25 Things You Didn’t Know About Nova Dobrev

Her name is Nova, she is a Showgirl…

Sorry, we couldn’t resist.  Ever wonder what it takes to be a Showgirl?  The answer is always moxie and pizzaz.  We sat down with Ms. Nova Dobrev,   one of three Showgirls in our current production of Lucky in Love, to catch a glimpse behind the headdress. Did we mention she is also a server and our Costume Shop Intern?! Find out what a Mer-cat is in our latest 25 Things You Didn’t Know About Nova Dobrev!

Nova the Showgirl  photo credit: Keith Brofsky

Nova the Showgirl
photo credit: Keith Brofsky

1. What do you aspire to do, outside of work?
Amazingly enough, I’m living in a major dream at the moment: working at Teatro ZinZanni! I do wish that I had more time to travel – I’m a bit of a workaholic at the tent. Perhaps I should work on completing my instant-teleportation device. But truly, my world is theater. I have taught 6-12 grade drama and dance classes for over a decade now; it is totally my calling. Along with my lifelong obsession with Fine & Visual Arts, I have been sewing since I could thread a needle and have been a dancer since before I was born (my mother was a performer and I pretty much grew up backstage). I feel the most important thing I can do with my life/passions is to encourage and mentor young people in creative settings.

2. If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?
Some sort of feline mermaid… and yes, there ARE cats that like water. I love being underwater. I think I’d be pretty happy living under there if I could figure out how to breathe easily. I’m a fairly feline-y person, hence the mer-cat.

3. What was the last movie you saw?
I just watched Chasing Ice – SEE IT NOW. Like, NOW. It’s on Netflix… a documentary about melting glaciers that involves a time-lapse style photography set into video. Incredible. It is totally unbelievable to me that anyone doesn’t believe global warming is real – this documentary is a compelling visual, indisputable record of what is happening to our planet right now.

4. What was the last book you read?
Currently re-reading Stranger in a Strange Land. Love me some old skool sci-fi.

5. What’s one of your favorite places to travel to?
I loved living in Crete, Greece. It’s paradise on earth… Magical. I ate fresh, local olive oil, cucumbers and feta for lunch every day, drank sangria on the beach, played music every night with amazing friends. I couldn’t ask for more. Crete is the largest of all the Greek islands, and the nearest landmasses to the south are Libya & Egypt. The water is this gorgeous tropical blue color.  The island has all manner of terrains that are fun to hike. Great mini-mountains you can get to the top of and see some amazing views. Super fabulous on every level.

6. If you could have dinner with three people (alive or dead) who would it be?
Can I pick 4?! Andre’ Roussimoff, Octavia Butler, Isadora Duncan, and Romain de Tirtoff. But not all together, that would be insanely awkward.

7. What was your first job?
When I was little, my mother used to clean dance studios so I could take lessons. We were too poor to afford them but having proper dance lessons was something my mother was absolutely sure her daughter needed to have. The first early Sunday morning I traded physical labor for dollar value, I think I was 6 years old. I remember dragging the piano bench into the bathroom so I could reach the mirror to Windex it, and sorting the used canvas ballet shoes in the big ‘donation’ bin so I could take some home to practice in. But in the more grown-up sense, I’ve been working and paying bills since I was 13 .  I used to work in my school’s reception office every day after the school day was over so we could afford the tuition to  private school (I had a partial academic scholarship). Since then I’ve worked in a variety of jobs… Education, administrative/desk work, retail, spa/salon, hospitality, bar/restaurant, sewing…

I may have an over-developed work ethic.

