We had the good fortune of connecting with Justin Sayre and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Justin, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Well, I think I have that “thing,” whatever that is which makes me want to make my own work, to foster my own voice. I like helping people with their projects. I love working with a team, but I like to be my own boss, and to foster my own vision. So I’ve always made my own work, from my shows in New York to now my plays and work in Los Angeles. I like making, so I like to make.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m a non-binary writer and comedian, and I think that perspective has set a lot of my work apart from the beginning. I try to see the world and in part from a new perspective, even though I’m a little more than attached to the classic. I’ve been very fortunate to work in a host of mediums, writing a series of YA books for Penguin, writing and performing the longest-running LGBTQ variety show in New York, writing for the stage as well as television. I love that I get to try on each of these formats to try to bring the stories that I’m most interested into the fore. It’s taught me that my work always sings best when it’s funny, always touches people in unexpected and heartfelt places when I’m at my most honest, and can relate to more people than just those that share my current societal heading. I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is that work begets work. Make work, keep making work, and eventually that work will find an audience and a place in the world. So many of the amazing opportunities I’ve been blessed with, lucky breaks. But I think you invite that luck when you keep making. You make yourself lucky, by keeping up the practice of being an artist. Always growing and changing and learning. That way, when the luck does show up, you’re ready to grab it with both hands.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well, as someone who’s lived in Los Angeles for a while, I never make it out to the beach, so that would have to be a big part of the trip. After that, I’d want to show my guest around the art scene in LA. There’s so much amazing work going on out here, and so many fun and interesting places to see new and fascinating pieces. So definitely a trip to the Broad. Definitely a trip to LACMA. Definitely a trip to The Getty. Then it’s off to the few remaining old Hollywood stalwarts. Trips to Musso and Franks, Dan Tana’s, The Smokehouse, and a gorgeous brunch at Chateau Marmount. Depending on the season, I love the programing at The Hollywood Bowl and try to go often. Disney Hall is also an amazing place for music. A show at The Dororthy Chandler Pavillion. A day trip to The Last Bookstore for something rare and fun, and all the glories and tastes of downtown. Then probably back to the beach, Venice Beach in particular. A night stroll down Abbot Kinney, and a late dinner at Mao’s Restaurant, the best Chinese food in LA.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I was very lucky to be able to work with a group of actors and artists over the course of the pandemic. In a year we did nine plays together so I would shout out to them all. To Tom Detrinis, Drew Droege, Sam Pancake, Daniele Gaither, Jenn Harris, Jeff Hiller, Ryan Garcia, Angela Cristantello, Lesley-Anne Huff, Tom Lenk, Mitch Silpa, Randy Harrison, Michael Cyril Creighton, Jim Rash, Mitch Silpa, Edie Patterson, Aaron Jackson, Travis Coles, Brooke Seguin, Tyler Phillips, and all the folks at Dynasty Typewriter.
Gay Rd – Matthew Dean Stewart Artwork – Daniel Nolen Hot Flash Poster – Howl Themage