What's Upintheair with performer, director, writer and creator Conor Wylie!

rEvolver festival and Upintheair theatre alumni Conor Wylie has so many exciting projects on the horizon we thought it would be a good time to ask him ‘what’s up’ and other fun questions!

A LITTLE BIT ABOUT CONOR:

Conor Wylie is a performer, director, writer, and creator of new works of experimental theatre. He is the co-artistic director of A Wake of Vultures, regular collaborator of Hong Kong Exile, and the current COLLIDER Artist-in-Residence of Theatre Replacement. He was selected by his friend and mentor Marcus Youssef for the Mayor's Arts Award for Emerging Theatre Artist in 2017.

Conor likes to play at the edges: between performer and audience and between disciplinary boundaries. His work is mischievous, whimsical, and strange. He's made game-shows, shows with video games, fake motivational speeches, and other weird biz. He ain't crazy bout dat 4th wall. For Upintheair, Conor performed as Detective Qussim Dhatt in The City and the City (collaboration with The Only Animal).

He also wore a variety of turtlenecks and animal masks in OOOO's twisted game show, ALL THE WAY, at the rEvolver Festival in 2017.

dino - Conor Wylie.jpg

Describe yourself in the format of a character synopsis.

Conor Wylie disappears and reappears at odd intervals. We frequently wonder whether he's still around. From chapter to chapter his style changes from patterned shirts to norm-core neutrals, etc, with no apparent through-line. The viewer should be unsure if it is the same guy they have met before.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

I wouldn't call it an achievement. Maybe the opposite... but something I'm proud of was pulling the plug on the forward career-and-life momentum to travel, party, experiment, get lost, explore queerness and non-monogamy, and generally open up to the unknown in a vulnerable period around my 30th birthday. It was scary and messy, and definitely worth it.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for the theatre?

A solo show. Twice. WHY? SO LONELY :'(

Do you have any hidden talents?

Catching food in my mouth. I'm talking long distance catches, running catches, diving catches, food thrown from the balcony. Once in university at SFU we did a show where my buddy Sean Marshall Jr. threw a dino-sour across the stage and I caught it in my mouth while falling backwards, and I got the loudest, most enthusiastic ovation I've ever received on stage. CHEAP THRILLS, BABY.

money - Conor Wylie.jpg

What's one show and/or event in the Vancouver theatre scene you have loved?

Progress Lab's HIVE 2 at Magnetic North was a formative viewing experience for me. 11 companies in one massive warehouse making a variety of micro-pieces you had to rush around to see. So much formal exploration, such irreverent weird experiments. I was enthralled by the buzz in the room, of seeing so many respected companies collaborate rather than compete. I think that's very indie Vancouver and it's the vibe I cherish. The individual works I saw, and especially the form of the whole evening, really shaped my path when I was just starting to discover my aesthetics and practice.

If you could sit down with any theatre artist living or dead and have a long chat, who would you sit down with?

Madelyn Kent. I don't really have big theatre heroes. Madelyn Kent is a humble and cool writer from NYC who has reinvented her practice a few times. I came to her work as a student, when I discovered her plays Enoshima Island and Sachiko in an anthology called New Downtown Now (curated by Young Jean Lee and Mac Wellman). The plays are these bizarre, disjointed slice-of-life stories created through English-language improvisations with her Japanese ESL students. Now she teaches a program called Sense Writing. We met in NYC and I'd love to sit down and chat with her more.

When did you realize you wanted to be an actor?

Many times forgotten and rediscovered. In first-year at SFU: After getting kicked out of Ryerson Theatre School a couple years before, I was low on confidence. I took Vancouver darling Patti Allan's intro acting course at SFU and she was just the mother I needed to get me back on my feet.

If you could only use one prop onstage for the rest of your life, what prop would you choose?

Those glasses with the nose and moustache.

Seeing as how one of Upintheair Theatre's mandate involves supporting the next generation of theatre makers, what advice would you give to an emerging artist living in Canada?

