A passionate and super-talented director, stage manager, and mom, JaMeeka talks about her connection to IMAGO and what's next for her!
Talking to Josephine Decker is so fun. She's imaginative, articulate, goofy, and kind - all traits that draw me to working with her! I sat down with her for this interview yesterday. Her thoughtful observations and clear ideas blew my mind. I can't wait to start working with her in the studio tomorrow!
And stay tuned for interviews with Technical Director JaMeeka Holloway-Burrell and Costume Designer Judith Förster later this week!
Asking Judith Förster to be my costume designer was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I say that because it would have been so easy for me to have not made that decision, and stuck to the old habit of trying to outfit myself. I've done it this way for years: pulling out dresses and old leotards I never wear; or shopping at thrift stores and asking friends if they have something I can borrow. These methods may serve the end goal of having something to wear, but it's rare that said something is perfect. It's usually just convenient and inexpensive.
Judith and I met at pOnderosa last summer, and I was immediately drawn to her artistic sensibility, unapologetic style, and bold personality. I knew I wanted to work with her someday, but I didn't know any when or where or how.
This summer, as I began work on IMAGO, I realized that my old costuming habits would need to change if I was going to fulfill the vision I have for the piece. I knew that alone, I wouldn't give my costume the attention it needed; and I knew, too, how powerful a good costume can be (and how devastating a bad costume can be). Excited by the very idea of working with Judith, I asked her to be my costume designer. She said yes.
We met several times over the course of two months in Berlin. In the earlier meetings, Judith would ask me details about the piece: what are my inspirations and motivations? what is the color palette? what mood am I trying to achieve? She listened as I voiced my answers, and always reciprocated with her own understanding and take on the piece. Not only did these conversations help me see the piece from a different perspective, they gave me complete trust in Judith's ability to see the vision and make it better through costuming. As time passed and she brought me costumes to try out, my faith in her ability continued to grow and my gratitude for her sheer presence continued to deepen.
Because I'm not a costume designer, and I could never have made the costumes look this good on my own. What began as an urge to work with someone I liked and respected became a lesson in trusting the process of letting go of control. By designating the job of costume designer to Judith, who's really really good at it, the costumes and the piece are better. I am grateful for this lesson and I am REALLY grateful to Judith for the costume!
In the next few days, an interview with Judith herself will be on this web page. In addition to Judith, we will also post interviews featuring JaMeeka Holloway-Burrell, the Technical Director, and Josephine Decker, the Dramaturg. Stay tuned!
Yesterday I flew from Berlin to LA. It was a long day (23 hours of awakeness - during the entire flight I cursed the airline for not turning out the lights in the plane, as we followed the sun westward...and then blessed them last night as my head hit the pillow, that I was tired enough to fall asleep almost immediately because I rested not at all on the plane). The travel, and accompanying recalibration to the new time, weather, and place, has thrown off my intentions to release an interview a day this week! But I wanted to say hi anyway. Here's a photo I took from the plane.
I like the camera reflection on the window.
Stay tuned for tomorrow, when we will resume our Getting to know the team week! And if you haven't yet, be sure to check out our Kickstarter page and donate to support these fine folks!
Nicolle Wasserman talks about Arts Management, Instagram Filters, and Chili Peppers!
Nicolle Wasserman, Production Manager for IMAGO, and I have been friends for over 17 years! That's more than half my life. And I don't know what I would do without her. Brilliant, supportive, and with a great eye for detail, Nicolle has made this production possible from the start!
Stay tuned for more interviews with the creative and production team this week! We'll publish one a day, every day, through Friday.
If there’s anything I want to be doing in this life, it’s playing, with imagination
an interview with Liam (Patience) O’Neil
I interviewed Liam (Patience) O’Neill, Technical Director for IMAGO, on the phone last week. Patience, a good friend and long-time collaborator of mine, will work with me in the weeks leading up to the show on elements like building the set, hanging the lights, and perfecting the technical components of the piece. In this interview, we ended up talking about some of my favorite subjects: art, identity, and future dreams. Read on to hear their thoughts about these topics and more!
Nicola Bullock (NB): You recently began going by the name “Patience” sometimes. Why?
Liam Patience O’Neill (P): I’ve been desiring a non-gendered name, and Patience is non-gendered. It’s also a virtue, and it is a value of mine that I find within a lot of the things that I like about myself.
On making art
NB: When it comes to art, what kind of projects do you like to do?
P: Anything that I think might be rather beautiful, weird/different than what’s expected, made by someone who I’m already a fan of, or important to do on a social level, I will say yes to.
NB: What’s the best part of making art?
P: In some branches of the arts the word “play” is used to describe what the artist is doing, like a musician plays music or people in theater perform “plays.” There’s a playfulness that is the main focus of these types of art. I try to incorporate that mentality in all the art I do and hope to invite any audience to play along with me. It requires a fair amount of imagination, and if there’s anything I want to be doing in this life, it’s playing, with imagination.
NB: What is your connection with IMAGO?
P: I am very interested in the subject matter of the piece; I have a lot of connection with it. We’re all kind of creatures trying to figure out how to be embodied in this world. Being gender queer, there’s always a big question in my mind as far as: who am I, what is this body, and what is the relationship between these things? And what is society asking of me, in this body, or as someone with a mind, personality, and how are they separate?
On future dreams
NB: What else are you passionate about in your life right now?
P: I’m excited about film school (Patience will move to Denver to attend Colorado Film School next year). It will be a whole new exciting adventure in my life. I’ve never really moved away from home as an adult, so moving to a completely new city and doing a completely new thing is really exciting! Furthermore, I’ll be diving into learning how to utilize yet another form of art!