A Day in the Life of Amy Rutberg
"Adventurous theater in Astoria"

-- The New York Times

A Day in the Life of Amy Rutberg

We are gearing up for our first performance of The Cottage on November 7th. The show is coming together in an amazing way, in no small part due to our talented ensemble of actors. One of them is Amy Rutberg, a New York actress playing the part of Sylvia Van-Kipness. She wanted to share with you a day in her life. If you want to find out more about Amy visit her website – www.amyrutberg.com


Rutberg_Amy_0201_ret_CROP6:21 am – I awake to the feeling of paws on my shoulder and very wet kisses on my sleeping face. This is my incredibly punctual daily alarm clock, 365 days a year. And, no it’s not my husband but rather our 10lb Bichon Frise puppy, Lacey the Fluffmonster. Now begins the morning battle royale with my husband over who walks said Fluffmonster. Will, cunning and strategy is deployed to layer on just the right amount of Jewish guilt. Today I am victorious! 30 more minutes of snooze time, hazzzah!

7:03 am – The coffee is brewing, I’m speed-memorizing lines for my 5th pilot audition this week. Very important to be “off-book” for TV auditions as they are all taped and shipped off to LA. If you are looking down at the script it’s the top of your head who is then auditioning. “Top of heads not funny or pretty”, I keep saying to myself.

10:00 am – Zoom, I’m out the door! Not so fast, it was a laborious 2-hour hair, makeup and wardrobe process. Camera ready is no small feat. I have to believe my male counterparts have it easier, especially when they can avoid a game of “find my black pumps” with the white Fluffmonster.

10:30 am – I arrive at Warner Brothers casting 30 minutes early and pray they can see me promptly because I’ve over scheduled myself once again. Luckily I’m rushed in by one of my favorite casting directors. New York casting directors have a genuine love for actors. Many are die hard theater fans and they really want to help the NY acting community get that big TV or Film job. I so appreciate it. I fly through the audition and am out the door — 8 pages of script instantly wiped from my memory. Onto the next mountain we climb!

11:15 am – A 9 block hike puts me in Nutmeg studio for my regular Voice Over gig.  The client is in another state so I take direction via satellite. Fancy! I’ve never met these people but they couldn’t nicer as I do my 2-word re-record. And I’m off and onto my favorite part of the day, rehearsal for The Cottage.

11:45 am – I’m en route to Astoria, Queens via subway. Darn it, gonna be 15 minutes late! For a moment I wonder what mischief the Fluff is causing, but then I refocus on the 90 pages of dialogue I need to memorize. This is a totally different skill set than audition memorizing. These lines and this character have to be with me for months.  Oy!

Maria Couch, Amy Rutberg, and Hanley Smith in rehearsal

Maria Couch, Amy Rutberg, and Hanley Smith in rehearsal

12:15 pm – I dash into APAC for rehearsal of The Cottage! We have 3 more rehearsals in the downstairs rehearsal room before we put everything together onstage with set, costumes, and lights.  So exciting! Today we are working on a complicated piece of staging in Act 2. It’s a joy to be working with this group of actors. Everyone brings such positivity, generosity, and creativity to the rehearsal room every day. Adam Dannheisser is a great director and the fact that he’s also an actor (currently in Rock of Ages on Broadway) brings a communication style that is very reassuring to our company of talent. Laura, our stage manager, keeps us on task and today brought in a bag of Halloween candy, which will disappear by lunch.

3:00 pm – I’m on a 20 minute lunch break, yes! Just enough time for a stellar grilled cheese at a diner on Crescent and 30th Avenue – highly recommended. Deelish! The food in Astoria is fantastic and is definitely a perk to working here.

3:20pm – And we’re back! We took a brief tour of the set upstairs, it’s really something. I’m floored by how the designers transform the space and can’t wait to start working on the stage. Adam also played us some snippets of the music recorded specifically for our show. It’s brilliant and I feel like the audience is going to be blown away. Very cool. Back at rehearsal, we’re pouring over the script. I love working on this play. Sandy has written a true gem. I’m a lucky gal.

6:05pm – I’m on the train back to Manhattan. My brain and my feet are totally fried.  I fire off some emails to my agents confirming new auditions for tomorrow. I’m always grateful for the new opportunities even if it means cancelling social plans to work on more lines. Often my husband gets saddled with helping me prepare. He’s not an actor and reads all dialogue with an accent that can only be described as part Texan, part South African. I wonder which dog loving actor friend I can convince to run lines with me early tomorrow morning.

Lacey the Fluff Monster

Lacey the Fluff 

6:50pm – and, I’m home in downtown Manhattan! Lacey the Fluff is firing on all cylinders! Alright puppy, it’s hallway fetch and then a long, cold walk. Back in the apartment I try to work through the lines of a TV medical drama, but the small sharp Fluffmonster teeth in my toes are a major distraction. Ok, more hallway fetch. My neighbors must hate me.

9pm – I’m back on the subway headed uptown to 54 Below to support my good friend, mentor, and frequent collaborator Charles Busch in his new Cabaret act. It’s wonderful. For an all too short 80 minutes I am transfixed by his stage presence and humor. I immerse myself in his performance, which takes me far away from the pressures of my audition schedule and play rehearsal. I’m so thankful for the quick mental break.

11pm – Back at home, my husband is anxiously waiting for me so we can watch last Sunday’s “Walking Dead”. All through the zombie slashing I’m thinking about my audition tomorrow. Lacey the Fluffmonster is hiding under the bed.

12am – Okay family, it’s bedtime! Tomorrow is another opportunity to do it all again. You never know, tomorrow’s audition could be the one that changes everything. But if not, that’s ok too. As my husband often reminds me, it’s the journey that matters not the destination. Smart man! And I’m dozing off to the feeling of paws on my shoulder and a wet goodnight kiss on my sleepy face…


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