Name: Alicia Witt
Occupation: Actress/singer. She’ll be performing her original music this Sunday, August 7, at Joe’s Pub.
Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
I have to mention this person that I know; it’s the first answer that popped into my head. She just screams to me “Quintessential New Yorker” and I don’t know why. She’s this girl that goes by the name of Lady Rizo, and she plays at Joe’s Pub all the time. She’s incredible. She does “Caburlesque”: She’s so sexy but also so funny and ridiculous and she has a set of pipes on her that you can’t even believe. Whenever I go to one of her shows, you couldn’t possibly be anywhere but New York.
What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in New York?
My favorite sushi in New York is Tomoe Sushi on Thompson below Houston. It’s just my old stand-by. You probably shouldn’t write this but I’ll probably go right before my Joe’s Pub show.
In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?
I’m getting to do so much music at this point in my life and it’s made such a difference in my other job, acting, in terms of just filling my heart up as a person, because the acting thing is such an odd career, it’s such a career about waiting for other people to give you the opportunity to get to do it.
What was your first job in New York?
I think The Sopranos.
What’s the last thing you saw on Broadway?
Oh, I’m behind on my Broadway. What I want to say was that it was August: Osage County, but I think I saw something after that. Either way, that was phenomenally memorable.
My big goofy dream is to star in a Broadway musical. And I will, someday. I want to have one of those incredible Broadway solos where I’m singing one of those incredible songs about being in love or being determined to do something that I’ve never done before. I’m just in such awe of people who do that and it really scares me, and there’s not much that scares me at this point, so I have to do it.
Do you give money to panhandlers?
It depends. To be honest, I usually don’t, because I’m not sure. I definitely give money to charities and I feel a little weird about giving it to panhandlers sometimes.
What’s your drink?
Patrón and grapefruit, with a squeeze of lime.
How often do you prepare your own meals?
Pretty often. It depends on what I’m doing. If I’m by myself, then most of the time I do. Sometimes I go to Whole Foods and get some of the ingredients. I’m addicted to Whole Foods vegan chicken curry. It’s in the deli section. So I don’t prepare that part from scratch, but often if I’m alone my dinner will be just some of that with some raw broccoli or hummus or baba ghanoush or just lightly steamed broccoli with garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper.
What’s your favorite medication?
Music. Gotta be music.
What’s hanging above your sofa?
Nothing hangs above my sofa. It stands in the middle of the living room.
How much is too much to spend on a haircut?
I don’t have a body clock, it’s just something about me. I love mixing up my bedtime. Sometimes I’ll go to bed at 5 a.m. and sometimes I’ll go to bed at 10:30 in the evening, and I’ll wake up after I’ve had enough sleep or if there’s something I have to do, which usually there is. I also have the ability to go for two to three days with very little sleep and have caffeine and stuff to keep me awake, and then on the fourth day I can sleep for twelve hours easily.
Which do you prefer, the old Times Square or the new Times Square?
I have to say the old Times Square, just because I have so many memories of coming here as a teenager and how magical it all felt. And New York will never stop feeling that way for me, but there’s just something about the way that it used to be that will always be eponymous New York to me.
What do you think of Donald Trump?
I met him; he was in
What do you hate most about living in New York?
The walk-ups. I’m currently in this apartment in Tribeca with a five-floor walk-up. It’s just like, you get to that point at the end of the night when you finally make it home, and yesterday I was walking around the entire day — I don’t even know how many miles I walked — and my feet were starting to really hurt. And I got off the train and got to my door and was just like “Oh, shit.”
Who is your mortal enemy?
Ice cream. It’s one of those items that I’m not allowed to have in my freezer because it won’t live. We have a love-hate relationship.
When’s the last time you drove a car?
I was in L.A. a few days ago, so I drove there.
How has the Wall Street crash affected you?
It’s changed the movie industry, for sure. In the last few years, quotes that actors used to receive — I mean, this is true of me and of all my friends — the rules have just changed. No one makes what they used to make, and that’s become the norm. In the days before that happened, everyone had a quote and it was basically whatever you earned on your last movie or the most that you had earned for a similar project, and they just don’t apply anymore. Everyone has lowered out of absolute need.
Times, Post, or Daily News?
Where do you go to be alone?
I go to my piano.
What makes someone a New Yorker?
The indescribable sense that you belong here when you’re walking down the street, and the feeling that you’re part of everyone around you and that you don’t have to say a word to anyone or you can start ten conversations with strangers that day, but you know you’re all a part of this amazing energy that is New York.