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!
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.
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.
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)