Don't attach your self-worth to how much work you are getting. I was lucky to go through a training program that empowers its students to create their own work. I think there's a lot of competition in theatre schools. You jockey with your classmates to get the leading parts. You create a sense of self-worth based on how often you are chosen for them. You get out of school, you do the audition circuit, you get a few good gigs and you feel like dynamite, but as soon as you miss out on a few, and the momentum shifts, your self-worth plummets because if directors aren't casting you, you think you have no value. You're not good enough. WILL YOU EVER WORK AGAIN? That's a real trap for young artists, and all artists, really. Instead, I say: work on what you want to work on. Keep training. Make friends and stage the things you want to stage. Seek out your own funding, like the BCAC Early Career Development Grant. Create your own systems for evaluating the success of your practice. When you get hired for gigs, GREAT. But when you don't, you'll have a foundation of collaborators and your own creative practice to lean on.

Now finally… what’s Upintheair? Give us the details of your show? Juicy details.

RIGHT NOW: MINE by Theatre Replacement Nov 14 - 17 (hurry on down!)

Where? Shadbolt Centre for the Arts

GET YOUR TICKETS NOW: https://tickets.shadboltcentre.com/TheatreManager/1/tmEvent/tmEvent1090.html

It's a sprawling and cinematic exploration of the mother-son relationship through the lens of myth, pop culture, and personal stories, using the sandbox computer game Minecraft as the container. This show feels seriously fresh! It's for the classic gamers, fans of anime and Adventure Time, classic films like Bambi and the Terminator. It's irreverent and so fun to perform. I get to do so many silly voices. But what I think is surprising to audiences so far is how cinematic it is. Huge landscapes, epic skylines. It's not just a little kiddie game (though we have 4 awesome kids playing with us), it also has a lot of dark beauty and deep questioning.

ON THE HORIZON: GIRL RIDES BIKE A team of 8-artists co-writing an algorithmic (like a beefed up Choose Your Own Adventure) science-fiction motorbike chase through a Utopian, post-scarcity world. Dozens of characters, story-lines, and competing outcomes that are chosen by computer, performers, and audience for a radically different experience each night. ETA 2021-22

K BODY AND MIND Another piece of sci-fi performed by two badass women of colour: a blend of theatrical minimalism and maximalist 90s anime cyberpunk. A cyborg security agent investigates the strange case of The Crying Woman, some sort of glitch occurring in their company's "body-share" program (think Airbnb for bodies). Commissioned by Theatre Replacement as part of their COLLIDER Artist-in-Residence program. ETA 2020-21.

 Production photo from MINE (Theatre Replacement)

Production photo from MINE (Theatre Replacement)

What's Upintheair with puppeteer and actor Stephanie Elgersma?

With one week to go until we open A Brief History of Human Extinction created by Jordan Hall and Mind of a Snail and directed by Tamara McCarthy, we thought it would be fun to offer you a glimpse into the intricate and exciting work of one of our puppeteers Stephanie Elgersma. Stephanie is a puppeteer, puppet maker/director, and actor who works in both Vancouver and London, England. The majority of Stephanie’s puppet work is in the UK: she has studied with a wide variety of England’s puppetry icons; she has been a puppet maker on shows for Disney Paris, The Old Vic, and Birmingham Rep; and she most recently made puppets with Mervyn Millar (of Warhorse fame) for a musical in China. In Vancouver, she has puppeteered for the rEvolver Festival (Kolejka), the Vancouver Children’s Festival, The Only Animal, and Axis Theatre. She has directed/coached puppets on a number of projects and has made puppets for many of the shows that she’s puppeteered. Her training is in acting from Studio 58 and from a myriad of puppet workshops and intensives. www.stephelgersma.com

We asked Stephanie what’s up and many other questions!

 Stephanie Elgersma hard at work.

Stephanie Elgersma hard at work.

Describe yourself in the format of a character synopsis.

Stephanie is a bubbly, tall woman in her 30’s. A walking contradiction: a young face but with an older presence, innocent but sexy, seemingly confident and in control but she talks to herself and her room is always a mess.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Oh heavens. I think having a thriving career in the two things I love (acting and puppets) in both Vancouver and London is just astonishing to me. I have to pinch myself most days.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for a theatre project?

