Noy Marom: The Critique Compendium Interview

Noy Marom by Rotem Barak

Noy Marom photo by Rotem Barak

Noy Marom is an Israeli actress based in NYC.

She was born and raised in Israel and moved to New York to pursue acting.

Noy is a graduate of The Stella Adler Studio of Acting, class of 2017.

Other training and workshops include: Grace Kiley Acting, The Barrow Group and The Nissan Nativ Acting Studio (Israel).

Theater credits include: Dian in Escape from Happiness, Sara in God of Vengeance, Eva in Last Summer at Bluefish Cove, A in the short play Kiss That Frog and The Letters Project.

Film credits include: What Would Nova Do?, Date Night, Shidduch, Crush and Once More Time with Feeling.

Noy is a founding member of the Virago Ensemble, an International all-female theater company, striving to empower women’s voices by sharing old and new works created by female-identifying writers.

Noy has also co-produced and acted in the short film A New York Moment, that was recently announced as a Semi-Finalist of the Variety International Film Festival.

*

Ms. Marom graciously agreed to an interview with The Critique Compendium. It took place via email from February 25, 2020 through February 29, 2020.

*

Critique Compendium:  What first interested you in the performing arts?

Noy Marom: For as long as I can remember, I loved to perform and from a very young age, my twin sister and I used to design costumes and perform in front of friends and family.

As I grew up, I discovered the magic and power of how actors tell stories through theater and cinema.  I remember watching actors on stage and in film, and just thinking how amazing it is that you can move people and make them feel different emotions by telling important and compelling stories. I remember being intrigued by it and saying to myself “Wow, this looks like the greatest job in the world. That’s what I want to do when I grow up”. Today, I still see it like that, but I also feel that as artists we also have great responsibility to try to make a difference through our art and I look for projects that focus on telling important stories that I feel  a special connection to and that I feel can make a difference and bring up issues that are important to me as an artist and as a human being.

Critique Compendium: What makes you want to play a role?

Noy Marom: I like to take on roles that are challenging and that can help me develop and refine my craft.

The work that I’m most passionate about is definitely female-driven projects.

I was fortunate enough to take part in many projects that centered around strong, interesting and complex leading female characters.

I always look for characters that are somewhat different from me, that takes me out of my comfort zone. Acting is also an opportunity for me to let loose and let out different sides of myself which are not usually out there. I feel like I always learn so much about myself in the process.

I was lucky enough to take part in many projects that shared the views that I believe in and care about. I only do work that I feel a personal connection to and that speaks to me as an artist. I think it’s important to use the stage we’re given as artists and raise awareness to different issues and to tell important stories that need to be told.

Noy Photo by Kenneth Shook

Noy Marom in God of Vengeance photo by Kenneth Shook

Critique Compendium: You’ve performed both on-stage and in film. Which do you prefer?

Noy Marom: I love both equally. The magic of the cinema and the power of the camera and also the excitement of performing in front of a live audience.

I feel very lucky to have had the training that allows me to do both.

I have been lucky enough to take part in wonderful productions with some of the most talented artists in the industry and I will keep focusing on being the best actor I can be, on camera and on stage.

Critique Compendium: Which is more challenging: performing on-stage or on film?

Noy Marom: There are different challenging aspects to both.

While on camera, you have to beware and conscious of many things, like your facial expressions and how you project your voice, since everything is way more noticeable on camera. There are also many challenging things you have to pay attention to that have to do with continuity and working on set with many staff members at any given time, which can be difficult when you’re working on very demanding scenes.

You also have to repeat the scene many times while filming and it can take the spontaneity out of the work and it can be pretty difficult to stay “fresh” after doing the same scene over and over again.

With theater, there are also many challenges.

Besides the obvious fact that it can be very stressful to act in front of a live audience (though it definitely gets better with time and the more you do it, the more you enjoy it and use this excitement in a positive way), you also have to be conscious of many things: again, the way you project your voice (and you always have to do a vocal warmup, which can be time consuming), the way you carry your body and your overall physicality and not to mention the amount of lines you have to memorize when your performing in a full length play.

I have to say that on some level, I do find theater to be a bit more challenging, since it is performed in front of a live audience and there are no second chances and you can’t just stop and go like you can while working on camera. On the other hand, I find it exciting for the exact same reasons.

Critique Compendium: You’re a founding member of the Virago Ensemble. Could you tell us about that organization?

