Monday, March 19, 2012

Coffee Talk II with Jameson Parker

I first met Jameson back in 2010 when he showed up so early for his Prodigals audition that I hadn't even finish setting up yet. I think that right there should tell you something about Mr. Parker. There are not many people I've met in this industry with his amount of initiative, persistence and ambition so it doesn't surprise me one little bit that not even a year out of graduating with his BFA from UBC he has taken on the role of Producer and co-founded a company.

 (Jameson as Greg in our production of Prodigals last year)

Where did the idea come from to produce The Bomb-itty of Errors?  

About a year and a half ago Brian and I were trying to find a project to collaborate on together. We were both finishing up our respective degrees at UBC (his an MFA in directing and mine a BFA in Acting) and we wanted to have something to work on in case no one hired us. Brian brought this piece up because he had done it about 6 or 7 years earlier (with Niko Koupantsis) in Saskatchewan. What really drew me to The Bomb-itty was the fusion of hip-hop and Shakespeare because at the time I had just finished directing my 4th video for Anami Vice and hip-hop was my life outside of the theatre but my role would only ever be behind the camera in the hip-hop world and this play gave me the chance to get up on stage and be the rapper instead of the director. 

What’s it like trying to balance producing and acting?

The balancing hasn’t really been the tough bit about the whole process it actually just gives me another way to keep my head in the production outside of the rehearsal hall. The thing that has been weird is leaving that sense of ownership you feel as a producer at the door and giving complete control to the director. Luckily I don’t worry about the money too much (that’s why we have Sabrina!) so I don’t get stressed when Catriona starts telling us she wants to have a live lion and fire breathers on stilts. I just say yes.

Ha! Well at least we know Jameson can balance tubing and drinking a beer at the same time. That is a set of skills right there. And, moving on, what’s one thing you’ve learned about producing that you wish you would have known before you started?  

I wish I would have known how much space costs in Vancouver. IT’S A LOT!

So, why should people come to see Bomb-itty?  

The number one reason is that this is going to be an experience, not just a night at the theatre. It’s part play, part rap concert and part night out at the bar. We are transforming Studio 16 into its own boutique hip-hop nightclub, where you can get up during the show and grab a beer if you are feeling thirsty and you won’t disrupt the other audience members. But at the same time if you just want to sit and watch the play you can do that too as we have theatre seating as well, I think we have put something cool together there. 

Other than that the costumes are hilarious and awesome, the set is fantastic and the beats are unreal. We just had a rehearsal today where Anami Vice came and and tuned up the music and our rapping and it sounds AWESOME! He is damn good at what he does.

 (Jameson and Anami)

If you had one piece of advice for other young theatre artists who want to produce their own work what would you tell them?

Pick something you really love and give yourself a lot of time. You are going to be spending about a year with this project so if you don’t really love it you are going to get bored very fast. Also don’t try and put something up fast because everything takes a lot longer than you anticipate, give yourself time so you can plan things out properly and if something blows up in your face you have time to fix it. 

Good advice. Up next we're going to be chatting with the director, Catriona Leger, and I'm intrigued to hear from her what its been like working with the Bomb-itty boys up until this point. Something tells me never a dull moment.

~Sabrina Evertt
Artistic Producer

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