Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Coffee Talk with Brian Cochrane

Welcome back to our Coffee Talk series! The Bomb-itty of Errors is entering into its second week of rehearsal so I thought I'd kick things off by chatting with Co-Founder Brain Cochrane (and Actor 3) of Temporary Thing and talk about what it's like from both a producing and acting point of view. Most recently Brian graduated from UBC with a MFA in directing but Brian is actually no stranger to starting a theatre company having done so in Saskatoon where he earned a BFA in Acting from the University of Saskatchewan.

 (Brian [centre] in a promo shot for Wild Honey which was his directing thesis at UBC)

So, Brian, what made you want to produce The Bomb-itty of Errors?

Jameson came to me saying we should do a show together. I think we’d been talking about the importance of always having a pet project or something. We eventually agreed on this one. I was originally going to direct this, but fond memories (Niko and I were in the Canadian Premiere of this show in Saskatoon in 2005) led to me deciding I wanted to perform. Catriona’s name immediately sprang to mind as the perfect director. She’s much better suited to directing this piece than I am.

And, what's it like trying to balance producing and acting?

It’s a juggling act. We’re SO LUCKY to have Sabrina and Twenty Something presenting us. Sabrina has kept us on track every step of the way. [Please note: I did not pay him to say this]. This isn’t my first rodeo, I’ve produced five shows with my own company, Skinny Walrus (an obscure footnote of a footnote on Saskatoon theatre history), so I’ve done this dance before. I guess I just don’t learn from my mistakes. It’s great to have people to share the workload.

Speaking of mistakes... What’s one thing you’ve learned about producing that you wish you would have known before you started?

The first time I produced was when I was twenty and I was doing everything by myself. I wrote and performed a solo show called I’m Number Four in the 2004 Saskatoon Fringe Festival. It was about two teenagers who are abducted by aliens and the fallout thereof. A few years later a really crappy-looking movie called I Am Number Four about teenage aliens came out. I wish I’d learned to protect my intellectual property. I’m constantly learning that the most important thing is to just deal with things as they arise. Don’t put them off until later. Stay on top of things and you’ll save time in the long run.

Why should people come to see Bomb-itty?

In no particular order… 
1. Vanessa Imeson’s costume designs are incredible: wigs, dresses, mu-mus – it’s going to look amazing. 
2. Anami Vice’s original music will have every head nodding and every toe tapping. 
3. Catriona Leger’s direction is hilarious and assured. 
4. Jon Tsang has reimagined Studio 16 in a way that you’ve never seen it before. 
5. It features four young actors playing multiple roles and rocking some incredible drag. 
6. The bar will be in the theatre so you can keep your party going (booze, pop & chips, whatever) all night long. 
7. It’s one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays completely flipped on its head! Lots of the original text is still there, but it’s sprinkled with flavour crystals.

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

Do what you want to do, not what you think people want to see. You’ll be happier and so will your audience.

 (Brian [2nd from left] rapping in Parked as part of Bridge Mix 2011)

Agreed. Check out the latest Vlog from the Bomb-itty boys here and stayed tuned for more coffee chats with Brian's partner in crime, Jameson Parker, and the director, Catriona Leger.

~Sabrina Evertt
Artistic Producer

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