Noy Marom: Virago Ensemble is an International all-female theater company, striving to empower women’s voices by sharing old and new works created by female-identifying writers.

I co-founded with a group of fellow actors from Stella Adler.

“Fresh” out of school, we wanted take charge of our careers and our artistic journey in NYC and we decided to produce our own work, while also continuing to work on other projects and going on auditions.

We started working together and found our voice as female international artists in NYC.

We’ve produced a number of very successful sold-out events, including a staged reading of the one-act play Last Summer at Bluefish Cove by Jane Chambers, and a theatrical movement piece of the short play Kiss that Frog by Serena Cates, both took place at the Artists Co-op in Manhattan and were directed by the accomplished actor and director Angelita Esperanza.

It was a wonderful experience and it taught me so much about working in an ensemble, which can be quite challenging, but I got to do it with amazing women who also happen to be amazing artists.

Critique Compendium: You both co-produced and acted in the short film A New York Moment. What’s it like to perform in a project you also co-produced?

Noy Marom: A New York Moment is a project that is very dear to my heart.

The short film tells the story of two good friends, Dana and Molly, both facing the struggles of pursuing their dreams in the Big Apple.

The story takes place in a park in NYC and it gives us a look into their journey as individuals and as friends, their hopes and dreams, love affairs, friendships and struggles.

We had an amazing crew and it was a wonderful experience.

I loved the experience of co-producing and also acting it, since I definitely allowed me more artistic freedom in the process, and it taught me so much about producing and managing a project from different aspects.

Critique Compendium: According to your resume, you’ve performed in 12 films. You played the lead in ten of them. How are you so successful at landing lead roles?

Noy Marom: I have to say that I’ve been very lucky in my journey as an actor. I really had many opportunities to explore many wonderful leading characters and take part in great productions with amazing artists.

I guess I just really try to do the work and to come prepared.

There is so much that is out of your hands when it comes to auditions, but you can control how prepared and professional you are in the process.

I do my best in the audition room and then I just try to breathe and let it go and move on to the next thing.

The secret is also to create as many opportunities for yourself to be seen and to reach new artists in the field that you can find a shared language with.

Noy Maram by Holly Thiel

Noy Marom in What Would Nova Do? photo by Holly Thiel

Critique Compendium: In the films Once More Time with Feeling and What Would Nova Do? you play characters who are either alone or isolated from the people around them. How do you prepare yourself to play roles this emotionally demanding?

Noy Marom: I really take my time with the character work. I focus on the character’s back story and I try to personalize it as much as possible. I also have this thing that I try to not interact so much with other people on set/ backstage before a very demanding and dramatic scene. I do my best to zoom-out and focus on the circumstances and be present and in the moment when I have to deliver a dramatic performance.

Critique Compendium: Once More Time with Feeling contains no dialog. What Would Nova Do? has very little. Did the lack of speaking concern you that you wouldn’t be able to tell the story in a way the audience could understand?

Noy Marom: I knew that it would be a challenging task, but I felt like I could make it work.

I’ve done many roles that involved a lot of dialogue in the past and I’m comfortable with that, so I saw it as a healthy challenge.

I guess that from an outside perspective, it can seem easier since you don’t have a lot of lines to memorize, but I actually think it’s more challenging, since you can only relay on your physicality and your facial expressions in order to tell the story. It was a challenge that I believe has made me a better actor.

Critique Compendium: Have you approached performing for Israeli and American audiences any differently?

Noy Marom: I approach every character and every performance with the highest level of dedication and professionalism.

The only difference that I can think of is that when I’m performing in front of an American audience, I’m focusing more on the vocal warm up and the accent work prior to the show, to make sure that I feel comfortable and that I won’t have any issues with the sounds and the speech, since I’m not originally from the US and it takes some work.

When I do that, I feel very comfortable with my speech and I’m ready to go.

Critique Compendium: You’ve received theatrical training in both Israel and the United States. Are the programs in both countries similar?

Noy Marom: I had the privilege of attending different institutes and classes in both countries.

From my experience, it’s true that every institute has its own philosophy and its own different approach towards acting, both in Israel and in the US, but the important main guiding lines regarding the technique, are actually usually pretty similar, even if they’re taught through a different vocabulary.

Critique Compendium: You served in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Did your time as a soldier influence your acting career in any way?

