Rachel Murdy, 40

12th St at Greenwich Ave.

Rachel Murdy

Photograph: Jay Muhlin

What do you do? I'm an actress. I was a member of Diane Paulus's company for ten years and one of the creators of The Donkey Show.

And are you still doing avant-garde stuff? Oh, yes. I've created a show with a company called Conni's Avant Garde Restaurant.

Dinner theater minus the Andrew Lloyd Webber. [Laughs] Right! It's this joyful event in Bushwick for 60 guests. We all serve in the restaurant and work in the kitchen in various ways.

Waiting tables is always kind of a performance, I guess. Exactly. In Conni's Avant Garde Restaurant, we are artists, not waiters.

Oh, pardon me. Do you get picky eaters or self-anointed food critics? No! People are really thrilled with the food.

That's not usually a hallmark of dinner theater. Oh my gosh, are you kidding me?!? I don't want to say anything disparaging about people's love for dinner theater but it's some of the worst meals I've ever had.

So what would you be if you weren't an actor? Oh, well, I've always been a compulsive painter. I tried to do greeting cards at one point and that didn't really work out. I'm also a professional cake decorator, which I always saw as an extension of my painting.

Food and art together—I'm sensing a theme here. [Laughs] Yes! But at Conni's there's no cake involved.

Seriously? Then what's for dessert? Well...you'll see.

More from Rachel

"I'll be 41 on July 20, the moon-landing day. [Laughs] It's an especially good day if you're a moon child—you know, a Cancer. I'm not really into that stuff, but I like moon child, which is more on the hippie side than what the word Cancer makes you think of."

"People think, Oh, actresses and actors, they're so extroverted. But actually so many of us are quite shy people who need to go off to a quiet place as well as having this extroverted life."

"A year ago I fell while doing a ridiculous thing in my socks—ah, ridiculous actors! I'm a faller as a performer. Anyway, I became bionic, with a metal plate and six screws in my wrist. But now it's hurting again, and I thought it was because I was using my Sidekick too much, but nope—it's because I've got a screw loose. Or, I should say, many screws loose!"

—Kate Lowenstein