does a dance to “You Can’t Stop The Beat” from Hairspray a with special guest dance partner Katie Couric!

Finally, on August 15th, Jordan does an epic “tootsie roll” and challenges Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills star, Lisa Rinna, to do the tootsie roll herself. Of course Rinna commented with a big “ON IT ❤️😂.” Who could say no to the viral star?!?

The moral of the story here is that the world is going through some tough times right now but maybe, even for a few seconds, we could all feel better if we’d just dance it out. Thanks for the inspo Leslie Jordan!

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