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0:00:02 Chuck Clay: Hello, and welcome to Curtain Call Podcast episode 10. I am your host Chuck Clay and on this particular episode of Curtain Call Podcast, we are pleased to present a two for one episode. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, Curtain Call Podcast episode 10 is a Twofer. 10 is a Twofer. 10 is a Twofer. 10 is a Twofer. 10 is a Twofer. 10 is a Twofer. Say that 20 times fast. 10 is a Twofer. 20 times fast. 10 is a Twofer, 20 times fast. 10 is a Twofer, 20 times… I digress.
0:00:38 CC: On this particular Twofer, we are joined by Catherine Gray and Will Bigham, a wife and husband production team who recently launched their own production company in Los Angeles, Shamrock Motion Pictures. Catherine is a producer, writer, and actor who has worked with the Actors Co-op Theatre Company in Los Angeles amongst others. Will is a filmmaker and director whose latest full length feature film, “The A-List”, is currently available on iTunes and other VOD platforms. Please, if you’re interested, take a look at our website. There will be links to that as well as to Shamrock Motion Pictures so you can check out what Will and Cat are doing.
0:01:28 CC: Also, a big special thanks to friend of the podcast Felicity Scott Fulford for the recommendation. Felicity responded to a posting on our Facebook page and said, “You know, Catherine Gray is a theatre producer in LA. You might wanna look her up. And I did, and Cat said yes, and so Carmen and I took a lovely trip on a Saturday afternoon to visit Will and Cat in their lovely home in the Los Angeles area. And we sat down, had a chat, Will was hanging around. I said, “Hey, Will, why don’t you get in on this business too?”, and he was nice enough to oblige. And so the four of us just sat around Will and Cat’s dining room table and we had a fantastic hour long chat that you are about to hear.
0:02:26 CC: So, before we go further, a quick word, which is to say that if you know somebody that you would like to hear on this podcast that live relatively close to the Los Angeles area, please give us a heads up. Visit us at curtaincallpodcast.com, or on our Facebook page, on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Google Plus. There are a myriad ways that you can contact us. Please send us a message. Give us a heads up. “Hey, this person would be a great person to join you on the podcast”, etcetera, etcetera. Because quite frankly, the podcast called Chuck Talks To People That He Knows is going to run out of steam pretty soon. That being said, I have known Will and Cat for quite a long time. We went to college together. As a matter of fact, all four theatre professionals that you’re going to hear on this podcast graduated from Texas Tech University with one degree or other. So, there is that.
0:03:43 CC: And a big shout out, word of thanks to the Texas Tech University Department of Theatre and Dance. They are a fantastic institution of higher learning that I am grateful for, that I know that Will and Cat are grateful for, my wife, Carmen, is grateful for it, and they continue to do great things for the community and for their students. So, keep up the good work, Texas Tech. One last thing, folks, which is that, now that we are on episode 10, we are rapidly nearing the end of one full year of podcasting. So, hooray! On the other side of that, it’s about the time that I’m gonna have to start asking for some money. I know what you’re saying, “But, Chuck, this is a free podcast. We don’t pay for it.” I know.
0:04:44 CC: That is sort of the crux of the problem. You see, I don’t get paid for this. As a matter of fact, I have to pay for it out of my own pocket most of the time. If you remember, I did do a crowd funding campaign at the beginning to get this thing launched. I’m gonna be doing another crowd funding campaign coming up in the next couple of months to fund the second year of podcasting. So, with that being said, let me start the soft sell. Ladies and gentlemen, if you like what you hear on the Curtain Call Podcast, if you think this is a thing that should be around where you can sit and hear interesting conversations with working theatre professionals, please, think very seriously about giving whatever you can to the campaign once it’s launched.
0:05:42 CC: Trust me, I will make it known on the podcast, through our various social media outlet, and of course through the website as well, once that campaign launches. But folks, I can’t do it without your help. So please, dig deep, give what you can. We’re gonna have some fun perks, but of course it’s not really about the perks, it’s about the podcast. So please, in the next couple of months when you see the many, many Facebook postings, and you hear me begging ad nauseam, do the right thing, give me a few shekels, that’s all I’m asking for. Thanks guys, enjoy episode 10 of the Curtain Call Podcast, it’s a Twofer! Featuring Catherine Gray and Will Bigham.
