Tag Archive | Theatre

Friend a Day – John Newstrom

Photo by Garner Moffat

Photo by Garner Moffat

I met John through work when he took over for my old boss.  He’s since left the company but we’ve continued to work together as collaborators on Fringe shows.

When he came to work in the office, we hit it off right away.  I think we have fairly similar personalities.  Our senses of humor were perfectly matched and we both liked most of the same things.  He made work a lot of fun and while it made sense for him to move on when he did, I still miss seeing him every day.

John is the person most responsible for pushing me into writing more.  He suggested “Highlander: The Musical” as a show title and I said I would write the music for him if it got into the fringe.  It was a crazy thing to say since I’d never written a musical before.  That has led to a lot of writing projects that I never would have considered.

When John gets excited about something, you can’t help but be excited as well. He gets a wild look of determination in his eyes and it’s hard to say anything but yes, let’s give it a try.

I do possess a certain level of awe for people like John, who actually enjoy directing.  I’m happy to write things and have someone else figure out how to make those things look on stage.  John is one of those people and I’m extraordinarily lucky to have found someone who works well with me and has an understanding of what I’m trying to do with my writing.

His marketing skills are something I wish I possessed.  When there needs to be artwork produced for a show, he puts it together in what seems like seconds and it is always considerably better than anything I would have created.

Random chance is a funny thing.  John and I started working together without any knowledge of each other’s theatre background.  We hit it off and the result has been an artistic partnership far more fruitful than what either of us expected.

I’m very pleased random chance brought the two of us together.  I look forward to many more collaborations.

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2012 Fringe Wrap up

Well, I counted them up and I saw 28 shows at the Fringe this year (I watched one of them twice).  The vast majority of them were very good shows.  Some of them weren’t.

As a producer, I find myself much more forgiving of a failed work because let’s be fair – none of us are trying to produce bad work.  Before we put it in front of an audience, we believe that what we have is something that will speak to them, make them laugh, make them think and, yes, make them like us.

What we discover by putting a show in front of an audience is whether or not we actually succeeded in reaching the audience in the way we envisioned.  There is a sense of relief when things work out as we planned and, if we’re smart, a desire to learn what we will do differently if the show fails.

So I have a hard time talking about “bad” shows because I’ve done “bad” shows and it sucks.  Plenty of talented people have produced failures. The really talented ones figure out how to turn those failures into future success.

All that is a lead up to my personal Fringe awards.  I won’t dwell too much on the failures because I believe it is best to celebrate those who succeed and encourage those who fail.

So here we go:

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