David Herskovits, Founder/Artistic Director of Target Margin Theater, has created world premiere productions that include Second Language, The Really Big Once, Ten Blocks on the Camino Real, The Argument & Dinner Party, As Yet Thou Art Young and Rash and the critically acclaimed production of Goethe's Faust Parts I& II, after three years of development. He has published essays in The New York Times, Theatre Magazine, and Performing Arts Journal, among others, and has served on the New York State Council on the Arts Theatre Panel, the South Carolina Arts Commission, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and various grantgiving institutions.
What do you consider to be your best asset?
My sense of humor. Ideally it is married to a ruthless drive to improve the work, and together those qualities make a rare alchemy. That's aspirational.
What was your proudest moment?
I helped an elderly Indian woman who was in the wrong line at the airport get to her flight in time; it was an international flight, far away in the airport, her English was poor, and I almost missed my own takeoff. She kissed my cheek and said “Bless you, my son.” This was 1979. It's all about the “little nameless unremembered acts of kindness and of love,” as Wordsworth knew.
What is your favorite drink?
The one in front of me. These days that is usually a Whistle Pig Rye Manhattan up.
What is your favorite food?
What is your favorite condiment?
Bone Marrow. Goes great on anything.
What is your current obsession?
Jennifer Egan. She's this really gorgeous novelist.
If you could give up one of your vices, what would it be?
Vices? What do you mean vices? Oh OK, look, gluttony and lust are just too much fun, but I'd like to get rid of sloth.
What is the one professional accomplishment you long for most?
Vast fame leading to world domination. Really. I know, I know, what the hell am I doing in the theater?!
What is the one thing you waste too much money on?
Restaurants; I like fancy stuff. But it isn't really a waste. Life is short; eat well.
What is the one activity you waste too much time doing?
Reading magazines late at night.
What do you consider to be the single greatest threat to your health?
Cigars. I do not smoke them often, but every now and then… yum.
What is the single best trait you inherited or learned from your parents?
What is the single worst trait you inherited or learned from your parents?
What in the world most thrills you?
Being really truly surprised in the theater. The greatest thrill is those moments when I know I have never seen something before and yet it engages me completely: I don't understand it but I get it.
What current trend in popular culture most irritates you?
Sneakers for dress occasions.
What was the single most embarrassing moment you've ever experienced on the job?
I was telling a bunch of actors that a moment was like “fuck you you fuckin fuck” and I watched their faces drop. There was an eight year old standing behind me.
What is your favorite place in the world?
What is the most important trait you seek in a romantic partner?
Do you prefer the company of dogs or cats?
What would have to happen to make today the best day of your life?
I get to bed early. Or the MacArthur Foundation calls up.
What is your personal motto?
Strong and Wrong.