At Studio 58 we created a show called Falling Upstairs, which was a physical theatre show with a number of unconnected scenes. In one I played a shy clown who asks an audience member to be her first kiss (and I got one every night!). And in an another I did a rather raunchy strip tease in mask, which always ended when I tripped over my own pants, and then slinked off stage with my pants stuck on my heels and my wig in my hands. I don’t think I’ve topped that yet.

 Stephanie working on Ommie the Otter puppet in rehearsal

Stephanie working on Ommie the Otter puppet in rehearsal

Do you have any hidden talents?

Hidden talents. Nope. But I’m a bit of a ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ kind of person, so maybe there’s one yet that’s hidden even to me?

What's one show and/or event in the Vancouver theatre scene you have loved?

A really formative show for me was ‘Studies in Motion’ by The Electric Company. It was one of the first shows I had seen that celebrated the body in all its forms and actions. And it really solidified my love of specific movement to music/rhythms, which a lot of my puppetry is based on.

If you could only put one prop for every single show you do from now on, what would it be?

An egg. They can be messy, yummy, gross, smushy, hard-boiled, raw, gooey, cooked, eaten. They can roll, break, smell, crack… All the possibilities!

If you could sit down with any theatre artist living or dead and have a long chat, who would you sit down with?

Even imaginary me feels intimidated by this! But I think at this point in my life, I would want to chat with Emma Rice. She is both an actress and a director, and has been the Artistic Director of both a hugely successful puppet company (Kneehigh) and the Globe. She is such an inspiration to me.

How did you first become interested in puppets?

I wish I could say I started playing with puppets when I was kid and they have always been a part of my life, but I actually discovered puppets quite late… when I was working on Falling Upstairs only 9 years ago. We had one puppetry scene where I operated the head on a human sized puppet, and I discovered that I felt more open and expressive through a puppet than by myself on stage. And I’ve wanted to explore that relationship ever since.

steph-0020 - Stephanie Elgersma.jpg

Seeing as how one of Upintheair Theatre's mandate involves supporting the next generation of theatre makers, what advice would you give to an emerging artist living in Canada?

I have always been a theatre artist that wants to do more than one thing in theatre. As soon as I graduated from Studio, I found work as a stage manager, scenic artist, costume designer, associate producer, front of house manager… all alongside acting and puppeteering. If it was in theatre, I wanted to do it. One of the most important things I learned while trying to figure out who I was with all these hats was this: define what success looks like to you. Not by what is expected of you by your peers or those who hire you or by what you THINK your career SHOULD look like. The most beautiful thing about a theatre career is that no one else can have yours. It’s entirely based on who you are and what you want and what you do with that. And once I learned that, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders! Who am I kidding though; I’m still learning it.

What would you tell someone who has never seen a puppet show before? Or someone who thinks puppets are just for kids?

Puppets are for EVERYONE! And the world of puppetry is so vast and varied! There are so many different types of puppetry and different ways of puppeteering within each of those types. It’s endless and exciting. To reduce puppetry to being ‘just for kids’ is closing yourself off to MAGIC. And who would want to do that!? What I love most about puppets is that they have the ability to communicate to our soul in a way that actors can’t. That is, if the show is done well. That’s pretty important. There’s a lot of bad puppetry out there.

What about being part of 'A Brief History' excites you most?

The most exciting thing for me on this project is making Ommie, the sea otter. I’ve been working with and learning from so many amazing puppet designers overseas, and this is actually my first opportunity to put a lot of that knowledge and curiosity into practice with my own design and build. Sea otters are complex creatures! They have to be able to twist and turn and walk and swim… And be ridiculously adorable while doing it. She’s by far the most complex puppet I’ve designed, and I’m super excited to puppeteer her on stage and introduce her to Vancouver audiences!

Now finally… what’s Upintheair? Give us the details of your show? Juicy details.

