Many of us know him best as the hilarious, singing RomperTwink from Paige Turner’s recent shows at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, but this young actor and comic has many characters (and voices!) up his sleeve. Thotyssey shines the spotlight on
Thotyssey: Remy, hello! I was wondering if you watched the Will & Grace premiere on Thursday.
Remy Germinario: Hiiiiii!! I’m actually such a bad gay, and haven’t watched yet. I had dinner plans, so I missed it!! But as soon as I’m done chatting with you, I’m obviously watching it on Hulu.
I thought it was actually kinda funny!
That’s good to hear.
Glad they still have the magic!
Was that one of your Shows growing up?
Yes it was! Shows like that and Friends taught young me how to be a comedian with their outrageous antics. Plus, the fact that Will & Grace had out gay characters was a really important thing for me to see as a young, closeted gayby!
So, you’re a Tampa native, right? Or “Trampa,” per FiFi DuBois!
YES, TRAMPA! Wow, you did your research. You even know I (lovingly) call it TRAMPA. Yes, FiFi and I went to middle school AND high school together, so we go way back before she even put on a pair of heels!
What was growing up there like?
Looking back, Tampa was a lovely place to grow up. But, in the moment, I was always ready to leave Tampa. I had great friends, a supportive family, and was part of a thriving theatre community, but I was so focused on what was next. I so desperately wanted to just grow up and move to NYC that sometimes I didn’t get to see what wonderful things were around me while I was growing up. I think I grew up too fast because of it. But I’m grateful for what opportunities and support i had when I while I was there.
I heard that the acting bug bit you when you were very little, playing Tiny Tim.
Yeah, Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol was my first role at my local community theatre, The Carrollwood Players. They really nurtured me throughout my childhood, and made me realize my love of performing. I had seen my dad perform in a community theatre show the year before and was so impressed by him, I said “I wanna do what dad does.” So, I did. He actually played Scrooge when I was Tiny Tim, so that was precious.
Do you remember if you knew you were doing this thing called “acting” then, or was it just like make-believe to you?
I don’t think at age 5, I had a concept of “acting” or living truthfully or “THE CRAFT.” I don’t think any 5 year old is using The Method just yet! For me, I was kind of a ham, and liked the attention, so being in front of people was exciting for me.
And you came to NYU to study acting, which is of course a very prestigious program. What was the best thing you learned there?
NYU was an awesome environment to discover who I was as an artist, as I was getting into my 20’s. Being in NYC during college allowed me to be in a safe bubble, but also open to the culture and vibes of this real life city. It prepared me for life after college, more so than if I had gone to a traditional college. NYU was in and of the city. So, that combination was one of the strongest things I took away from my time there. Becoming a New Yorker at 18 was a big deal.
It’s hard for me to say what the best thing I learned there was as I had my hand in so many different classes, clubs, shows, etc. As a comedic actor mainly, I remember a time I was struggling to live truthfully in a super dramatic scene in acting class. Being Type A, I was trying to apply script analysis and everything I’d researched on character development to inform my character, but it kept coming off as fake and forced. My teacher, Doug Hall, told me “You’ve done the work. Now just let it go.” That was such a simple but powerful piece of advice, and ever since then, I try not to be too heady as an actor. I live truthfully and make smart choices and do the work, but the “letting go” aspect has allowed me to be infinitely more free, and now i don’t second guess myself as much.
It sounds like you’re in a very good actor’s headspace now. And by the way,I enjoyed the reel of you playing a bunch of hilarious characters!
Thanks for watching. I just made that recently!
It was my first time creating characters like that, so it was a joy to put some stupid things I had in my head on film!
Are you generally more drawn to comedy?
Yeah, I don’t know why, but I’ve always gotten the most satisfaction from comedy. Laughter is more of a high for me than applause. I think it’s the satisfaction of making someone else feel good.
Like I said, growing up watching sitcoms like Friends and Will & Grace (especially Lisa Kudrow and Megan Mullallly) acted as my unofficial comedy school, and i was subconsciously taking note on the art of comedic timing. I always tend to play the comedic role in plays and musicals, and very recently, I’ve started to get more into improv, sketch and variety shows.
What have been some favorite roles or acting highlights for you, throughout your career?
One of the first things that comes to mind was in 2015, I went to Indiana to do Buyer and Cellar by Jonathan Tollins, the one man show about a guy who gets hired to work in the shopping mall basement of Barbra Streisand’s home. It was a dream to have such a unique and kooky plot line to have fun with – not to mention I got to play all the characters and could really work with the audience. I had such a blast doing that show. Michael Urie, who originated the role, actually got a bunch of the boys who had done it regionally together to present the Drama Desk Award for best solo performance this past year, which was such an exhilarating night.
