Can Tall Lamps Help you in an Apocalypse?

Town Stages Bar Team Member, Leighton Samuels
Photo: Yolanda Perez

Hello, please introduce yourself.

Hi, I’m Leighton Samuels, bar professional, actor and fight director.

Fight Director..tell me more.

I choreograph violence for the stage.

 That’s exciting. Do you think stage combat has prepared you for the quickly approaching Apocalypse?

Sure, I have swords.

And for those of us that don’t have swords…

Baseball bat, Bottle of Wine/Vodka…Tall lamps.

I have one of those things *finishes off last of my wine*.

What are some of the projects you worked on?

I was the assistant fight choreographer for Bronx Tale on Broadway. You can also see me on a Samsung Galaxy web campaign.

Do you prefer acting on stage or screen?

I love them both for various reasons. I’m actively pursuing film work now, so it’s been a few years since I’ve done a full length play and I really miss it.

This quarantine has given me time to get my screenwriter/producer hat on.

What are you writing?

A web series, the first episode is a workplace comedy that takes place over Zoom, called “Just Mute Me”.

If only we could “just mute” in real life.

What has been your CQC, (creative quarantine cocktail)? We’re tossing around acronyms ‘cause we can. 

My girlfriend made a various berry shrub with club soda and blackberry bourbon- A Berry Bourbon.

*checks fridge for mostly shriveled blueberries and some romaine-that should work*

Uh huh… yep. What are you streaming currently?

HBO’s The Plot Against America and my usual favorites- Rick & Morty and Bob’s Burgers.

Do you have a favorite comfort movie?

The Lion King. 

*raises last Levain chocolate chip cookie to the sky and sings*

A surprise package shows up at your door and it is…

Another care package from my parents. The last one was a Passover friendly package.

Passover friendly. So a roasted egg and some MiraLAX?

More like Passover friendly cakes and things. 

Did you have a virtual seder? And was there a Zoom for Elijah?

Yes, I had one with my family and Elijah said he was wearing a mask. 

Carbs are getting most people through this crazy time, I respect your commitment to eat matzoh right now.

Well, I have a lot left, so I’ve been making matzah pizza.

Leighton preparing for the apocalypse

Besides preparing for the apocalypse and eating cheesy not-quite bread, what else is keeping you busy?

D&D, Magic The Gathering Zooms and a giant 2,000 piece puzzle and we just got a candle making kit.

I smell an Etsy business.

What is the puzzle? And how much is completed?

American Wildlife Map. We’ve got about 10% done.

Speaking of wildlife, do you have any pets? Or a favorite pet instagram?

Not really. Not into the instagram thing.

You are missing out on the Adorable Pet Instagram Market!

My friend shares Henry the Hedgehog, that’s the only one I have seen.

*finds Henry. hits Follow*

In your many years in the bar industry, do you have a (positive) standout moment or customer?

I had a regular customer for about 2 years. He was deaf/mute with Tourettes. It was obviously difficult communicating, but we had a pointing system. He couldn’t interact with people and he’d get weird looks- It felt good that we were able to serve him food and drink, and with what communication we worked out, we were able to have made an impact on him. One day he walked in and he gave me a note saying he was leaving NY and that he wished I could visit him. 

That’s really beautiful. Goes to show what good hospitality is, how important it is, and how it’s so often underestimated.

Yeah, kindness and just being there for someone.

You’ve been behind the bar at Town almost 2 years. What’s the best part about working here?

The people I work with -hands down, because I work with my friends. Even the folks who weren’t my friends before, they’re the people I want to be friends with. It’s unlike any other place I’ve worked.

You like me, you really like me!

Thanks Leighton, you’re the best! Where can folks find out more about you?

www.leightonsamuels.com

@LeightonSamuelsOfficial


Town Stages is an event space in Tribeca advancing equity for arts, hospitality, civic and social justice workers. We build Places of Assembly in New York City that transform the face of leadership on our stages and screens – one story, one song, one endeavor at a time.

Click here to learn more about the space or to book a tour.

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