Noy Marom: I think that serving in the IDF has taught me mainly that I am stronger than I gave myself credit for.

I’ve learned so much from my service and I think that I am better at dealing with things that can be challenging in general and also specifically in the industry, thanks to going through this experience.

Critique Compendium: What’s been your favorite role that you’ve performed so far? Why?

Noy Marom: I love so many of the roles that I’ve played and it’s very difficult for me to choose one, but if I had to choose, I have to mention a role that I’ve really enjoyed working on, Sara from God of Vengeance.

It was such a special role to take on. It’s such a strong and fierce character on one hand and such a vulnerable and delicate character on the other hand.

It was also the first time that I ever played the character of a mother and since I’m not yet a mother myself, it was quite a complicated personalization process in the beginning, but I really felt that I found “her” in the end and I loves every minute of working and breathing this character.

Noy Photo by Kenneth Shook 2

Noy Marom in God of Vengeance photo by Kenneth Shook

Critique Compendium: What’s the most difficult role you’ve played? What made it so challenging?

Noy Marom: There were many challenging roles that I can think of, but one especially comes to mind. When I was working on The Letters Project with the No Frills Theatre Collective, I had to take on a character that had to say a very deep and vulnerable monologue while dancing freely on stage. It created a very silly and amusing scene and the contrast between the heavy material and the light and amusing physical activity, while trying to stay focused and avoiding the expected laughs from the audience, was extremely challenging to do.

It was a wonderful process and I got to work with amazing actors and to learn so much from them.

Critique Compendium: What actors have influenced you? Why?

Noy Marom: I’ve always loved Natalie Portman. She’s also originally from Israel like me and I followed her career from a very young age.

I think she’s an amazing actress with an amazing career.

She takes on very versatile roles and she played many very memorable characters.

I also really admire the fact that she seems to have a really nice balance and separation between her private life and her life as a movie star.

She seems to really have it figured out: a successful career, a quiet family life and just an overall healthy approach to a balanced, positive life.

Critique Compendium: You list snowboarding and skiing as two of your hobbies. How do you balance the demands of performing with taking the time to enjoy those activities?

Noy Marom: It’s definitely challenging to find time to do those activities when you’re constantly busy auditioning and working on projects, but I always try to find time for the things that I love. As an actor, being in such a demanding field, it’s easy to lose balance at times and I find it very important to make time to enjoy the things you love in order to stay balanced and to renew your energy.

Critique Compendium: How would you like audiences to remember you?

Noy Marom: As an actress who is dedicated to her craft and isn’t afraid of taking chances and being vulnerable on stage.

It’s extremely important for me to portray characters that the audience can identify with and I want the audience to experience the highest- level of authentic performance.

I see it as an absolute privilege to share my work with the audience, to be able to create art and to reach people and also let them into my artistic world.

Critique Compendium: What advice would you give to young people interested in participating in the performing arts?

Noy Marom: It takes time to find your place in the industry and I think the best advice that I can give young people that are just starting their journey, is to also create their own work.

Find a story you’d like to tell and that you’re passionate about and tell it. Go out there and audition and try to find work and projects that speak to you and that you can contribute to, but also find your artistic voice and create your own work and take charge of your path and your career.

Also, I would advise them to be patient and to believe in what they’re doing. It’s a challenging path but it’s worth it because at the end of the day you’re pursuing the thing you love best.

Critique Compendium: Where can people see your work?

Noy Marom: I make sure to post and update about my work and to inform regarding performance and film release dates.

People can see and learn about my work on my website: noymarom.com.

Critique Compendium: What’s next for Noy Marom?

Noy Marom: I have many exciting projects coming up in the coming months.

I have a few projects with IAP- The Israeli Artists Project, a New York based organization that supports Israeli art and Israeli artists in the city.

We’ll be working on a number of productions together, including wonderful bilingual shows for children (that includes, among others, a production of the show Kef in Israel, that I’ve also acted in in the past) and a production of the renowned Israeli play called Best Friends.

I’ll also be working on an exciting, original one- woman show called Memories of Fire, that will be directed by a wonderful NYC based director and devised theater maker.

Also, I’ll be working on a production of the renowned Israeli play Hefetz, directed by an accomplished Israeli director also based in NYC.

I can’t share more information at the moment, but I’m very excited about what’s to come and will be able to share more details soon.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s