8. What are you scared of?

9. What’s your favorite food?
Toast. Seriously! I LOVE toast. Bread and butter is Food Of The Gods.

10. What can you not resist buying?
I’m a sucker for shiny things. And gorgeous fabric. When I lived in Istanbul I had to purposefully avoid going to Sulthanamet or I’d get sucked into the Grand Bazaar and not come out for hours. The most beautiful textiles… Ohhhhhh my goodness!! And so much jewelry. And mosaic lanterns. And metal-filigree dishes… It was not easy to avoid an entire third of the city for 3 months because I couldn’t stop compulsively buying spices! The good news was/is that my American dollars went just a little further than Turkish liras, so at least things weren’t too expensive.

11. What have you always wanted to do or try?
I’d really like to go skydiving.

12. Who’s your celebrity crush?
I don’t really have ‘crushes’ on celebrities. There are some people I’d really like to meet, and there are some people that I get a little tongue-tied around… Christine Deaver is one of them. The first time Sandra Feusi asked me what my name was I completely forgot it. The first time I heard Francine Reed sing live (rehearsing before the show while we servers were setting up the tent) I cried. Teatro ZinZanni has a really magical way of allowing me to cross paths with some extraordinary human beings that completely blow my mind. I’m a very lucky girl to be working here!

13. Where did you grow up?
Here in good ol’ Sea-Town, in government housing near Chinatown, or the ‘International District’ as it is called now. Our neighborhood was mostly immigrants – my neighbors were Vietnamese on one side and Ethiopian on the other. We’d all cook for each other and share our music. I sang a lot of Vietnamese karaoke as a child and attended a fair amount of Ethiopian weddings.

14. What’s your family like?
Insane. Artistic. Passionate. In love with food. Wild. Musical. Intense. Theatrical. Creative. Unique.

15. Who is your favorite author?
Kafka. I have an incredibly beat-up copy of his complete works that is dog-eared, bent and bruised all over. I always take it with me when I move to Europe… I don’t even know how many times I’ve read it now.

16. If you could have a super power, what would it be?
To be able to breathe underwater and talk to the fishes!! AQUAMAN, YOU’RE MY HERO FOR LIFE!!!!!


17.  What is one of your secret obsessions?
I  totally love architecture. I know absolutely nothing about it as a science/study/math-thing but I am totally in love with it as an aesthetic art. If I ever decided to have a ‘real’ job I would go to architecture school. Wait, isn’t it called engineering school or something like that?

18. What’s your favorite spot in Seattle?
I love Discovery Park, Lots of fond memories from my childhood and always a good climb down to and up from the beach. Too, I have a soft spot in my heart for the Aquarium – whenever I ran away from home when I was a kid, I ran there.

19. Do you have any pets?
Not at the moment, but I grew up with TONS. Cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, hamsters, birds, turtles…

20. What country would you like to visit?
I’d love to see the Great Barrier Reef (in my mind it’s an underwater-country). I would also love to go to South Africa. It’s next on my list.

21. What’s a memorable backstage moment or joke?
In the current show: every night near the end of Sergey Krutikov’s juggling act during the Greek music track he uses, Joe DePaul, Ben Wendel and I all play “Greek Café” in the Front of House VOM (main entrance to the tent). Ben yells out orders of stereotypical Greek dishes in a totally ridiculous Jersey/New York-accent and Joe mimics my stretching – it’s  hilarious!

22. What’s your favorite song?
I’ve been obsessed with the new Tron soundtrack lately…

23. What are you most proud of?
My ability to survive.

24. What’s your drink of choice?
I love rosé wine any time of year, not just in summer! I also am a big fan of Becherovka – when I lived in the Czech Republic I was introduced to this spirit. Its like liquid Christmas… you can take shots, sip it, or mix it. Spicy, cinnamon-y, herbal… SO DELISH!!

25. What’s the coolest thing since sliced bread?
I was totally nerding-out the other day over these amazing bobby pins I just found. They are SUPER MONDO HUGE and are wavy and slightly rubbery so they are actually STAYING in my super thick and slippery hair. ZOMG. Clearly, this is a really big deal with the amount of bobby pins I have to use every night. Have you SEEN my Showgirl head piece?!??


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