A Brief History of Human Extinction! As part of the Cultch Mainstage series. Oct. 10 - 20th

https://thecultch.com/events/a-brief-history-of-human-extinction/

And after this I'm off to Calgary to make puppets for GhostRiver's production of GIANT.

 Ommie the Otter (in progress) crafted by Stephanie Elgersma

Ommie the Otter (in progress) crafted by Stephanie Elgersma

What's Upintheair with actor & director Brian Cochrane?

The Vancouver International Fringe Festival is coming up, which means it's time to highlight another incredible artist and a rEvolver Festival alumni: actor/director Brian Cochrane. Brian Cochrane is an award-winning director and performer who also writes and produces for the stage. His show Vampires in Barcelona (of which he is the writer and performer) was part of our 2017 rEvolver festival and we are proud to recommend this show to Vancouver Fringe Festival go-ers. 

Some of Brian's directing credits include: Director of David Freeman’s Creeps for Realwheels Theatre – the first ever production of that play to employ an integrated cast (winner of the 2017 Jessie Award for Outstanding Production and nominated for Outstanding Direction); Performer/Co-Producer of The Bomb-itty of Errors for Twenty Something Theatre (winner of the 2012 Jessie Award for Outstanding Ensemble Performance) and remounted at the Arts Club and Belfry Theatres, respectively. At the 2014 Jessie Awards he received the Ray Michal Prize for Most Promising New Director.  Brian directors all over Canada and will return to Whitehorse this winter to direct Christopher Durang’s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Ages ago he played in the band Carbon Dating Service, which performed in nine provinces, released three albums, and twice recorded for the CBC. He has an MFA in Directing from UBC and a BFA in Acting from the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon.

We asked Brian What's Upintheair and many other questions. 

 Actor/Director Brian Cochrane

Actor/Director Brian Cochrane

Describe yourself in the format of a character synopsis.

Brian is an introverted extrovert who is idealistic, loyal (to a fault?), and often speaks louder than necessary without seeming to realize it.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

I have managed to assemble an amazing group of friends.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for a theatre project?

Besides a lot of working for little to no money? Hmm... in 2015 Arlen Tom & I drove the set of Stationary: a recession-era musical from Vancouver to Barrie and back in a 24-foot moving van. We played for a week in Barrie and spent two weeks driving. It was a truly excellent experience that I would repeat in a heartbeat.

Brian_In_Action.jpg

Do you have any hidden talents?

I can play the trombone decently (even well, with enough notice)... I also rap sometimes... I make really good hummus.

What's one show and/or event in the Vancouver theatre scene you have loved?

Straight Jacket Winter by Esther Duquette & Gilles Poulin-Denis. I feel like I stole a lot from it for Vampires in Barcelona, and that's a pretty high compliment I'd say.

If you could only use one prop for every single show you do from now on, what would it be?

I guess tearaway pants would be a costume, not a prop, so I'll say a confetti cannon.

If you could sit down with any theatre artist living or dead and have a long chat, who would you sit down with?

Caryl Churchill.

As a director, what's the strangest note you've ever had to give to an actor and/or company?

Directing East of Berlin was the first time I directed onstage sex (there were two scenes!) and I remember saying (in both scenes) "I need to see the moment it goes in."

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Seeing as how one of Upintheair Theatre's mandate involves supporting the next generation of theatre makers, what advice would you give to an emerging artist living in Canada?

Try to live a life where your actions are in line with your values. Try to leave collaborators better than you found them. Take care of your body and mind. And always be honest with yourself and others.

Describe your theatre school experience in 3 key words?

BFA in Acting: Very long days. MFA in Directing: Reading. Doubting. Believing.

What are you both most excited about right now?

I'm super excited to be working on Vampires in Barcelona with Jamie again. It's exactly what I want to be doing artistically and I love our collaborative relationship. Outside of theatre, I'm growing a tomato plant for the first time ever and it looks like I'll be able to eat something off of it... Very excited about that!

Now finally… what’s Upintheair? Give us the details of your show? Juicy details. Date/time/venue/tickets$?

