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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