Today we are graced with the presence of Noah Averbach-Kats who plays the Andorian Ryn on Star Trek Discovery! Discovery is one of the best sci-fi shows out there and if you are not watching then you are in the wrong.
Find Noah online:
“Drinks and Comics with Spoiler Country!”
Did you know we have a YouTube channel?
Buy John’s Comics!
Support us on Patreon:
Theme music by Good Co Music:
Noah Averbach-Katz – Interview
Jeff: [00:00:00] Hello listeners.
A spoiler country today on the show we had the fantastic Noah alphabet Katz. How’s it going,
Noah Averbach-Katz: sir? It’s going well, thank you for having me. I’m happy to be
Jeff: here. You know, it it’s actually, it’s a great thrill for me to have you on the show because I really do. I love star Trek discovery, and season three has been, I think the best season they’ve had so far and.
Your role was actually so much fun. My, my, my wife was so sad with you.
Noah Averbach-Katz: Yes. So, you know, she, she joins, you know, everyone who is, who is sad with Britain’s fate. That’s, she’s not alone in that. Well,
Jeff: I think I said to my wife to try to try to calm her down a little bit. I said, you know, he’s under quite a bit of makeup right there.
I’m sure the actor will come back as multiple characters for season four and. Without spoiling too, too much. Is there any particular chance that you may wear a lot of makeup and be a different character in season four?
Noah Averbach-Katz: Probably not in season four, you know, because of COVID, it’s [00:01:00] been a really difficult shooting seasons.
So there’s nothing on the books for me for season four, but you know, star Trek is long and you know, it’s okay to have a little break, you know? So so who knows, who knows and anything could happen
Jeff: and. I mean, I was also trying to rack my brains. Is there any way that your character did not die that we saw?
Noah Averbach-Katz: No. No. There’s no way I don’t. I, you know, I’d love to give people false hope and be like, I’ve seen people say, Oh, you know, maybe they transported him at the last second, but no, he’s dead. He’s dead. As a doorknob he’s dust floating on the bridge of discovery that is going up. So ruse knows. So, you know, there’s, there’s no way.
Yeah, Michael’s going to brush me off her shoulder at some point, like part of my blue particles, you know, fall on her.
Jeff: Oh, that you just crushed the host. I’ll probably a lot of fans out there, like son of a bitch.
Noah Averbach-Katz: I, you know, I, I feel, I feel like I have to do that. You know, I feel like. So so like somebody, people were like, Oh, is he going to be a [00:02:00] crew member is maybe he’s going to join.
And I was just felt so bad because I didn’t want people, you know, I wanted people to like him and get attached to the story, but I didn’t want them to be, you know, pissed off that he got killed. So I don’t want to. Give anybody, any sort of false hope that that Wren is not dead because he absolutely got blasted.
Jeff: just going to point out that there’s probably a whole lot of fan fiction that just has stopped being typed just as we spoken to those words are like son of a bitch, you
Noah Averbach-Katz: know, you know, there’s a lot of of, of. Of history that we don’t see. So, you know, you can write any sort of biography that you would like for him.
And, and I think that is still very valid
Jeff: and he could have a an identical twin drin
Noah Averbach-Katz: character played by you. I think maybe even quadruplets, drin, Brin, Glenn, and
Jeff: men, I’m telling you that would, that’d be perfect. You, you need to pitch that to the discovery writers right
Noah Averbach-Katz: now. Yeah, I’m sure they’d love that right now.
Is there, you know, just trying to scramble to make sure everybody gets their COVID tests. Let’s see if I can get [00:03:00] on to zoom and pitch, you know some sitcom where it’s just a bunch of me talking to myself. Well,
Jeff: they do have a lower decks now, the cartoon. So I mean, this room.
Noah Averbach-Katz: That’s true. That’s a good point.
Jeff: Well, the clinical things I read about you is that you’re actually second generation truck. Is that
Noah Averbach-Katz: correct? This is definitely true. Yes. I am very much a second generation. My mom was the first generation. Yeah. She’s the one who really decided for me that I was going to be a Trekkie. It wasn’t much of a choice.
So I grew up, you know, watching Voyager, watching enterprise, going to conventions. And yeah. You know, it’s, it’s, it’s definitely been my birthright. So I’m
Jeff: guessing your mother is the original series starter.
Noah Averbach-Katz: Yeah. You know, she was, would watch the original series reruns and then. Was big into next generation.
She’s a therapist. So sort of having Troy there was this kind of [00:04:00] revelation for her. You know, I think she really saw herself in the sort of next Jen ethos and, and kind of lottery there. So, you know, she’s a, she has, has stayed with it throughout. But I, yeah, that’s definitely kind of where she really locked in on it.
Noah Averbach-Katz: Trek then is yours. I would say my Trek is enterprise. That was really the first one I grew up watching week to week. The one that sort of, you know, that. Changed me from, you know, something that I was watching with my mom to something that I was watching with my friends. Hmm.
Jeff: I will say my, my star Trek big, deep space nine.
Noah Averbach-Katz: Yeah. You know, it’s funny actually deep space nine is the one that I sort of missed. Growing up and I’ve gotten to revisit, I just sort of, you know, the next gen reruns would be on. And then by the time I was sort of, [00:05:00] of, you know, real TV watching age, deep space, nine was sort of coming to a close and it was sort of later in voyage or moving into enterprise.
So I am sort of lucky where I get to go back and I see a lot, or have seen a lot of deep space nine for the first time. It’s it’s been awesome. It it age extremely well. Yeah, I agree. And I also think, you know, some of my favorite supporting casts are in there. Obviously Jeffrey Combs sort of, you know, is in there, you know, he’s, he’ll always be strand to me, but of course he’s amazing his way UNE and, and his other characters there.
But between, you know Armand Sherman is cork and Garrick. You know, some of just the, the, my favorite sort of. Non-essential crew members are, are, are in that show.
Jeff: And, and I would definitely would say, I felt like deep space nine was made maybe almost 15 years too early. Like it was like built for [00:06:00] streaming, you know?
Noah Averbach-Katz: yeah, yeah, yeah. You know, I think it sort of it’s, it’s interesting, you know, it it’s really is also trying to tackle some pretty interesting things. Maybe a little bit of ahead of its time and yeah. And I, I think that’s really, you know, discovery is sort of picking off, picking up where DS nine sort of was limited by, you know, the the cultural, you know, pressures of the time.
