Is Douglas proud that you chose real estate as a profession?
I think he is, yes. I would say he, yes. I would say he’s very proud. And he’s very supportive and he really has helped us. It’s one of the reasons that we’re able to continue on because he gives us great support all the time. So I’d say yes.
Do you give each other advice?
I don’t give him advice. I definitely don’t give him advice. He helps with like, for the gala he will help. He will give me suggestions of people to invite. And he’s always very supportive. He shows his support by coming to it.
Does the Durst name alone open up a lot of opportunities?
Yes, it does.
How much of the artists’ space is donated by the Durst Organization?
It’s been reduced quite a bit. There was a time when it was almost entirely Durst Organization property. I think now it’s 10 percent, and the rest is other landowners.
Is Chashama actually financially sustainable?
Right now it is, yeah. Because what we do is each artist pays a small fee for utilizing the space. And so there’s a small fee or it’s free. That helps us have an earned income.
Among real estate people who cherish the arts, the Walentas family comes to mind. Does Chashama deal with them?
[Jed Walentas] already works with so many artists and he has so many things. He’d actually offered us the Galapagos space many years ago, but then we already had all of 42nd Street and my one administrator said no! I was like, “Please? It’s so awesome.”
Is there any particular lesson about real estate you remember either Douglas or Seymour teaching?
I would say my biggest lesson is the beauty of a building and its structure. I think that’s one of my earliest lessons and something I learned from my grandfather, and it’s to look at the architecture and really … Whenever I walk into an old building and I see the structure of it, that’s one of my earliest lessons.
On a social level, do you count many real estate professionals as close friends?
No. No, I do not.
You’re an actress, and among your credits is 30 Rock. How did you get that role?
I have a very good agent named Douglas Durst. They wanted to use the lobby or use one of the [Durst Organization] spaces. And he said that in exchange for him letting them tape in the building … So he would help get me parts, small parts in productions.
What character did you play?
A businesswoman. Yeah, I was just like standing in the line, like “Give me my hotdog!” And [Tina Fey] just, like, budged in front of me. It was a lot of fun.
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