Vampires in Barcelona, which premiered at the 2017 rEvolver Festival, will be at the 2018 Vancouver Fringe! Vampires in Barcelona is a theatrical storytelling show about falling in love, leaving home for the first time, and the magical power of fear. It feels like a mixture between a storytelling night like The Flame or The Moth, stand-up comedy, and a really good travel tale in a pub. Jo Ledingham said that it's "Very funny, offbeat - and I hesitate to call it sweet - but it's sweet".

Vampires in Barcelona

Written & Performed by Brian Cochrane Directed, etc. by Jamie King

Arts Umbrella - 1286 Cartwright Street on Granville Island. A Skinny Walrus Project

 Tickets here: https://tickets.vancouverfringe.com/shows/vampires%20in%20barcelona/events

Sep 7 @ 6:15pm , Sep 8 @ 3:00pm , Sep 8 @ 10:15pm,  Sep 9 @ 6:30pm , Sep 10 @ 8:15pm,              Sep 11 @ 10:00pm,  Sep 13 @ 6:15pm,  Sep 14 @ 8:15pm,  Sep 15 @ 10:00pm

 Find us on page 57 of the Vancouver Fringe Program Guide: http://vancouverfringe.com/pdfs/2018/WebProgramGuide2018.pdf

You can also check out www.skinnywalrusprojects.com

 Vampires in Barcelona Promo Image

Vampires in Barcelona Promo Image

What's Upintheair with actor, director, producer Davey Calderon?

On the closing weekend of the 2018 rEvolver Festival, a beautiful drag queen glided gracefully through the Cultch lobby and all anybody could think was: WHERE CAN I SEE HER SHOW?! Davey Calderon had just finished the Plunge pitch of upcoming Fringe show : Big Queer Filipino Karaoke Night! and we cannot wait to buy our tickets! 

Davey Samuel Calderon is an actor, director, producer and theatre maker based in Vancouver. He has his BFA in Theatre Performance and Communication from Simon Fraser University. Co-founded New(to)Town Collective, an emerging theatre collective focused on theatre training and interdisciplinary works. 

He was the Partnership Coordinator for Alley Theatre’s The Ridiculous Darkness in association with Neworld Theatre. He is currently the Resident Producer for Neworld Theatre. Recent directing credit's include: ROAD (About Love Festival 2017) and How to Self-Suspend (Act II) (PushOff 2018/Tender Container). He's excited to be showing two new works: RUN, a short film written by Davey and being presented at the 2018 Vancouver Queer Film Festival; Big Queer Filipino Karaoke Night! at the 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival (see interview for more details). We asked Davey What's Up?... and many other hilarious questions. 

 BQFKN! photo credit: Rae MacEachern-Eastwood.

BQFKN! photo credit: Rae MacEachern-Eastwood.

Describe yourself in the format of a character synopsis.

Davey Calderon is the epitome of a transcontinental person. Descended from Filipino parents who immigrated to a small town in Newfoundland, but had Davey born in bright and sunny California (Trump eat your heart out, he's the guy Trump constantly talks about manipulating the system #sorrynotsorry). This small town boy with dreams of a bright future, moved to Vancouver from Newfoundland nine years ago. Where he not only found his bright future in theatre and the arts, but also his glittery one (queer and proud!). A Capricorn that's ambitious, stubborn, loyal, and cheerful.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

A tie between co-founding New(to)Town Collective (check us out @ www.newtotowncollective.com #shamelessplug) and surviving falling off a cliff. Both taught me a lot about myself.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for a theatre project?

I massaged a raw chicken on stage during a monologue and then shook keys out of it's,... you know.... Contemporary experimental theatre at it's finest.

Do you have any hidden talents?

I use to speed walk for Track and Field. If anyone wants to learn, hmu.

 Davey in action at Training Jam - photo credit: Sheng Ho

Davey in action at Training Jam - photo credit: Sheng Ho

What's one show and/or event in the Vancouver theatre scene you have loved?