Jeff: did feel like it was trying to touch on multiple things, including a race some really complicated concepts about war that star Trek, I fail kind of. Was hesitant to do before that show came on. And what kind of made me realize was that in making star Trek discovery, it’s one of the few shows that isn’t, it feels like it’s made not only for the moment, but it needs to be kind of be made with the future in mind as well.
And [00:07:00] that’s what you call it, you know, try and travel, but unlike just like. I like all those shows because of star Trek. It has to realize people are going to be tuning back in 10, 20, 30 years from now. Yeah.
Noah Averbach-Katz: Potentially. That’s interesting. Yeah. You know, star Trek discovery. It’s a really interesting thing because.
The inception of it, you know, the sort of creation of it was all done during the Obama era. You know, the whole first season was, was essentially like written and produced during the final days of the Obama era and then sort of aired at the beginning of. You know, the 2016 Trump error and, and it’s been difficult to sort of, you know, catch up to that because things change so quickly, this sort of political climate changed so quickly that I think it’s really only now in season three, that they’re really able to, you know, Confronted in a, in a, [00:08:00] in a substantial way, because everyone is still trying to figure out what the hell was going on for so long.
And I think they’ve done a really beautiful job of that and yeah. You know, it’s, it’s just it’s an it’s, it’s an interesting challenge, especially now, you know, the other thing is, is in the nineties and the early aughts, you sort of had these. You know, what is what I think people think of as like classic star Trek, which are these sort of morality tales.
And I love that. And everybody loves that, but I also think, you know, in 2021, like there isn’t a lot of room for morality tales, because so often, like it’s, it’s, it’s either right. Or it’s wrong, you know, there’s so little nuance to like, you know, Should gay people exist. You know what I mean? Like there’s no, there’s no question any more about these things, you know, it, there’s no question of, of whether they’re right or wrong, you know, [00:09:00] is fascism bad.
Yes. You know what I mean? And so it’s sort of like, Discovery’s having to find a new approach because you know, the questions that we’re getting asked in 1995 just aren’t relevant anymore. And the questions that need to be getting asked are almost a bit too big for a, you know, Hour, long morality, you know?
So I, I, I think that’s what discovery’s moving into and hopefully what they’ll continue to kind of explore as well. Yeah. And I,
Jeff: and I, I think what’s going to keep discovery alive is that it does feel, and I don’t want to So I don’t mean this to sound negative against the older started, which I did love, it feels more like a mature version of star Trek.
Noah Averbach-Katz: and I, and I don’t think, you know, one, I don’t think they’re in opposition to each other. I, you know, I think so often because it’s new people want to compare it to the old thing. [00:10:00] I think it’s, it’s quite the opposite is that it’s in conversation. It’s building on what’s come before, you know, it’s not saying this is what star Trek is now.
It’s more saying, you know, in 2001, when star Trek was on UPN or in 2005, you know, star Trek, Was going to look like enterprise. And now in 2021 or 2020, you know, this is what star Trek has to look like in order for it to be relevant and for, in order for it to thrive and survive. So it’s, it’s, it’s not an in opposition with previous star Trek, especially because, you know, people who are making the show really love this old star Trek, they really care about it.
And they care about, you know, What’s come before and, and honoring that and, and having that be important. And it’s, it’s, it’s more about moving it into the current day, in a way that, [00:11:00] you know, 24 episodes of a TV show. Just doesn’t happen, you know, like it just can’t, it could not happen. It takes almost a year to make 13 episodes.
You know, the production quality is so high and the budgets are so high that it’s just a completely different world now.
Jeff: And, and that’s why I think I, or I take a lot of issue with those who would call themselves the purists or the, or who pretty much our gatekeepers is that discovery. Can could not exist as you said, the way the original shows existed.
And I think it, but it does develop upon the ideas just as well. And I think because it is different in the way that it is different, it brings in a newer audience that may have been lost to star Trek. If that show had not
Noah Averbach-Katz: appeared. Yeah. I think that’s such a great point, you know? Especially early on, [00:12:00] you know, if you don’t like discovery, like that’s okay.
You know, obviously the writers want you to like it. The actors want you to like it, but if you don’t like it, that’s okay. And you know, all those, you know, 700 episodes of previous generations of star Trek are still there. And they’re untainted and they are yours and you get to have whatever relationship you want with them.
You know, the reality is, is that, you know, television is very, very different than it was 20, 25, 30 years ago. And. In order to get the show made. This show has to kind of meet the demands of the time. And it also, I, you know, I personally think that the writers and creators have done an amazing job sort of, you know, reaching.
Out to older friends and, and, you know, with just like the small things of, of naming the ship after nog and after [00:13:00] Yelchin and all that stuff, I just think there’s like these amazing little nods to say, you know, we are trying to create a show for you. We’re not trying to put our stamp on it. We’re not trying to sort of rest it from your grasp.
You know, we’re trying to create a show for you, but we’re also trying to create a show so that in 30 years, There will still be star Trek conventions because there will be new fans excited about the shows that we’ve made. You know, so I think, you know, as much as so many other properties, it’s like, I think star Trek is doing a really good job of.
You know, trying to include the current fan base, knowing that the current fan base is the reason why there is a new show, you know, but also realizing that if they make no attempt to open the show up to a much wider audience, not only will the audience not exist for this, you know, 1510 years down the road, but [00:14:00] also the, the powers that be won’t put money into it and it will just cease to
And, and I, and I think that’s important because discovery has come out at the, at a moment of relatively silent. Star Trek as a franchise. I mean, the movies had just stopped with star Trek beyond the other, there was no other type of TV show that was coming out to network TV at that time. And because of discovery is doing well, there is now talk, you have the card came out, which was brilliant.
There’s talk about strange, strange new worlds and you have all these other. Off. And I think there’s even some minor discussion of Cisco getting another spinoff there’s rumors about that. I mean, none of this would be even discussed if discovery hit it, didn’t hit the audience the way it hit
Noah Averbach-Katz: that’s that’s absolutely true.
Yeah. You know, I think like discovery really has been the launching pad [00:15:00] for, you know, basically every new show that has come out so far
Jeff: and. For, and I would say again, into the purists would, would be even if discovery isn’t necessarily. Your star Trek, you were going to, you’re going to end up owing discovery for the star treks that come later, that may be closer to what you’re
Noah Averbach-Katz: looking for.
