We had the good fortune of connecting with Margot Mejia and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Margot, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I’ve never waited for an opportunity. If a door wasn’t open. I opened it. If I didn’t know how to do something. I learned on the job. As an early career playwright we often have to produce our own work. Taking on multiple roles for a project you wrote is a huge risk, and can sometimes even be emotional when going back and forth from creative to producing roles. I’m grateful for the opportunity to have worked with some amazing collaborators, most recently with director Michael Alvarez of “The Muse Collective”.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I started out as a child model represented by Funny Faces Today Model Management. I aspired to be on SNL and pursue comedy. After high school I attended Stella Adler’s Summer Adult Conservatory and later Stonestreet Studios for film acting. When college took me off track as an actor I delved back into writing and comedy. I started attending and working with the UCB theater and their digital house teams. Shortly after I produced my own sketches on funny or die and put up my first one-act play, “Happy Birthday, David”. I fell in love with writing and working with an ensemble. After I graduated NYU with a minor in poetry, I continued to perform and put up work at The People’s Improv Theater. I knew I had to see my playwriting performed, even if that meant self producing. After my musical adaptation of, Happy Birthday, David sold out at The People’s Improv Theater mainstage, I went on to debut my next play “Sleep Fcking” Off-Broadway at Theater for the New City during their dream-up festival. Shortly after being accepted into Carnegie Mellon’s Dramatic Writing MFA my play, Hi Bi was performed virtually during Dixon Place Theater’s Hot Queer Festival during the pandemic, and featured on IG and Playbill for Michael Urie’s produced, Pride Plays Festival. I’ve learned that you have to create your own buzz and not wait for people to hear about you. You are more in control of your career than you think. Most of the time we hit submit on a playwriting fellowship and wait to hear back. There is plenty of time for that, and it is necessary, but also plenty of time to get your work out there yourself and meet amazing people to collaborate with. I make sure to take every opportunity. My art reflects the humanity of people through comedy. Most of my characters are queer or diverse in some way, because I am both of those things, but I always try to show a larger audience that we can all find a common ground to relate to outside of our life story. I try to give my characters a soul that is sparked by not just language, but a divine power, that gives the play it’s life.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
The Olive Tree Cafe in the west village is my go to spot for dining and entertainment. On Friday and Saturday nights they have a live band. During the week you can find them playing Charlie Chaplin films on a projector screen with amazingly affordable lunch specials and a table you can draw on with chalk. It’s also shared with the Comedy Cellar below the cafe — and yes, they share a bathroom as well — so if you need to go you’ll have to walk through a stand-up show.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The LatinX Playwrights Circle has provided incredible support to me as an artist through their monthly workshop series. Without them, and my incredible director, Michael Alvarez, I would not have been able to produce my play “Hi Bi” at Dixon Place Theater’s Hot Queer Festival. David Davila, my friend and dramaturg, has also been crucial in my development as a playwright. My personal inspirations are Christopher Durang, Saul Williams, and Pablo Neruda. Also, The Siblings Play, by Ren Dara Santiago was a revelation and I’m so grateful to have been inspired and moved by it before the pandemic.

Website: margotmejia.com

Instagram: hibi_play

Other: hibiplay.com

Image Credits
Michael Gillespie (Sleep Fcking, Playbill)

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