Featured Artist: Tracee Chimo

Featured Artist: Tracee Chimo

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This is a series of posts featuring our artists who are making things happen in and around our great borough of Queens.  Please check back weekly for new posts.


Where were you born?
Saugus, Massachusetts (a small town in the North Shore of Boston)

Which Queens neighborhood do you live in and for how long?
Astoria. I’ve lived here off and on for 12 years. I’ve been in my current apartment now for 2 1/2. I’ve lived all over the Burroughs….but I always come back to Queens.

How did you get involved in theater?
Hm. Well, I was a dancer and thought I’d be a choreographer one day. Truth be told, that wasn’t my dream. Dancing was just something I did well, like my Mom. She was a beautiful dancer. So I was 17 years old, and I was all set to go to Emerson College on a big dance scholarship, when I blew out my left knee in the middle of a performance. I had to undergo reconstructive knee surgery and I was looking at about a 2 year recovery time. I lost my dance scholarship, and my folks couldn’t afford to send me to Emerson without it, so I went to Salem State College and auditioned for their BFA program as an actor. I figured, “I can’t dance for 2 years, but I’d like to be on stage. So I’ll try this.” To make a long story short – I fell in love with acting when I was 18, and that was it.

What do you love most about Queens?
I love coming home at the end of the day from the loud ass City to a quiet neighborhood with lots of artists and families. There’s something really cozy about Queens. I haven’t found that feeling in any other neighborhood of New York.

Do you have an “only in Queens” moment you’d like to share?
Every night I go to the deli on my corner and get a sandwich. And every night the owner (an old man in an apron) says, “You gotta work, right kid?! You gotta work to pay bills!” And every night I say, “I know! Thank God for work!”
So one night he asks me what I do for a living, and I say, “I’m on Broadway”.
There was this huge, awkward pause. And he blinked, about 10 times. Then finally he replied, “…the street?”  I laughed and said, “Yes. I work over on Broadway.”

Your top Queens picks (food, entertainment, sights, etc)?
Taverna Kyclades (best seafood I’ve ever had in NY)
Astoria Bier and Cheese
Astoria Park (by the water underneath Hellsgate)
The Studio (outdoor bar great for watching football games)
The Beer Garden
Silvercup Studios
Current/Upcoming projects?
Shooting season 3 of Orange is the New Black, and getting ready to go into rehearsals for LIPS TOGETHER, TEETH APART at Second Stage.


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