That’s definitely true. And you know what, if you don’t like it, okay. Like you can still watch your other shows.
Jeff: Now, the interesting thing that as you grew up with star Trek, did your, and you matured, did your understanding of what star Trek is changing evolve as you got older,
Noah Averbach-Katz: you know, That’s a good question.
I don’t know. You know, it’s always sort of has meant this sort of, I think for so many people it’s been sort of this place of comfort and safety and a way to kind of connect with friends and families and stuff and stuff like [00:16:00] that. I think, you know, the one thing that I have seen are the places where star Trek like.
Really is behind the time or not behind the times, but where it is such a product of its time, like going back and watching, you know, original series episodes or especially early next gen episodes, you can just see how. You know you can see how they are reflected of, of the early of the late sixties or of the you know, early nineties or late eighties.
And I think it’s important too. And also even with enterprise. Yeah. You can see how that is like such a show of like, you know, 2005 or 2008 or whatever. And you can, I just makes me really appreciative of how. You know, discovery and new shows have sort of picked up the torch and are trying to kind of push the conversation forward.
Because I think. [00:17:00] A lot of properties that sort of have this history of, you know, being progressive or kind of having a first, you know, sort of like the first interracial kiss. I think a lot about actually major league baseball with Jackie Robinson. You know, they sort of Pat themselves on the back every year and everybody wears 42 and we see like, you know, he’s an incredible human being.
You know, the, the major league baseball does so little to actually support and invite black players in black fans. You know, it’s just sort of a self-congratulatory moment every year. And I think star Trek. As the ability to fall into that trap and say, look how progressive we are. Look how ahead of the times we were in 1968, you know, look how look at what we were doing in the early nineties that nobody else was doing.
And all that is true and all that’s amazing, but it only counts if you keep pushing the conversation forward. If you keep staying ahead of the curve on new shows, [00:18:00] on, on new ideas, on new approaches. So I think. I think as I sort of see it in a larger context, which I wasn’t able to do when I was younger, it makes me sort of see star Trek as something that continues to like, need to grow and expand as opposed to something that like is static and perfect and is, you know, a perfect utopia, 24 seven.
And I, and I appreciate that now. I
Jeff: mean, star Trek at its very best. Is when it focuses on the idea of allegory of it being an allegory when you were younger, did. Did, did you recognize those allegories that were happening or was that something as an adult, you look back on and said, Oh, that’s what they were hitting on, right?
Noah Averbach-Katz: Yeah. You know, I think that, I think that one of the reasons so many people are star Trek fans in their adults is because the allegories are very much available to kids, you know, [00:19:00] available to younger people. It’s not, you know, They’re not always really, really complex allegories for better and for worse than sometimes they are.
But I also think, you know, sometimes when star Trek is at its best, it isn’t always an allegory, when I think about those episodes, like. Inner light or about the offspring or even about measure of a man, you know, they’re not really allegories. They’re either just, you know, they’re, they’re actually like kind of the sweeping emotional Experiences, you know, and those are sort of the episodes that have really stuck with me, you know, about.
What star Trek can do, which is kind of bring you on an emotional journey that can substitute for another, as opposed to like, you know, a kind of straight [00:20:00] allegory, which is, you know, you have black on one side and white on the other side, in inner light, you sort of have the journey of a life and you get to kind of see that.
And see what’s important, you know, what’s important as you go through your life or in the offspring, you kind of see, you know, what it is to deal with loss and how people deal with it and, and childhood and loss in a different way. And even in measure of a man, you know, it’s about arguing. For someone’s right to exist, you know, which, which is just feels so relevant to me and which again, you know, you can obviously expand out to our world, but it isn’t, you know, this thing is, is, is, is inherently standing in for someone else in a way that they don’t even sort of allude to, you know, they allude to these things within.
[00:21:00] Within the episodes. And so I just think as much as they are about, you know, allegory and stuff, it is also about emotional experiences, you know, experiencing what it means to argue for. A person’s right to exist, experiencing what it is to, you know, make decisions over a lifetime. And what is really important at the end of the day, experiencing how different people deal with loss and things like that.
I feel like those are kind of the things which, which really stick with me personally.
Jeff: And, and I, I do think that’s one of the great benefits of having a 24 episode season, I think is that they can slow down a little bit and breathe a little bit and breathe. I do, I love discovery. I do think because of the timeframe, it doesn’t get a chance to breathe as much maybe.
Noah Averbach-Katz: Yeah. I, I do think that’s true. And I also think, you know, I think especially in these three years, you know, the first year. [00:22:00] The first year was kind of just like trying to, you know, its first season of a show. Second year you sort of are. Both, you know, having the season, but you’re also setting up strange new worlds.
And even this year, you do have to spend some time sort of setting up section 31 with Michelle yo-yo. So I’m hoping as there’s less of a pressure on discovery to. You know, essentially kind of like ice, ice break forward, you know, sort of breaking ground on, on new shows that can kind of come in their way, that they will kind of allow themselves or have the ability to breathe a little bit more.
Jeff: I think so too. I mean, obviously the third season, you do also have to explore the 32nd century, which, I mean, there’s, there’s a lot to orient the viewer to, and I think discovery, I mean, I think discovery is a brilliant show and I will, and I credit discovery very strongly. For bringing me back to the fold of star [00:23:00] Trek.
I was very wayward from star Trek for a lot of years in other than the movies and the show brought me back to going back and rewatching these base nine next generation original series. I think at least I think is brilliant. So I don’t take anything away from it. But like I said, because it is shorter, you don’t have those quieter episodes that are more philosophical in that sense.
Noah Averbach-Katz: That’s definitely true. I think that’s, that’s a, that’s a, a true Katri critique. Now.
Jeff: Now, would you, do you credit star Trek with the reason why you wanted to get into acting?
Noah Averbach-Katz: You know, it’s funny. I really don’t. I, I never really thought of star Trek is like an acting thing that I could do it. It always seemed as, I don’t know, you know, I never really thought of it as.
Actors creating something. It just seemed like a fully formed world, you know? And also like a lot of the time when I was sort of in undergrad or in graduate acting school, it was sort of in the law where the only thing that was around with the movies, which [00:24:00] is sort of such a different thing than the TV shows.
So it just sort of never really. Cross my mind until Mary got on the show and suddenly it was happening. And even then it took me a while to sort of like conceptualize that like actors and writers were making this thing and it didn’t actually just exist in the future.
