The incredible Julie Tepperman and Jacoba Knaapen hard at work or hardly work’n?
The 5 minute interview: Julie Tepperman, actor, playwright, educator and co-founding artistic director of Convergence Theatre tells all about Producing:
Predominantly, are you brought into projects or do you find projects? I never actually set out to be a “producer”. The impetus for my company Convergence Theatre was actually born out of necessity: to create work opportunities for myself as an actor, to begin playwriting (and Aaron Willis – my partner – directing), to collaborate with like-minded peers from many disciplines/backgrounds, and to create on-the-job mentorship opportunities for myself by engaging senior artists. I don’t have any desire to produce other people’s plays, though I am always happy to share ‘trade secrets’, and pass along advice that we’ve received / things we’ve learned along the way, to other artists looking to create and produce their own work.
Do you think that the jobs producers do are often times overlooked by the public? Absolutely, yes. Especially in the indie community where they tend to only be known within that specific community, but not to the general theatre-going public. I feel strongly that producers’ names should be listed in show programs and on all marketing materials, just as the names of the production company, playwright, director, actors and stage manager(s) are listed.
Most rewarding part of producing is…offering people work, getting cheques in the mail, counting money, selling tickets, welcoming everyone on the first day of rehearsal, writing thank you cards/buying presents, watching the audience experience the show.
What gets you fired up as a producer (take this anyway you want, i.e. positive or negative)? CAEA…CAEA…CAEA…
If you weren’t answering my blog questions right now, you’d be… Writing a play, memorizing a monologue, going to the gym, fundraising, cooking a healthy meal, seeing friends and family, fundraising, watching a movie, fundraising, applying for teacher’s college, plucking my eyebrows, fundraising…duh.
A phrase I use far too often is… ”in making a donation to _______________, you are not only supporting us, but the livelihood of ___ Toronto theatre artists, and independent theatre in this city.” Try hand-writing that in 50+ personalized thank you cards!
The most surprising thing to happen to me was…having a co-producer for a project back out 6 weeks before the start of rehearsals, and fundraising (in partnership with Theatre Passe Muraille) $40,000 in 4 weeks! People are endlessly generous.
I’m good at…making lists, crossing things off lists, putting more things on lists, dreaming of lists…
I’m very bad at…all things that involve a computer beyond e-mail and word…yes I still use word.
You know me as a theatre artist but in another life I’d have been…if I knew I’d seriously consider doing it.
In a nutshell my philosophy is…don’t be an asshole, try not to surround yourself with assholes, remember that most assholeness comes from a place of fear, listen more/talk less, as a general rule, and especially when being yelled at by an asshole, treat others (especially assholes) how you would want to be treated, try your best not to gossip (especially to assholes about other assholes), if all else fails, give the asshole a hug and tell them you love them.
*Ok, ok, maybe it was more like a 10 minute interview… regardless, if you’ve ever wanted to know what it takes to be a producer DON’T MISS Julie and Jacoba’s incredible Masterclass: Go Ahead! Produce it Yourself (October 5-6). Click here for more details and to register (psst. It’s there, scroll down the website page)!