#94: Betsey Brown

Betsey Brown drops in to tell us about Caveh Zahedi, HK Wonton Garden, Catching The 12:30 Show at The Comedy Cellar, and more.

Cool people like cool things, which is why we asked cool person Betsey Brown to come on Perfectly Imperfect & redistribute her good taste.

Betsey Brown is a Manhattan-based actor and filmmaker who recently starred in Dasha Nekrasova’s 2021 debut feature film, “The Scary of Sixty-First”, which won the GWFF Best First Feature Award at Berlin International Film Festival. She’s also the star of the cult-hit “Assholes” (written and directed by her brother Peter Vack) which won the inaugural Adam Yauch Hornblower Award at SXSW.  Brown’s short film “shegetsey betsey”, which she wrote, directed, shot, edited, and starred in won the Audience Award for Best Experimental Short Film at the New Orleans Film Festival and her debut feature as a writer, director, and star is titled “Actors” & will be released at the end of the year by Factory 25! Betsey has great taste and lucky for us, she’s here to talk about what she’s been into.

Without further ado

Betsey Brown (instagram)

🤣 🕧 THE 12:30 SHOW AT THE COMEDY CELLAR

Last month I clocked out of my bussing job around midnight thinking I was going to a rooftop party that I was thrilled to be personally invited to when I called my brother who was already at the party, only to hear a mass exodus was in progress: too crowded and rumors the roof was about to cave in. (Later, I found out my brother had originated this rumor, lol). As I was coming to terms with going home and to bed without plans I walked past a line of people waiting to be let into the Comedy Cellar on MacDougal street. Without thinking, I bought a ticket, let the bouncer put my phone in a sealed up package, and got a little anxious. But, what transpired in that basement theater was the best way to re-acquaint myself with live performance. The comedians were geniuses and fearless. Nothing was off-limits. From some of the comedians's comments I gathered the late show has a freedom the earlier audiences do not always allow. Well my late-night audience was ready for anything and the energy was unreal. I left that basement at 2am feeling full and hopeful; face hurting from laughter. I'll be getting off work again and going straight to the Comedy Cellar for some great comedy soon. Oh boy, wow, I do love jokes! 

👱‍♀️ 🔀 👩‍🦳 REFACE APP

When I first saw Honor Levy use this app on Instagram, I thought, "I must do that," and immediately downloaded ReFace. If you or your friends are even a little bit vain, I can assure you, you’ll have a blast seeing your face and theirs realistically placed on a plethora of pictures, wacky found videos, or iconic moments of cinema!    

📽️ CAVEH ZAHEDI

The fact that Caveh Zahedi is not a household name is proof that sometimes the best art goes unnoticed. His work consists of astoundingly intimate portraits of himself, his family, his process, and the difficulty of communication. He embodies radical honesty and faith. I started my obsession with Caveh watching his film, “I Don’t Hate Las Vegas Anymore,” which you can find on youtube. “I Don’t Hate Las Vegas Anymore” is an awe-inspiring 70 minute personal documentary in which Caveh invites a minuscule film crew to document his weekend in Las Vegas with his father and half brother, where he asks them to take ecstasy with him in order to deepen their relationship. If 70 minutes feels like too much, his TV show, "The Show about the Show” are each a brilliant 17ish minutes with each episode about the making of the previous episode (check out his Kickstarter campaign for the show here. He'll be making a mini-season about his crowdfunding experience as a part of said campaign...god damn I love him).  If THAT seems too long, his podcast “365 stories I want to tell you before I die” are 1-5 minute episodes about his life and he has been putting one out every day of 2021. When I'm making my own work, I often ask myself, "What would Caveh do?" He's become the pinnacle. There’s a lot to check out with Caveh and I command that you check him out NOW!

🎵 ARIZONA by MS. WHITE 

I can’t stop listening to this song. It’s stuck in my head right now. It’s been stuck in my head the whole time I’ve been writing these recommendations. The combination of the music and lyrics tickle me. A classic jazzy "love song" with lyrics like: “If I had a pussy it’d be mine you’re railing” or “I don’t care about your mother or the Goddamn Hamptons.” I love it. The music video is fire too. 

🍜 Noodles Stewed with Young Curry Chicken at HK WONTON GARDEN

HK Wonton Garden on Mulberry Street is a Brown family staple. I even feel a little conflicted telling you about it tbh. It is already too crowded sometimes. My parents would take us to Chinatown almost every Sunday of my youth to get “wonton and noodle soup” which for me was just “noodle soup” because I was a picky eater. The noodles are unbeatable, but I couldn’t go my whole life just ordering “noodle soup,” so when I was a teen my high school boyfriend (big shouts Chris) and I decided to broaden our horizons and take a chance on “Noodles Stewed with Young Curry Chicken,” (mostly because of it's funny borderline-unappetizing name) and I’ve never looked back. It's my favorite dish in NYC and what I order every time.  And that's not changing anytime soon.


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