Jeff: So you ended up attending the Julliard school of drama division.
Which is like the school for acting, at least for me. I mean, it’d be, I’m not, I’m actually, I’d never been into acting. I don’t know a lot about the school and, but Julliard, I know, I know the name it’s so high profile that even someone who’s nowhere near the realm of acting knows the school. What was it like to be there as a student?
I mean, what, what was the process like? What was it that you learned about the F the acting they maybe wouldn’t have learned without [00:25:00] Julliard?
Noah Averbach-Katz: Well, it it was interesting, you know I think my highlights were getting to meet Mary Wiseman there. That was sort of the, my number one takeaway from Juilliard was meeting my wife there.
Yeah. Yeah. True. Definitely good and true answer. You know, we were also there with Mary cheapo as well, which was, which has been really fun, you know, all getting to kind of share this star Trek journey together. We were all in the same class. You know, Julliard was an interesting place. I’m still sort of synthesizing my experience there.
I think some days were awesome and some days I’m very, very happy to not be there anymore. I think, you know, it’s a place, it’s an incubator where you got to do some amazing things, but I also think it’s a place that is trapped in the past a little bit. And because of the name, it is a bit of a prepared, perpetual motion.
Sheen where, you know, people want to go there who are good at acting, and then a bunch of industry people can see [00:26:00] them. And, and almost it almost sort of is just this straight line for people, you know, who are commercially viable. But I do think that there are a lot of gaps in terms, in terms of a lot of stuff, which I was there, you know, which people weren’t really thinking about.
And. 2011 to 2015, that people are thinking a lot more about, you know, post 2016. So I haven’t been there in a long time. So maybe those things might’ve changed, but It’s it’s an interesting place and I was very, very privileged and lucky to go there. And I’m glad I’m not there anymore. Well,
Jeff: I mean your career, you’ve done a lot of Shakespeare.
You’ve done Romeo and Juliet. You played in Othello. You played in King in King Lear. I’m a high school English teacher for my day job. I teach it’s a therapeutical, but I teach Shakespeare obviously every year to my students. And so he’s, he’s done a lot of Shakespeare. How would you, [00:27:00] what would you do tell students about Shakespeare, about how to handle the approach to the language and how would you sell it to students to use?
Noah Averbach-Katz: That’s interesting, you know, You know, that’s so interesting. It depends on the group of students, because I think some students, you know, when you put Shakespeare in front of them, they’re sort of just ready to like dive into a world of history and the way that history. Is actually like not different at all from our modern times.
And it sort of like connects you to humanity in a way that, you know, people, you know, in the 15, 16 hundreds were just thinking about their girlfriends or thinking about not being able to fall asleep or thinking about, you know, what the hell the person in charge of the country is doing and do I need to like remove them?
So in that sense, I think that that the sort of weigh in is like, You know, with King Lear, [00:28:00] it’s like, has anybody had a crazy dad? You know, and like, who just doesn’t like, do what you want and won’t get you the Christmas present you want. And also some of your siblings are assholes as well. You know, it’s, there’s a, there’s a relevance, but I also think, you know, there’s also a group of, of, of people who, where it’s like, you know what.
I think, especially right now, it’s like there are more relevant, immediate things than Shakespeare, and those are worthy of exploration in a way that for a long time sort of the. Classicism of art sort of would obscure them or push them aside. And I think that that is valid as well. You know, I think that there is more room for validity and I also think so long sort of Shakespeare has been, you know, held on to by sort of.
Racial structures and patriarchal [00:29:00] structures, which I’m, I’m very happy to see being re-examined and questioned. And, and I think, you know being able to approach Shakespeare without the sort of pressure of, you know, here’s what I think it is, you know, here’s what I a. A person who’s been studying this forever is going to tell you what it is.
I think seeing those things being stripped away makes me very, very happy.
Jeff: Yeah. And I’m disappointed at first, I’m gonna apologize my fault for laughing. So LAR so loudly when you said crazy, crazy dad, I’m not counting him as one. He will listen to the episode when it comes out
Noah Averbach-Katz: Lear, then there might be some issues going on there
And I mean, I guess you would probably would agree with that. One of the issues of Shakespeare in school. Is that Shakespeare really is not meant to be right. It really isn’t. It’s meant to be performed, meant to be spoken. I don’t think it’s really meant to be read.
[00:30:00] Noah Averbach-Katz: Yeah. Yeah. You know, especially if you’re not like hyper familiar with it and you’re not already obsessed with it, you know, I think at some point when you’re so become sort of so obsessed with it that you’re just like so interested in.
In it that it’s okay to read it, but I think for students reading it sort of doesn’t do much for you. And even just like getting up an acting, get in front of your English class, it’s, it’s difficult to kind of get people excited as well. So yeah. Yeah. You know, it’s, it’s a lot about, is getting into like unless you’re really like breaking down, you know, Hey, like this word actually means boner.
Yeah, they’re sweet word means like, you know, this, this sort of amalgamation of sentences, BS, like I hate you so much that I’m going to, you know, gouge your eyes out and slit your throat and everything. It can be difficult to get sort of students on board, but, but once you can get sort of past that, I think it’s, it can be really fun too.
Just feel like, you know, [00:31:00] these feelings that the people are experiencing, you know, and not just like, not just sort of like teenage emotions, but like, you know, emotions of like, what is the point of my life, or, you know, I can’t sleep because I’m racked with guilt. I think that there was a lot of points of connection.
And when you feel that point of connection, some things that maybe you’ve been feeling, it makes you feel not as alone because you realize, Oh, you know, I’m definitely not the only person who’s gone through this.
Jeff: I, I, yeah. And I, and I will say, I do think one thing I do like about Shakespeare, it does give you a real sense that.
These feelings that have, that you feel now have been felled for hundreds and hundreds of years, that people are in many ways similar and you know, and it is a universal thing. And I, and I do enjoy that aspect of it. I think quite a bit.
Noah Averbach-Katz: Absolutely. And, you know, the strange ways like the Shakespearian world is, I mean, obviously it’s hugely different [00:32:00] from our own, but it’s also not that different, you know, it was sort of this sort of semi totalitarian state that was constantly listening to people and interested in what they were doing and tracking what they were doing.
And there’s just there’s some very interesting and. Distressing, but also just fascinating similarities between our life and the life of Shakespeare and his contemporaries.
