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BWW Feature: At Home With Orfeh and Andy Karl

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BWW Feature: At Home With Orfeh and Andy KarlTo know them is to love them. To see them on stage or online is to admire them. To acknowledge their Herculean efforts to raise spirits during the pandemic is to speak truth. They are Orfeh and Andy and they are a treasure to the community of performers and the community of fans. They were also kind enough to say yes (immediately) when I emailed asking if they would like to do an At Home With interview with me. After reading this, be prepared to adore them more.

This interview was conducted digitally and Mr. and Mrs. Karls' answers are printed here, as originally answered, to give readers a feel for their verbiage and personalities.

Orfeh and Andy, thank you so much for joining me for this interview for Broadway World Cabaret.

You are very welcome. Thanks for letting us be here.

You're both always incredibly prolific with your social media presence, but since the world began practicing distancing you've made it a mission to keep the world entertained and in touch. How did you come to learn that the connection with your public was so valuable?

BWW Feature: At Home With Orfeh and Andy KarlWell, we're actors and entertainers, we wouldn't have any success if it wasn't for the fans watching so it's pretty much in our DNA to stay in touch publicly. Also, in this "insanity," there are so many in need of a voice to get some help. We've tried to be as available and active in volunteering our time on social media, to be a part of the solution. The Actorsfund, Broadway Cares, charity concerts for front-line workers, as well as animal charities like The Humane Society, ASPCA, and Best Friends are all things we care about and have given support to through social media, before during and after the pandemic.

How do you decide what music you would like to perform when you share to your Instagram?

We try to have fun with music. Our live concerts are the same way. Instead of doing a lot of ballads, we like upbeat songs to lift spirits and send a message of goodwill. We've chosen songs like "Ain't No Stopping Us Now," "Piece Of My Heart," "You're Beautiful." If there's any time to try and have a "good time" it's now.

How is the quarantine going at your house?

Fine..that's the safe and general answer, right? We are healthy and well but I imagine, like the rest of the world, we wish this all never happened. We try and laugh at the absurdity, keep our hearts light, and our brains and bodies active.

Andy, your guitar skills are really impressive - how long have you been playing, and is it something you do every day, on a regular basis?

Thanks. I'm still very shy about playing guitar because I'm (despite your compliments) not very good. However, I don't like singing to tracks on the computer because it makes me feel disingenuous, I suppose. I like the feel of something more organic. So against my better judgment of having clumsy fingers on strings, I try. I suppose I'll be getting better and better. BWW Feature: At Home With Orfeh and Andy Karl

Orfeh, you're an exercise enthusiast, what's your favorite kind of workout?

Every morning, the first order of "business" is my 11 am working out with @IssacBoots AKA Isaac Calputo, trainer to the stars and savior of butts and sanity during the madness. He was very generous to offer hs "TORCH'D' workout series free on Instagram and 2,000+ people show up every day!! It's very tough but in these times, it's the perfect at-home workout.

When we see you both on stage and on your social media, you're always upbeat, full of humor and lively -- put a picture in my head of what a quiet moment in your house looks like.

Netflix and chill. LOL. We write, we read, we play with our dogs. We also talk to each other. Sounds boring but we've had some profound conversations about existence and the world as of late.

Andy, you recently played a ballet dancer on Prodigal Son. On a scale of 1 to 10, where would you rank your skills as a ballet dancer?

I'd rate it like my guitar playing: self-taught and clumsy. But I'll make it look good. Fake it till ya make it.

Orfeh, there is a special quality to your personality - have you always been such a strong female presence, for all of your life?

BWW Feature: At Home With Orfeh and Andy KarlWell, thank you... From the womb, I had an opinion. I was a very sweet child but I figured out very quickly how to voice what I wanted. Also, when I got a record deal as a teenager, I was quick to realize that you need to have a "strong presence" on and off stage in the music business. I have no trouble swimming with sharks. Only Child, Public school, Latch-key kid, you get the point :)

Is one of you the family cook, or do you both work in the kitchen together?

Andy is the cook - when he's got the time, and now we have the time. However, we both love going out to eat at some of our favorite restaurants in Manhattan. We're both really ready for a date night again.

Andy, how much time and effort goes into planning a good birthday surprise for Orfeh?

I usually think of a plan very quickly for a gift, it's my execution that takes some time. For instance, I made a pop-up book for Orfeh's birthday during the quarantine. I couldn't go buy materials, so I had to find tons of magazine clippings and pictures, design the book from an old leather binder, learn how to fold things on Youtube, find glue and tape, and laminations. It was a seemingly easy concept that nearly broke my will to live. All worth the smile on Orfeh's face.

Orfeh, a lot of people have been posting on their social media in their pajamas and quarantine hair, but you always look like you have just walked out of the salon. Tell me about that.

BWW Feature: At Home With Orfeh and Andy KarlWELP, that's just ME! I LOVE glamour and makeup and am (quite frankly) a gifted make-up artist (which stems from working with literally the best of the best since I was a teenager) ...Billy B, Justin Henry, Isabel Perez, Doug Otero...Looks them up, you'll get it... And I'm on camera sometimes all day, sending vids in, doing CAMEO, ZOOM parties, videos for I supposed to NOT glam up??? That just seems preposterous and, I've GOT THE DUH...If you want to see me bare-faced and au natural, go to the gym with glam there! (unless they're filming, of course) :)

How was the virtual Legally Blonde reunion?

It was nice to see a lot of familiar faces. Great to hear inside stories but not enough time to share more - we could all go on and on. Wished we played show clips and explained how they came to be - like a DVD commentary would have been fun, but that would have taken years. So much fun.

When this is all over and we go forward into the new normal, what's the salient lesson you think we will all have learned?

Andy: Well now I know what "salient" means, so at least I actually learned something. On a more human note, I had a friend who lost his mother due to this pandemic, it all seemed very close to home. I realized it's my duty as a friend to be supportive and make them laugh and listen to them through the good and the bad. I would want the same from him.

Orfeh: I would like to think this will inherently shift some archaic mindsets and mores, don't know that people will retain the lessons, sadly. I'm hopeful...I can go on and on but as a life long germaphobe, I do hope the "new norm" of cleaning "planes, trains, and automobiles" a zillion percent more often and thoroughly, is NOT A TEMPORARY thing that falls by the wayside...and for the love of all that is holy, WASH YOUR HANDS FOREVER and COVER YOUR MOUTH when you sneeze and cough!

Andy and Orfeh, I am so grateful to you for doing this, and I can't wait till your next opening night. I won't miss it. You're the greatest.

We'll be doing our concerts soon and showing up on tv here and there so look out for us. Thanks again! YOU(SE) are the best DOZER!

Author's note: In my personal life, I do use the word 'Youse' and my nickname at the gym is Bulldozer - hence Orfeh's affectionate sign-off above.

Photos provided by Orfeh and Andy except for top photo, by Stephen Mosher. Photo of The Karls in black shirts by Stefan Radtke

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From This Author Stephen Mosher