0:07:20 CC: Well, hello there, podcast listener. Didn’t see you sitting there, saddled up, listening to a podcast the way you are. Well, welcome! This here is the Curtain Call Podcast, it’s theatrical. My name is Chuck Clay, I am the host. I’m an actor, writer, director and a full-time stage enthusiast, which is a fancy way of saying that a likeable theatre, and theatre people, which is why for one hour every month I sit down with a different theatre professional to find out more about what they do and why they do it. So, stick around, why don’t you? This is Curtain Call Podcast, coming at you.
0:08:19 Catherine Gray: You have… You’ve been recording this whole time, you had…
0:08:20 CC: Yeah.
0:08:21 CG: Oh my God!
0:08:21 Will Bigham: Wonderful.
0:08:22 CG: He does, as he starts recording he doesn’t tell you.
0:08:26 WB: And then you’d say something…
0:08:27 CC: And then you’re cut.
0:08:29 WB: So are you editing this later or is it gonna…
0:08:33 CC: It will get edited somewhat.
0:08:35 WB: So if I say something stupid you can edit that?
0:08:38 CC: You can always be like, “You know what, that thing that I said, let’s cut it out”.
0:08:42 CG: We did actually have one Miles, who is a colleague of mine, and Chuck had a conversation with him and he mentioned, he was talking about the Theatre 99 business and…
0:08:53 WB: Yeah, yeah.
0:08:54 CG: A specific… You got to not say that theatre name.
0:08:56 WB: What theatre was it?
0:08:57 CG: Well, I didn’t even know, because I wasn’t in the room when…
0:09:01 CC: He was talking about a particular theatre in Pasadena.
0:09:05 WB: Pasadena Playhouse, maybe?
0:09:07 CC: That is of a certain… It has a large budget, a large operating budget.
0:09:11 WB: Okay. Alright, alright. Okay.
0:09:13 CC: And he was basically saying that that seemed unfair that, that they would intentionally choose to go under this 99-seat rule.
0:09:21 WB: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
0:09:22 CG: Just so that they didn’t have to pay.
0:09:23 WB: Was he pro the whole 99, getting rid of the 99-seat thing or against?
0:09:29 CC: It was… I don’t know that he had decided his stands, that when I had spoken to him, he was definitely on the favor of actors getting paid.
0:09:37 WB: You know what? Me too actually, yeah. But my company is, they are on the losing end, I guess, so to speak. So, it was a dilemma.
0:09:46 CC: So, let me actually go ahead and let’s go ahead and jump into this thing from here, because I think this is a good jumping off point.
0:09:52 WB: Sure.
0:09:54 CC: Since we have found ourselves in this water already of this 99-seat business, because it is a complicated issue, the fact that, on one hand there is a very positive thing, which is that we do want actors to get paid and paid their worth. On the other hand, it makes it very hard for some small companies to operate. So, tell me a little bit, where does your company kind of fall on that? Speaking unofficially for the company.
0:10:26 WB: Right. Unofficially. So, I’m with 99-seat theatre company in Hollywood called Actors Co-op. And so, I produce for them and I’ve also been a manager for them as well, in the office, and run the box office for many years. And the big worry is that we would not survive, we were already struggling, and we are very well-known theatre company and well respected theatre company. But the question was, we were gonna have to pay actors more, and it would severely deplete our resources, and we wouldn’t be able to make it.
0:11:04 CC: Right.
0:11:06 WB: I felt in my heart that that would never happen, because we have such amazing supporters and such a great base of subscribers. I think they would have rallied and stepped up no matter what, I don’t think we would close. I guess it’s still up in the air, because the 99-seat thing did pass, and so the question is, we’re still trying to figure out what it means for us. Because they did, for the membership-based companies, there were a few things, some concessions they made. So we’re still trying to figure that out.
0:11:41 CC: Sort of have a lot of options for companies to find what works for them, and I thought that was… Well, I know that people were still unhappy that there was an iron-fist coming down and saying, “You must implement this minimum wage”. I did like the fact that they did seem to offer a lot of options for a lot of different size companies that, you know, so…
0:12:04 WB: Yeah, they really do. I mean, on the other hand, I really am in favor though of actors getting paid.
0:12:10 CC: Right.
0:12:10 WB: Because I have done so much free theatre out here, or basically free doesn’t even cover my gas, because I love it, because I love to do theatre and I try to do at least one thing a year, and I wanna do something that I’m excited about and that works for my schedule, so often it’s free. But I always feel like we should be paying actors more, actually our company maybe should be standing up for the actors and saying, “You know what? We think it’s the right thing to do, to pay actors what they’re worth, even if it means we’re gonna close our doors”. Sometimes I… I don’t think we would ever close our doors, but sometimes I feel if you could take a stance like that, that it can be for your benefit. So, I don’t know.