Jeff: And I agree with you completely. I like it. Like I said, I. Well, it’s kind of funny, like one of my least favorite plays of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, but my favorite play to teach is Romeo and Juliet.
Yeah. And, and I, and I have more than one’s headed. I’m a one man sword fight with the in front of my class more than once. And it is a fun thing, especially because it is so funny looking at some aspects of it. 400 years later because you know, like you know, the whole play that takes place like five days, it is pretty funny for our kids, but at the same time, there’s something to be said about the
Noah Averbach-Katz: layers in it.
[00:33:00] You know, one of my favorite plays is Love’s, Labour’s lost because I do think once the sort of. I feel like there’s a seriousness with which you feel like you must approach Shakespeare, you know, everything, you must understand it. You must do it the way in which it is supposed to be done. And it must mean this thing.
You know, you must feel this way when you approach it. And Love’s, Labour’s lost is sort of this bizarro play that a lot of the jokes don’t make sense. And there’s like always footnotes where it’s like scholars have no idea what this joke was supposed to mean. And perhaps that is the joke, you know, and it reminds me of star Trek enterprise in the sense where it’s like, it’s disarming, you know, you can’t approach it with like the sort of.
You can approach it with the same serious seriousness, you know, with your sort of with the, the sort of, you know, like this is serious art [00:34:00] because it doesn’t always work. And it’s about like crappy word play and how crappy word play actually like means nothing in the scope of life and death. And, you know, it sort of ends it’s supposed to end with a marriage, but instead it ends with a sequel that is lost to time maybe.
And it just. I just really appreciate when things that are taken really seriously, seriously, like, you know, you know, star Trek has to be so serious, you know, it has to be a moral identity thing when you can remind yourself or, you know, or King Lear is the most serious play or series of work of art that has ever been made when you can remind yourself that actually like.
It’s not always that serious. And it’s also not always up to the people at the top to tell you what to think about it. You know, when you have an an episode of star Trek where, you [00:35:00] know, trip gets pregnant against his sort of wishes, or when Vulcan’s introduced Velcro to, you know, the United States, it’s just.
It puts things in perspective in a way that I really appreciate. And in a way that sort of takes it out of the hands of, you know, the. The higher powers sort of disseminating what you should think about this piece of art and kind of lets you decide for yourself.
Jeff: And yeah, it means people forget star Trek is meant to be fun and people who I think just take it so seriously kind of forget the episode Spock’s brain, you know what I’m saying?
I just need it. It’s like it, it is fun. I mean when the best star Trek Movies of all time is star Trek for, I mean, it’s just so much fun and it’s not, it’s fun because it’s not taking yourself serious. I mean, the scenes with them. Check off with the on the Naval vessel are hilarious because I mean, they’re kind of stupid, but they’re hilarious.
And I think that was almost a way of saying, you know, just relax, have fun with [00:36:00] these works, stop being such a Dick about it. And it is
Noah Averbach-Katz: fun, you know? And I think ultimately like what makes it fun is that it is fun. You know, it’s fun to sort of laugh at ourselves. Through, you know, these, these other lenses and, and say it in the same way as Shakespeare.
It’s like, Oh man, like I really see myself as this, this person, and boy am I embarrassed by myself, but I’m also laughing along with these people as well. Yeah. And I
Jeff: agree. I agree with you. I’m a hundred percent on that. So. W w after you did a lot of theater and you eventually moved into you did a bread factor, which is a film.
Was there a, a major transition how you acted when you did, went from film? I mean theater to film and TV. Yeah. You
Noah Averbach-Katz: know, I’m still learning, you know, I, I sort of look to other more seasoned actors, you know, on that film, like Tyne Daly, or Jeanine Graf [00:37:00] lo I was sort of looking for them to them as like, how do you know what’s the difference here?
You know, how does the camera pick you up differently or read things differently? And even when I got to discover, you know, I was really trying to figure out both how to act, you know, in this style, this sort of, you know, Saifai style w which I understood, you know, the genre as a whole, but, you know, just as the actor, you know, how do I do this?
And also, how do I do this? In this prosthetics. And, you know, I was, I really looked to David, Angela, because he’s such a talented actor. He’s such a great film actors. So I was really just trying to soak up and I mean, basically steal everything that he did and just see if it worked when I did it. And I was really, really helpful as a place to kind of start and play from from, and, you know, on top of that, he’s such a.
Generous actor when it comes to [00:38:00] trying new things, when it comes to playing you know, opposite of each other and playing off of each other. And also when it comes to, you know, throwing a new idea into your court and seeing how you deal with it, it was just a lot of fun to get to work with him. And also just kind of great as an actor to get to, you know, steal from him because he’s so talented.
Jeff: And so in, in discovery he, he’s the one who plays book and you possibly played Rin in Dorian in the episode where you first appear. Was that meant to be just a one off episode for your character or did you know ahead of time that he was going to come back multiple
Noah Averbach-Katz: times? Don’t think it was meant to be a one-off that one time, because the episode did end with, you know, Ren on discovery alive.
And I was like, you know, I think he’s coming back because if they didn’t want that to be the case, I would be somewhere else doing something else or I wouldn’t be alive, you know? So I, I didn’t know, rinse kind of [00:39:00] full arc and I did have the sense very early on that he would die eventually. You know, I think just from knowing star Trek, as well as I do, and also seeing the way that he sort of fit into the overarching story, it just seemed like that was an inevitability.
And, and I was sort of prepared for that, but I also didn’t like really reach out to the writers or show runners to say, Hey, can you tell me his overall story? Because first off he didn’t seem like he had any big secret, you know, there wasn’t, there wasn’t something that he was going to reveal later that would sort of color the way I might approach him as an actor earlier on.
So it felt right to me to both play him moment to moment as an actor, because he’s sort of. You know, in the moment that he’s in, there’s not something else on his mind, you know, some, some dark secret, which he’s hanging on to, which is, you know, dictating how he’s acting. But also I knew [00:40:00] as a star Trek fan, if they were to tell me which they eventually did very nicely, but like, if I knew too early, Hey, you know, he’s going to die.
Here’s how he dies. I would sort of get so caught up on at that as a fan that it would probably. Make my acting worse. So I decided, you know, I’ll find out when I find out I’ll get there when I get there. And that way I can just focus on rights of what’s right ahead of me and not be too bummed out about, you know, having to think about, Oh, is he gonna die?