One of the biggest theatre events that had a huge impact on me was HIVE. It was co-produced by NERB (Neworld, Electric Theatre Company, Rumble Theatre, & Boca del Lupo) and others in a building at Great Northern Way. It was an immersive theatrical experience that really spoke to me and represented what Vancouver Theatre was about: collaboration, community, innovation, and humor. It inspired me to do my own site-specific work, and eventually joined the HIVE legacy as an artist when Resounding Scream Theatre revived the event under the name, HIVE: The New Bees.

If you could only put one prop for every single show you do from now on, what would it be?

I know this is such a basic thing to say, but it would be a black IKEA Stefan chair (minimalist directors will understand what I mean).

If you could sit down with any theatre artist living or dead and have a long chat, who would you sit down with?

Ahh, I can only pick one? Okay. I would say Anne Bogart. She's been an inspiration for me as a director and theatre artist. She is such a versatile director and artist.

What's the strangest note you've ever had to give to an actor and/or company?

I pity my actors because my directions are always strange. The quirkiest thing was encouraging my cast for a play I directed (Donut Holes in Orbit by Prince Gomolvilas) to introduce a different type of donut the majority of scenes in the play. Favorite moment was when one of the characters had a glass eye. I had the actor pretend to pop out his glass eye during his monologue and reveal to the audience that the eye had turned into a Timbit. At the end of the monologue I got him to eat his Timbit eye. Every time the show ran, the audience always had a chuckle during that moment.

 Davey Samuel Calderon

Davey Samuel Calderon

Seeing as how one of Upintheair Theatre's mandate involves supporting the next generation of theatre makers, what advice would you give to an emerging artist living in Canada?

Something I wish I did way earlier in my career (I use to be such a shy person) was reaching out to established artists and producers in my community and ask them out for coffee. Not to pitch, no one likes cold pitches, but to get to know our colleagues in our community. The theatre community in Canada is actually very small and friendly. People are happy to support each other and hang out. You'd be surprised what comes happens one coffee date.

Describe your theatre school experience in 3 key words?

Weird. Loving. Independent.

What are you both most excited about right now?

I'm excited about the movement of theatre artists to tackle de-colonization and proper representation within their work. As scary as the world feels right now, I have hope because I see my colleagues not shying away from the issues we all face. I love that. And I'm hoping I'm contributing to this call towards what we all want in this world: humanity, respect, and equity.

Now finally… what’s Upintheair? Give us the details of your show? Juicy details. Date/time/venue/tickets$?

Upintheair creates some fine theatre, and such a supportive company of the Vancouver theatre community. I've been lucky to have been an artist they supported throughout various rEvolver Festivals. Especially after an excerpt of my show was presented at rEvolver Festival's and Resounding Scream Theatre's 2018 PLUNGE series. The play, Big Queer Filipino Karaoke Night!, is a one-man, Clown-Drag-Karaoke Extravaganza, serving up Filipino-Canadian identity shenanigans, queer insights, family epiphanies, and soul gratifying karaoke! Inspired by my visit to my family’s ancestral land, the Philippines, this show is an interactive celebration of the intersections found in oneself. All written and performed by me. Produced by Tender Container with associate producers Neworld Theatre and New(to)Town Collective for the:

2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival's BYOV series (September 6th to 16th, 2018).

Presented at XY YVR, one of Vancouver's LGBTQ+ friendly clubs (1216 Bute St, Vancouver, BC V6E 1Z8). Specific show dates, times, and admission details will be announce soon at www.vancouverfringe.com. See y'all there! #BQFKN!

 Big Queer Filipino Karaoke Night! - photo cred: Rae MacEachern-Eastwood.

Big Queer Filipino Karaoke Night! - photo cred: Rae MacEachern-Eastwood.

What's Upintheair with actor Genevieve Fleming?

