Supporting Your Community

Bryce Gardner and I struck up a fun conversation last week on Twitter.  We were discussing the advantages of being positive and helping promote and encourage those in your artistic community.  After talking to him for a little bit I noticed he is also here in Illinois and  discovered he is a local artist.  He is about 20 minutes from here.  (That is anywhere from 10-20 miles for those of you unfamilar with time distance.  It’s a suburb thing.)  Even though I am generally a recluse, I got pretty excited and asked if he would be up to talk about himself on my blog.

 

E: Bryce, thanks so much for taking time out to answer a few questions. 

B: You are very welcome.  Thank you for this opportunity to speak with you and your followers .

 

 E: Do you have a preferred name or title while you are working? (Lord, King, Director?)

B: (Laughs) My co-creator Andrea Fleming and I have the role of directors for this series; however we also act in it and are very informal on the set. 

We welcome actors and crew to call us by our first names.  I think it helps chemistry for this type of series. 

 

 

E: What exactly do you create?

B: Web series and soon, films as well; however, at the moment we are focusing on a show called Community Theatre: The Web Series based on the trials and errors of attempting to create a small community theatre with no budget, and no experience.  Even through all the chaos, somehow the cast has to work together to make sure the play goes up on stage- on time.

 

 

E: What roles do you fill on that project?

B: Andrea and I are directing and acting in this series. 

I play Jack, Jenny’s  wacky friend who always has crazy ideas.  Andrea plays Jenny,  Jack’s  down to Earth friend who often gets irritated by his irrational behavior.

 

 

E: In six or fewer sentences describe your routine?

B: Our routine?  Creatively argue about ideas, write, figure out as much pre-production as possible, gather team and crew, shoot, edit, do post production and repeat it all again.

 

 

E: Where do you do your filming?  Is it hard to find good settings?

B: We work with a very small budget , so this forces us to think creatively and outside the box.  As an example, before writing, we had various ideas about locations for Community Theatre to take place. When we were offered access to a church, we developed the concept to work there.

In short, we look for what we have access to and become flexible to what we find.

 

 

E: What was the last thing you read?  Was it for fun or work?

B: I’m a research nut.  If I have an idea for filming or need information,  I’ll research until my eyes bleed.  I’m OCD that way.

I do enjoy the books I read with my kids, though.  We’ve read every Horrible Harry book multiple times, and we really enjoyed the Bailey City Monsters.

 

 

E: Do you prefer to read fiction or nonfiction for fun?

B: Fiction definitely.  I love alien worlds or wacky situational comedies. 

 

 

E: Tea or coffee? (or other artsy drink)

B: A nice strong tea.

 

 

E: What do you like to drink while working on the series?

B: Dr. Pepper or Coke.  The sugar and caffeine help keep me going.

 

E: Do you have a favorite piece of clothing that helps you get in the zone?

B: Not in this production.  Sometimes a character wears glasses or an item that really helps an actor focus, however Jack doesn’t have any of these.

 

 

E: What was the scariest part of starting this project?  How did you move past it?

B: Series one isn’t done yet. (laughs)

So far it has been actors dropping out because of schedule conflicts, and needing to recast actors quickly.  Thankfully, the actors that dropped were not on film yet, so we didn’t need to reshoot their scenes.  The actors that stepped in last minute have been fantastic.  This delayed our series some; however we plan to start releasing the episodes by Fall.

 

 

E: You fill multiple roles on the series.  Which is your favorite?

B: Truthfully, I enjoy them all.  Directing and work behind the scenes requires collaborating to create art.  Acting is also collaboration, but you have much more creative freedom to express yourself through character. 

 

E: Feel free to share something (or multiple things). 

B: I’ll share something personal to me.  Recently some of my teeth had broken out and I haven’t had the money to replace them. I had to think long and hard about whether I wanted to be seen like this acting in a web series.

I finally came to the conclusion that the opportunity was here, and not shooting because of my smile would be an excuse that would hold me back.

My opinion?  Should an opportunity arise, don’t use excuses.  Do  it.

 

 

E: Any contact info you want me to share for the series? 

B: I love to connect with people through twitter:

@GrowingFilmProd

Also feel free to follow our page at:

https://www.facebook.com/CommunityTheatreTheWebSeries

 

Thank you for the interview.  It was fun.  I wish you well for you and your blog.

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