How’s he gonna die here? It’s coming. Oh, is it here now? No, you know, so I just was, was about focusing on what was right ahead of me
Jeff: and star Trek fans are so. I don’t know the right word of being obsessed, but are so attention driven to the different alien races of star Trek that keep appearing and endurance have been around since the original series.
And was there any aspects of endorphins that. You either had to research or you [00:41:00] had to perform a certain way to, for expectations of endorses. Yeah.
Noah Averbach-Katz: You know, that’s, it’s an interesting question because specifically for Andorians, you know, they’ve been around forever. They’re so sort of like star Trek, iconic and alien, iconic, like you see them and you just sort of know right away that, Oh, that’s gotta be star Trek, but there was so there’s so little.
Canon on them, you know, and that’s a, kind of a really exciting opportunity to get to participate in the creation of cannon. But in terms of the research that I did too, it was basically just watching everything Jeffrey Combs did because he is sort of, as far as I’m concerned, he sort of like created what it means to be in Dorian.
You know, what is expected of an endorphin and it was a difficult task sort of. Incorporating this sort of brash you know, in your face sort of confident [00:42:00] swagger of an Torian that’s Jeffrey Combs came up with, with this character who had sort of been beaten down who had almost lost everything. He was trying to pick back the pieces again.
And so I really was, you know, worried about whether or not he would come off as , but I think what I sort of settled on in terms of incorporating what Jeffrey Combs had created and the idea of what an adoring was, it was somebody who was. Searching for his and Dorian this again, you know, trying to work back up to that confident, you know, sort of swagger that he had lost when you meet him.
And so that’s sort of how I wound up sort of approaching it and attempting to incorporate sort of Andorian this in with my performance. Did you find
Jeff: yourself kind of like making up. In enduring background for yourself or for as like culturally or whatever on your own,
Noah Averbach-Katz: you know, it was less of an end Dorian background and more of an Emerald [00:43:00] train background, you know, because he even, we don’t really know what in Doria the planet.
Is up to right now, but we definitely know what the Emerald chain is up to and who they are. And, you know, I it’s teams like Rin had spent a lot of time in the chain and knew it very, very well, whether he was born into it or joined it at some point or whether, you know, both Orion and end Doria, every planet just sort of feeds into it.
It’s not a hundred percent clear, but it was very clear that, you know, he was sort of. Crafted or molded in the chain and that he saw a lot of things he didn’t like and attempted to change it. So it was more about sort of creating a backstory of, you know, his relationship with this sort of OB government entity and with its sort of strong, armed ruler in AU [00:44:00] Syrah and you know, in a way.
You know, in, in his, in his death scene, it was sort of like probably him and Zera are the people who knew Oh, Syrah best, you know? And so knowing what she’s capable of, you know, gives me a different impression of what might happen, you know, when she’s holding that gun to my face, I think Wren is pretty much, you know, Understood that he’s going to get killed, even though book is there and trying to negotiate, you know, I think, you know, rearing really understands just how volatile and dangerous this person is.
Jeff: And I think I think he appears in, is it four episodes? Am I correct? On that three, three, three. Do you feel like even in those three episodes, he did have a very interesting heroic arc. I think.
Noah Averbach-Katz: Yeah, I, I totally agree with that. And I feel [00:45:00] really lucky to have gotten to kind of T to, to craft and ride that arc, you know, it’s sort of this.
Guy who, it sort of feels like a redemption story for him. You know, he, he gets to, even though he doesn’t survive, he gets to stand up to this bully and look them in the face and tell them that they’re, you know, that they’re nothing that they’re just a bully. They’re not. You know anything more than that and that there is a better way of doing things and that he’s seen it.
And you know, that the, this bully’s ultimately gonna fall because of who they are. And I just think that’s really, it was a really, really cool and also very star Trek arc to get to participate in now.
Jeff: You said you didn’t know what the arc was going to be for your character when you began playing the Ren, were there any decisions acting-wise that if you had no, where you’re going to end up, that you would have played differently at the beginning?
Noah Averbach-Katz: I don’t think so. Because you know, the, if, if, [00:46:00] if renew sort of had this. Secret, you know, like, Oh, he’s actually working for the chain. You know, then it’d be this thing where it’s like, Oh, I wish I would have approached this thing maybe a little bit differently, but because he was just sort of in the moment trying to, you know, survive and also trying to sort of reclaim himself, I sort of felt like just taking it moment to moment.
Served, served him really, really well.
Jeff: Yeah. Well, I’m going to ask this question. I know we, we asked it, we discussed it before we re we started really recording. I’m gonna ask it again for, for the listeners. And you know, probably which I’m asking about the fate of rain and you’re in your role in discovery, just going forward.
You said you’re under a lot of makeup as Dean Dorian Ren. Is there any potential chance of you showing up in the future as, and maybe, I guess, like you mentioned Jeffrey Coombs, how different many characters he plays in star Trek or are we going to see more of you?
Noah Averbach-Katz: You know, at the moment? No. You [00:47:00] know, a season four has been, been a very, very challenging shoots.
So, you know, there’s not a lot of room to bring too much stuff in. But I, I, I am hopeful and you know, have my fingers crossed that maybe at some point in the future I’ll be back.
Jeff: So I, I imagine you’re not on set at any moment, like hanging in the background, like, Hey, writers, this be a really good moment to add an extra alien who is maybe an endorsed.
Noah Averbach-Katz: definitely not this year. There’s nobody extra on set this year. And this year I’m just at
Jeff: home. Is I don’t, well, you probably had some idea of it, but because of, like I said, because of COVID is the cast being made intentionally smaller on the show or they’re using less actors because of COVID, you know,
Noah Averbach-Katz: I’m not totally sure.
I definitely think there’s just like a lot of travel decisions. There’s just a lot of different decisions that are getting made because of COVID. Yeah, it’s just, it’s just, there’s just a lot going on this year, you know, it’s just, [00:48:00] it’s really. It’s just a really, really intense year, you know? So this sort of there’s not a lot of extra room for thought for like, Oh, wouldn’t this thing be fun if we did that, it’s like, we really are just, you know, just trying to make this thing happen and make sure people are safe.
So that’s sort of where the, the main focus of the creators is right now.
Jeff: Well, like I said, I, I mean, I really love Sergeant discovery season through, I think going into the future was an ingenious step for them to take. For, for a lot of different things, not just because of continuity issues with the other star treks, but I think it opened a lot of doors to make this its own show.