Sitting down with Genevieve and chatting about theatre over a martini, I came to a conclusion: Genevieve Fleming has re-defined the term triple-threat. Goodbye to the old actor/singer/dancer model. Genevieve is an actor, director and producer with a commanding presence both on and off the stage. As the Artistic Producer of Hardline theatre, she has garnered Jessie Nominations as both an actor and producer. As an actor, she is the Jessie Award Winner for Best Actor Small Theatre for her role in Upintheair theatre's production of The North Plan. As a director, she has worked with The After Party production, Studio 58 and Slamming Door (to name a few). As a theatre artist, Genevieve has carved out a place for herself and her theatre company and become a Vancouver theatre staple. Her hard work has paid off. This year Hardline theatre's production of Sean Oliver's Redpatch will be seen at both the Arts Club and the Citadel and next week she stars in Itsazoo's production of the award winning In-Yer-Face play WET by David James Brock. A play set during the height of Canada's involvement in the Afghanistan War. Read more about Genevieve below.

 Genevieve Fleming stars in Wet with Itsazoo Productions

Genevieve Fleming stars in Wet with Itsazoo Productions

Describe yourself as if you were the lead character in a plays synopsis.

Genevieve – 30s, smart and confident, probably a hot mess inwardly

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Honestly, making my living by working in the arts. It’s not always a breeze

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done onstage/for a theatre project?

Scarfed down a huge bowl of chocolate pudding while an actor simulated oral sex on me. Yeah, my mom saw that show …..

 Genevieve starred in Upintheair Theatre's production of  The North Plan for which she won a Jessie Award for Best Lead Actor

Genevieve starred in Upintheair Theatre's production of The North Plan for which she won a Jessie Award for Best Lead Actor

You won a Jessie award for best actor Small theatre for your performance in our show 'The North Plan'... tell us how it felt to receive that award? What were you thinking when you won it? Is there anything about your speech you would change?

I was simultaneously trying to avoid a JLaw/Oscars trip up the stairs and a Zoolander moment where I accepted somebody else’s award.  Fortunately I don’t think either of those things happened (?)

If you could meet any theatre artist for an evening of drinks and conversation, who would it be?

I really want to ask Chekhov why he thinks all his plays are comedies…

Seeing as how Upintheair Theatre's mandate involves supporting the next generation of theatre makers, what advice would you give to an emerging artist living in Vancouver?

Make your own work!! Email me! I’ll give you tips! Like, actually – gjfleming009@gmail.com

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We sat down with Genevieve and asked her What's Up?

Describe your theatre school experience in 3 key words?

Formative, bewildering, epic

What are you excited about right now?

All the boss ass ladies in my life who are just taking over the world

 Promo Photo for Itsazoo's production of Wet

Promo Photo for Itsazoo's production of Wet

Now finally… what’s Upintheair? What show are you in next? Give us the details!

I'm performing in Wet with Itsazoo Productions in May!

WHERE:
The Russian Hall (located at 600 Campbell Ave.)
WHEN:
May 8th to 27th, 2018
Tuesdays through Sundays – 8pm
Previews  – May 8th & 9th
Pay What You Can – May 15th
TICKETS:
Tickets on sale now at Theatre Wire
$29 Regular/$25 Students&Seniors

What's Upintheair with director Jamie King?

What's Upintheair with director Jamie King?

In this blog, we talk to Upintheair and/or rEvolver festival alumni and ask What's Up... and other stuff. 

Vancouver director Jamie King is a theatre artist born and raised in Vancouver, BC. I'm pretty sure if you look up the definition of busy and capable, a photo of Jamie King would show up. Jamie has such a passion and drive for everything she works on and she's just getting started. At the 2017 Jessie Richardson Awards, Jamie was awarded the Ray Michal’s Prize for Most Promising New Director and is now one of the resident artists & producers with Electric Company Theatre. She’s a board member of Wet Ink Collective since 2013, and a graduate of UBC. She just directed Fool for Love (ABB Artist Collective), Vampires in Barcelona (Skinny Walrus Productions), and The Wolves (Stone’s Throw Productions) which will receive a remount next season. She has also worked with: Rumble Theatre, Caravan Farm Theatre, Twenty-Something Theatre, Hardline Productions, Arts Club Theatre, Little Mountain Lion Productions and Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre. We asked Jamie King What's Up and lots of funny questions... check it out!

