Leading the Pack



VILLAGE VARIETY PACK MAIN X390You and your producing partner both have full time gigs. Where do you find the time?
am so blessed in this city. I work full-time in entertainment news,
work consistently as a lifestyles writer/reporter, produce this show
monthly and also run my own PR side business. Every single thing I do
brings me joy. 10 years ago, I couldn't get a paycheck in this town. And
now... I get four! Just amazing!

I know you also write and produce a number of the skits. How do you know when one’s successful?

success on stage is hard, especially when it comes to comedy. Sometimes
the audience loves it... yet are politely silent. And other times, the
audience is horrified and yet they pretend to enjoy it. I truly believe
that it's the product, not the process. If my actors and producers are
cracking up non-stop through rehearsal, even after the 40th time, then I
know we've got something funny on our hands. If they're taking it too
seriously, then I know we've got a problem... Once in a sketch, an actor
once asked me what his motivation was for accepting a job at Hot Dog on a
Stick. I knew we had a problem!

With a rotating lineup of performers, what does it take for someone to get up on that stage?

first, Dennis and I pulled from our friends in order to cast the show
-- the people we've long worked with or performers that we've always
thought were insanely talented...and some that we just plain had crushes
on. Slowly, as word got out, the casting spread beyond our "inner
circle" to a friends of friends thing...and now we're actually getting
pitched from people -- something like 10 submissions a month. We just
added a new segment where we feature a "community newbie", someone
that's written in to us and pitched themselves. Last month we had this
guy named Jonny. He'd never sang before a theater audience before and it
was his dream. He did a diva-wailing version of "I Am Changing" from Dreamgirls
and he was... amazing! I love seeing new talent like that flourish on
our stage — for the first time, as well as the million-th!

Looking forward, what happens when you outgrow the Village. Do you have an alternate name already in place?

I'll sell us to the highest bidder! Staples? Kodak? Verizon? Any takers? We're not picky!

Tags: Theater