And like I said, I, and I think you as Wren was absolutely phenomenal. I actually heard something else about you. That you’re actually a huge dungeon and dragon fan.
Noah Averbach-Katz: Yeah. Yeah. This is definitely true. Yes. It’s massive massively into Dungeons and dragons at the moment. So w
Jeff: when did you start falling in love with Dungeons and
Noah Averbach-Katz: dragons?
A friend introduced me to the game, maybe like three or [00:49:00] four years ago, and we just. Yeah, we just have been just into it and playing together and starting other games ever since.
Jeff: It’s kind of funny. I’m like, I’m a pretty big nerd and anyone who knows me knows I’m a nerd and geek and all that. And you would seem like dungeon dragon.
What would be a game? I have, I have always played, but I must say I’d never played dungeon and dragons though. I’ve thought about it many times. It’s never too
Noah Averbach-Katz: late, never too late. How hard
Jeff: name is Dudgeon dragons to learn to those of us who, I mean,
Noah Averbach-Katz: Yeah. You know, there’s this, there’s a learning curve. It really helps if somebody who knows the game can introduce you to it.
Yeah. It’s definitely difficult to sort of make sense of the rules and, you know, there’s thousands and thousands of rules and character creation without really having some guidance. But I think. You know, if you have somebody who can kind of guide you through it, it’s not impossible to kind of say, Oh, I just want to do this.
Like, how do I do this? And somebody says, well, like, [00:50:00] here’s how it happens. And you say, okay, I do that. And then suddenly you’re playing. Okay. How
Jeff: would you sell Dudgeon dragon to someone who has not played the game?
Noah Averbach-Katz: I’d say, you know, you’re sitting around your house during COVID, you’re not doing anything.
You haven’t talked to your friends in six weeks. This will give you an opportunity to be on zoom with your friends and hang out and not just talk about how boring your life is. It’s an easy sell nowadays. Nowadays it’s a very easy sell
Jeff: Dungeons and dragons. Then it was made for COVID.
Noah Averbach-Katz: I mean, in a way, yes, it’s so much more fun when you’re in the same room, whatever, but it is a very good thing to just like stay connected with people and see them without just being depressed.
That you’re actually not in person
Jeff: and in, in the game, you’re a dungeon master. So for our listeners, what does a dungeon master actually do? Well,
Noah Averbach-Katz: I think, I think I like to think of it as You know, the dungeon master is sort of [00:51:00] the story guide. They, they guide the story, you know, here are your options for how the story might go.
Here’s what you could encounter during your story. And then the players really, you know, muck around in the story and sort of influence it, or, you know, change it on a dime or just experience what actually happens in the story. So as the dungeon master, you’re S you sort of You’re the lawyer. So you kind of decide, you know, this rule happens in this way and this rule happens in this way and you are sort of the overview creator.
Well, you know, the players really fill in the minute details of the story that you’re creating together. Ha have you ever
Jeff: read ready player one?
Noah Averbach-Katz: I’ve never read ready player one. I think I watched the movie though.
Jeff: Cause like my knowledge of. Kelly, the dungeon master come from two places, stranger things, and the book ready player one with the character of holiday, which kind of feels like he’s sorta like the dungeon master of the, of [00:52:00] I guess the world that he created.
Do you feel like dungeon, Dungeons and dragons are becoming more popular now than it was back in the past?
Noah Averbach-Katz: I mean, yeah, it’s it’s way, way more popular. With, you know, critical role in all these live streams. It’s just like huge right now. And I think it’s even going to get him to get bigger, you know, all these movies and TV shows, it’s just kind of turning into like a big thing that we’ll go from.
Like, I don’t really understand it to like, I’ve had enough of it. I need to stop here. I mean, it’s
Jeff: interesting about dungeon dragon become more popular. Is that right? It feels like everything is going digital with video games, everything else, but dungeon and dragons is still hanging on. You know what I mean?
Well, you know,
Noah Averbach-Katz: I there’s video games. Baldur’s gate three is out. I, I think that I think that in like two years it will feel like it’s, it’s everywhere. Like
Jeff: good or bad.
Noah Averbach-Katz: Ah, I will. We’ll see. I’m hoping it’s good, but we will definitely see I think they’re even
Jeff: making a movie again. I’ve done some drag Queens.
It was like, was it a cartoon? Or my thing was something else.
[00:53:00] Noah Averbach-Katz: There was a cartoon, there was a movie, you know, just everywhere. So,
Jeff: One of the things that I’ve seen a lot online especially with Anthony Rapp, he talks a lot about the star Trek discovery cast D and D. So is that true that you guys play it wasn’t every week.
Noah Averbach-Katz: Yeah, we play ’em every, we try to play every Sunday. Me and Emily Coots, Mary, Ian blue, and Anthony, and now Ken as well. Anthony’s fiance.
Jeff: So how did this game come together? I mean, who introduced to.
Noah Averbach-Katz: Yeah, I sort of had mentioned it to a couple of people. And then Anthony and blue were like, Hey Noah, you’re doing this.
You don’t have a choice. And then so, so they
Jeff: were already Dungeons and dragons fans before.
Noah Averbach-Katz: I think they were very interested in playing and had done a little bit of like playing previously. So they sort of had the sort of on-ramp and then we sort of all together kind of pushed it to the next level.
Jeff: Yeah. I mean, it’s still something so cool about [00:54:00] the fact that the actors from separate discovery or I guess on some level kind of nerdy themselves.
Noah Averbach-Katz: They definitely are, especially Anthony.
Jeff: Oh, really? Are they more nerdy than you would think being you know, the actors on star Trek?
Noah Averbach-Katz: It depends on every, every person is different in their own way.
Jeff: Well, I do want to point out a couple of weeks back we had one of those star Trek discovery people on Patrick Kwok shoes. And he voiced his desire to be on dungeon and dragons. Apparently he’s not in the game.
Noah Averbach-Katz: Patrick, Patrick dug his own grave and then lie down on it. I asked him to join multiple times.
He didn’t follow any of my instructions. And then he just wrote a character and was like, I’m ready. And I was like, that’s not how it works. So. Patrick is Patrick is often his own world and I will bring him on. I will onboard him when when it seems appropriate. Oh
Jeff: my God. I, I heard it. That’s a different story than what I
Noah Averbach-Katz: heard [00:55:00] Patrick say.