Last year, I got to do something different and voice the lead character on a new musical theatre video game called “Peter Panic” out on iPhone and Android! Created by James Marion and written by Ben Bonnema, the game followed a boy who is trying to get rid of the demon haunting his community theatre. Adult Swim Games produced and it, was such a blast.
I’ve also been lucky to do a lot of new work like Boys Who Tricked Me by Ben Bonnema at Musical Theatre Factory. Directed by Shakina Nayfack of Difficult People, it was an interactive gay sleepover about the trials and tribulations of dating and love in the gay community. That was an amazing collaborative effort that changed daily.
Also, in November, I was in Erik Ransom’s More Than All The World Off Broadway, which followed the life of controversial gay King of England, Edward II. I played the King’s son, Prince Edward (Yes, Henny, I’m 27 and played a 14 year old). I loved the relevant nature and pop/rock twist on this tale from the 1300’s.
Well, now I have to go download Peter Panic.
You must. It’s a really nifty game!
So when did you become involved with Showbiz Spitfire Paige Turner and her stage shows?
I first met Paige about 5 years ago. She was out of drag, and we were at XES (RIP) watching Nomi Sas and Chelsea Piers’ show “#Gypsies” (also, RIP). We were sitting right next to each other and started talking, and hit it off with our blunt and dry humor.
We continued to remain friends and support each other in our endeavors. She had come to see me in a few shows and saw what sort of comedy I did, and I guess she thought it would be a good fit for her shows. So this past Easter, she asked me to play a plethora of characters for the Easter show at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, which was stupidly wonderful, and asked me back for the Pride show, and here we are [with a new show] today. In all three shows, one of the characters I play is a blonde twink named Dante, who has sort of become a stock character at this point!
I love Paige. She is such a hard worker, yet knows how to have fun, and is one of the few people that can make me laugh till it hurts. I’m not a drag queen. I don’t think I’d be good at it. But I’m so thankful that she has welcomed me into her world doing what I do. I love working with the hilarious and talented Jackie Cox, too!
I saw all those shows and really enjoyed what you and Paige and Jackie did! And I loved the Frozen parody video you appeared in that Paige showed during her solo show Confessions of an Un-Natural Blonde. Kareem McJagger was in that video too! Was it fun to do?
Oh wow, I completely forgot about the Frozen video; that was our first collaboration. How dumb of me to forget! It was so fun. We kept cracking each other up and kept having to re-take! And I got to keep the Olaf onesie (very nice of her, since Paige is notorious for returning things! Lol)
Now the Pride show is coming back, in matter of speaking. This Show is Gay stars Paige, Jackie and yourself, and will be “returning” to the Beechman this Friday and Saturday night (7pm)! It’s gonna be pretty different from the summer production though, right?
Yes, definitely different. Since Pride is over, it’s not pride “themed” anymore. It’s a similar concept of the three of us going on a trip around the country, but with different twists – and a new song, too! Its just gonna be really gay.
How can it not be!? Did you write any of the bits in the show, or is it all Paige? And is there ever improv on the stage?
Paige did the writing, as did Jackie. But they are both really open to suggestions. We collaborate well together, and will bounce ideas off each other to make sure we can be the funniest we can be.
Is there ever any improv?
It would not be a Paige Turner show were there not improv onstage! The three of us are especially good at [ad-libbing] when something goes wrong in the show, and that’s usually where the comedy gold is! Who knows what improv is in store this time! The audience gets a kick out of it.
I recall a “puppet sex” bit courtesy of Jackie and yourself during the Pride show as Paige did her infamous “Grindr Connection” number that had Paige cracking up onstage. It was a great moment!
The puppet sex is a really tender moment.
How excited are we to see Paige on Shade: Queens of NYC, the new docu-series that profiles several of the city’s top drag queens in their daily lives, that premieres this Thursday night on the Fusion Network?
Beyond excited! Paige is one of the best drag queens that I’ve ever seen, and it’s great to see that she’s getting the acclaim she deserves. I think she’s going to really get a chance to show her talent on an even larger scale, and without doubt will be a grounding force and a fan favorite. So proud! Also excited to see the other fabulous queens too!
Okay, so is there anything else coming up for you?
Good luck! And I see you’re a tour guide by day.
Yes! Tour guiding is my muggle job!
So then here’s your last question: what’s your best NYC trivia fact?
I get this question all the time, and it’s such a hard one to answer. I’ll tell you one that guests always love when I’m at Ellis Island. The reason there are so many people named “Tony” in NYC is because immigrants who got confused with language barriers just pointed to a tag on their bag or lapel that said “To NY.”
Mind blown! Thanks, Remy!
Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Remy Germinario’s upcoming appearances, including “This Show is Gay” at the Laurie Beechman Theatre on Friday, October 6th and Saturday, October 7th (both 7pm). Follow Remy on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and his website.