 Jamie King in the Directors Chair

Jamie King in the Directors Chair

Describe yourselves in the format of a character synopsis.

Jamie King: late twenties to early thirties, bleached blonde, workaholic but somehow still lazy? Definitely that kid at the back of a classroom with a retort to everything the teacher says, now that she's old it's not cute anymore.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Making my bed every morning. Seriously, I start out every day having accomplished something. It rocks. In a bigger sense, I now feel like I'm becoming a peer to a lot of people that mentored me through my life and that's the biggest accomplishment of my career.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for a theatre project?

Rehearsed a show with full male nudity in a children's theatre space with lots of kids around.... and potentially see-through curtains... and forgetting to lock the door....

Do you have any hidden talents?

God no - the second I'm even passable at something I'm standing on a rooftop shouting "LOOK AT THIS" and then whistling really loud or whatever.

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Winner of the Ray Michal Award for Emerging Director

What's one show and/or event in the Vancouver theatre scene you have loved?

I'm going to do two because one is a touring show and the other is local: HOT BROWN HONEY - this show blew my tits off and then glued them back on and then blew them off again. Women kicking ass and taking names and showing us how to fiercely love, how to have radical empathy, and decolonize and moisturize. THE ALIENS - I really loved this show. My mom and I went together and both of us just wept at the end. Such beautiful use of silence, so intimate and so so real. Felt like I was waiting for the big break to happen until I realized that that's what the characters were waiting for too... And we don't all get it. Annie Baker is brilliant and this production by Sticks and Stones Theatre was tight AF.

If you could only put one prop for every single show you do from now on, what would it be?

A banana cream pie.

If you could sit down with any theatre artist living or dead and have a long chat, who would you sit down with?

I have a hard time diving right into heavy theoretical conversations with people I don’t know very well, so I don’t think I would resurrect Chekhov.... If you’re gonna twist my arm - I loved Theatre of the Unimpressed and 100% want to hang out with Jordan Tannahill.

What's the strangest note you've ever had to give to an actor and/or company?

Doing Bull at Rumble's Tremors Fest in 2016, my SM Jessica Keenan recorded me saying quite a few bizarre notes, including: "Your vagina is a bear trap, dude, I don't wanna put my dick in there!!!" "Can you finger him? Not just one, use a couple" "Take your shit and wipe it on the wall" I swear they made sense and were a lot less sexual in context.......

Seeing as how one of Upintheair Theatre's mandate involves supporting the next generation of theatre makers, what advice would you give to an emerging artist living in Canada?

Work your ass off. Find a flexible & fun Joe job that you can work while you're pursuing your art for awhile. You're going to have at least 2 years in total limbo - it's going to suck. If you can see it through to the other side I swear it's worth it. No one goes to a movie and walks out saying "I'm never going to another movie again!!" Only theatre effects us like that. Learn to use it.

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In what capacity have you worked with Upintheair and/or rEvolver fest?

I stage managed 2 for Tea (James and Jamesy) at the rEvolver festival a couple years back. This last rEvolver I directed Vampires in Barcelona  written and performed by the one and only Brian Cochrane - we’ll be at the Fringe this September if you missed it then!

Describe your theatre school experience in 3 key words?

Expensive, Theoretical, Canadian

What are you both most excited about right now?

All the leadership changes happening through Canadian Theatre right now. (More women! More POC! More queerness!) Let's represent our population! Also - it's, like, spring now, right? I'm excited for slightly less cold rain and blackberries!

Now finally… what’s Upintheair? Give us the details of your show? Juicy details. Date/time/venue/tickets$?

Upcoming is Love/Sick by John Cariani! I adore producer Jalen Saip and can't wait to take this show to the finish line! We have such a great company and all female designers! ONLY 5 shows: April 18 - 20th at 7:30pm and April 21st at 2pm & 7:30pm. A Stone's Throw Production, at Pacific Theatre . Tickets are ONLY $15 (BUY TICKETS NOW by CLICKING LINK)

https://tickets.pacifictheatre.org/TheatreManager/1/tmEvent/tmEvent400.html

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