Jeff: My, my, my impression of Patrick and I’m going to paraphrase, but it’s all documented in the other episode is that Patrick said he wanted to play Dungeons and dragons, but because he was new, you said, no.
Noah Averbach-Katz: Until you, he is an absolute liar. Patrick is a full-on liar. Oh my God. Now he’s really never going to play.
Jeff: I don’t want to start something
Noah Averbach-Katz: new. I said no. Oh my God.
Jeff: But my understanding of the conversation is. He’d be able to, he’s a little too new and you can’t, you have room to have someone that knew,
Noah Averbach-Katz: well, no, it’s, that’s, that’s Patrick editorializing, which I really don’t appreciate it. First off. Yeah. First off, early on, I sent, I sent him.
Two times. I said, all right, Patrick, I want you to like, fill out all this stuff. Here’s the last stuff you have, have to do in order to be prepared. And he didn’t do it. And then he emailed me. It was like, I was ready. But in the meantime, I was already trying to kind of bring [00:56:00] in Anthony’s fiance. So I could sort of bring into new people at the same time.
So I said, you know, I can’t bring you in at the moment. The game’s a little full right now. If you have, you know, eight people playing suddenly, it’s not very fun. And I told them that we’ll get back to it in a little bit, but I never said anything about him being Two new, Oh God.
Jeff: So, so can, can we put the status of Patrick’s future in the game as questionable,
Noah Averbach-Katz: you can put paddock Patrick’s status as the future in the game.
As Patrick lied officially on air to solely my, my good name. And, and I’m considering retribution, whether it be in the court of law or by, by hand-to-hand combat, Patrick would absolutely kick my ass by the way. No, I love Patrick. I’m working on it. Oh my God. Patrick, if you just would’ve answered my emails two months ago, we wouldn’t be having [00:57:00] this problem.
Jeff: So you basically, you had, you had offered the game to them and it was chosen not to follow the rules.
Noah Averbach-Katz: I. I will have to dig up all the emails we sent back and forth, and it’s just going to be horrible for him. It’s going to be just an absolute, you know, Just destruction for Patrick, but if that’s the way he wants it, it’s fine.
Is there anyone
Jeff: who can vote for either one?
Noah Averbach-Katz: I have all the emails
Jeff: back and forth.
Noah Averbach-Katz: I’ve gotten receipts, Patrick. You’re in for it now, man.
I love Patrick. He’s an amazing dude. I am working. I S I swear to God I’m working to get him in the game. It’s on the front of my mind, especially cause he’s called me out on Twitter, like four times. So I’m desperately, desperately trying to figure out a way that I can get him in here without it sort of not being fun for everyone.
Jeff: Well, I didn’t talk to Patrick . He is really fun to talk to you as well. Yeah, like I said, [00:58:00] I’ll, I’ll, we’ll, we’ll check back in on this. If there’s got to be like a hashtag that Patrick play thing going on, where we might have to do it in like a couple of back a few weeks and see what’s happening. But yeah, I mean, he’s really cool.
And, but I find it really fascinating that the cast is that tight with one another.
Noah Averbach-Katz: Yeah. It’s a bunch of really, really good, good people. We got really lucky. Everybody got really lucky cause there are some really, really good dudes now.
Jeff: Because of being in the show for a few episodes and obviously not the other two seasons, you have an interesting perspective of being both knowing the cast on the set and out of the set, are they as tight as people imagine them being, you know, with the game, everything else or they would say they’re more like the next generation type crew or is there kind of.
I don’t know, like a hierarchy still on, on the set.
Noah Averbach-Katz: No, it’s amazing. Cast. Everybody really, really treats each other really, really well. You know, Sinequan has [00:59:00] really led the set, the tone, you know, with her kindness and her gratitude and the way that she treats everybody, it just really She, she just has set the tone and everybody has just sort of really stepped up to the plate in terms of, you know, just taking care of each other.
Because it’s not always easy work, even though it’s fun and, and everyone feels very lucky. It’s, it’s, it’s challenging and long days, but everyone is just, just really, really Just amazing, you know, and, and I think one of the sad things about, you know, for everybody and, and for us this year is that, you know, we don’t get to hang out with each other this year because the COVID, it’s, it’s a real, it’s a real loss, not to kind of get to spend the weekend with all these people.
So you know, everybody’s sort of like everybody else in the whole world is, is looking forward to that being finished.
Jeff: And I imagined the other drawback of COVID. I mean, there’s a lot of drawbacks with COVID. I mean, I don’t wanna say just the other one as if, you know 4,000 people haven’t died. But I, I imagine with the other drawbacks of COVID [01:00:00] for you specifically, is that you have not had a chance.
I, I imagine to enjoy the convention scene while you’ve been running.
Noah Averbach-Katz: Yeah. I mean, it’s definitely been closed down. I don’t, you know, I’m really, really hoping that stuff will pick back up and that we’ll be able to do conventions when they, when they returned, because that would be so much fun and I’m just trying to be patient until then, because it’s definitely something that I would really, really want to do.
And I just think it would be so much fun.
Jeff: Are, are you planning or have you planned, or are you doing any of the virtual conventions that around the gas, econ and those types?
Noah Averbach-Katz: Nothing at the moment yet, but hopefully something will pop up for me in the future.
Jeff: Well, I really hope if you win convention season does finally start again.
You need to come to the Northeast Rhode Island comic con traffic con Boston comic con. You need to come in in that direction.
Noah Averbach-Katz: Listen, if, if they will, if anyone will have me, I will be there.
Jeff: Well, I’ll, I’ll I’ll then I’ll have to start another hashtag hashtag [01:01:00] put Noah into the company.
Noah Averbach-Katz: Fantastic. I, it really rolls off the tongue.
Jeff: It totally does. I’m I’m I’m obviously not a promoter. So just, I guess last question. What future projects are you working on?
Noah Averbach-Katz: You know, there’s not a lot of acting stuff, but you know, Anthony and I are trying to get together a possible, like charity live stream of Dungeons and dragons with th with the disco cruise.
So maybe just keep an eye out for that in the future. I think that could be a lot of fun.
Jeff: Well, I definitely look forward to it and I want to thank you a lot for talking with me. You are a lot of fun and I really appreciate it. Sure
Noah Averbach-Katz: thing, you know, thanks for having me. And it’s been awesome. Thank you so much.