Harley Diamond (B.F.A. ’79)
Q & A:
What was your favorite class, who was your favorite professor, or what is your fondest memory of Hofstra?
Dr. Richard Mason, who taught Theatre Styles, was my favorite professor. My fondest memories revolve around the plays I directed: Eugene Ionesco’s The Bald Soprano (directing class), Berthold Brecht’s The Informer, August Strindberg’s The Stronger, Eugene O’Neill’s Before Breakfast (senior practicum) and Side by Side by Sondheim for The Spectrum Players.
What was your first job after graduating from Hofstra, and what was the most valuable thing you learned there?
My first day job was with the United States Postal Service. My first theater job was with a summer stock theater; a production of The Pajama Game at the Mill Mountain Playhouses in Roanoke, Virginia. I learned how to keep up my stamina and how to work with others there.
What is your field of specialty, and how did you come to work in the industry?
By day, my specialty is law. By night, my specialty is theater. After a few years of acting, I went to law school but still managed to keep a foothold in theater by virtue of cabaret shows such as Between the Briefs at Don’t Tell Mama’s, Waiting for (Hal) Roach at Steve Mc Graw’s, Never Picked for Basketball and Back in Hoop Dreams at Danny’s Grand Sea Palace. I went on tour as Tartuffe in between legal jobs. I continue to do community theater with St. Bart’s Players. I played Frederick in A Little Night Music, Joe in Merrily We Roll Along, and the list goes on.
What advice would you give current Hofstra students?
Don’t be afraid to mix up careers. It is no crime for artists to have financially lucrative day jobs and get artistic needs met elsewhere at night or on weekends.
In one word, how would you describe Hofstra?
How has your degree from Hofstra helped you?
My degree helped me establish theatrical connections, due to Hofstra’s reputation in that community.
What is your favorite part of your job at the NYC Housing Authority?
What is the single most rewarding/exciting experience in your career thus far?
In theater, playing Roger de Bris in The Producers and Frederick in A Little Night Music. In law, running albeit unsuccessfully for Civil Court judge in the Democratic primary held in Brooklyn in 2004. Also, I won the Moot Court Competition in law school, which was judged by Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, Jr.
Harley Diamond (B.F.A. ’79) by day practices law and by night is an actor. After graduating from Hofstra and working as an actor for several years, Harley went on to attend The John Marshall Law School and graduated with distinction in 1986.
By day, he works for the New York City Housing Authority Law Department. He currently serves as senior counsel with the Housing Litigation Division, where he represents the Authority in Housing Court in non-payment, holdover and HP actions.
Prior to holding this position, Harley served as chief of the Anti-Narcotics Strike Force for the Housing Litigation Department. As chief, he supervised legal staff and oversaw the preparation and prosecution of administrative actions against tenants involving drug activities, search warrants, firearms or other criminal activities.By night, Harley adorns makeup and a costume, playing characters such as Phillip Sexton in Finality at the Manhattan Repertory Theater and Roger De Bris in The Producers with Ridge Chorale/Jeff Samaha Productions. Even through law school, Harley continued to maintain his contacts with the theater industry, performing in several cabaret shows such as Between the Briefs at Don’t Tell Mama’s, Waiting for (Hal) Roach at Steve Mc Graw’s, Never Picked for Basketball and Back in Hoop Dreams at Danny’s Grand Sea Palace. He also went on tour as Tartuffe with the National Theater for the Performing Arts – Biggs/Rosati Productions in between legal jobs, and continues to perform in community theater with St. Bart’s Players, the Heights Players and the Gallery Players.