0:12:53 CC: What size, if you don’t mind my asking, what size theatre is the Actors Co-op?
0:12:58 WB: Okay. So we have two spaces, two 99-seat theatres, and our company size is… Well, it fluctuates, but there’s probably about 50 members who are active, and then as far as members on leave, that are still considered members, but they just aren’t active members. Oh gosh, I don’t even know, 100s, you know, it’s been around since 1987, I think.
0:13:27 CC: Wow!
0:13:28 WB: Mm-hmm. So…
0:13:28 CG: That’s pretty good in this neighborhood.
0:13:30 WB: Yeah.
0:13:30 CG: And by neighborhood, I mean Southern California.
0:13:32 WB: Totally. Mm-hmm.
0:13:34 CC: For sure. So, how did you find yourself working with this group?
0:13:39 WB: So, Actors Co-op is… I’d heard about it, it’s a group of the… The thing that makes it different from other theatres in the Hollywood and this area is that all the actors are Christians.
0:13:51 CC: Wow!
0:13:51 WB: Now that doesn’t mean that we do Christians shows like ever, we do very secular things, but that’s the one thing that binds us together. It’ll be like, if there’s some Jewish membership companies where everybody is Jewish, or other sort of companies like that. And I’d heard about it and that stigma of Christian actors I thought I’m sure it is a horrible theatre company.
0:14:15 WB: I just knew it was bad.
0:14:17 CC: There you go pre-judging.
0:14:18 WB: I was pre-judging, and so finally after we’ve been here for five years I… I don’t know… I’d heard some good things about it, I hadn’t even seen a show, and I decided, “Well, okay. Maybe I will audition”, and I did and got in, which was amazing, ’cause many people don’t get in on the first time when they audition, and… Anyway. And so, it’s just been such a blessing to be able to go to our meetings, and it’s people who are like minded, as you are, they’re striving in the business, and they’ve such a high standard for their shows, which I really appreciate.
0:14:52 WB: So I started, I was an actor there, and then became… I became the office manager after that, and worked in the box office, and really loved that. I mean, it felt like, I didn’t make a ton of money but it felt like I was making a difference in our theatre company, and in the theatre world in general, I felt like it was just a really neat opportunity. And then after that, I started producing for them. So, I produced this year, I produced “My Children! My Africa!”, which just closed a couple of weeks ago.
0:15:23 CC: That’s fantastic. So, when working with that, I mean, you’re producing, do you take projects to the company, or do they sort of decide a season, and you then take something on?
0:15:36 WB: That’s a good question. So, the way we work is we have a production company, and so, those people are the producers. So, if you get hired as a producer, then you are on the production company and you choose the season for the following year. So you do, you bring in shows that you like, you champion shows that you like, sometimes I guess it’s something that you wanna be in, but sometimes it’s not. Often it’s just this is a story we need to tell. And I didn’t bring “My Children! My Africa!”, but my friend did, who is also on the production committee, but when I read it, I was like… I champion that show so much because it really has so much to say. It’s so timely right now, and such a beautiful piece of theatre, I don’t know if you know it very well.
0:16:16 CC: I am not familiar with it.
0:16:18 WB: It’s by Athol Fugard.
0:16:20 CC: I thought it was a Fugard.
0:16:21 WB: Mm-hmm.
0:16:21 CC: Okay.
0:16:21 WB: And it’s about a teacher in South Africa during Apartheid, and he has a black student, and then there’s a white female student, and a black male student, and they come together to work on this inter-school competition, and they become friends, and she kind of had… You know, gets over some racism that she might have had, and he finds that this white girl, that they actually really feel like they’re connecting. And they form this wonderful friendship, but then of course Apartheid happens, and he has to make a choice. He wants…
0:16:56 WB: He’s identifying with the struggle, and so it kind of breaks their friendship up. And it brings up so many great questions. It brings up questions of violence versus non-violence. When is non-violence enough? It brings up that question. It brings up questions of, “Why can’t we be friends if we’re of different races? Who’s telling you that we can’t be friends?” And so, he has to struggle with that. Being a friend with her looks, to the struggle, it looks like it’s hurting the struggle. So, it’s… Wonderful, wonderful, themes in it, it’s really great, so.
0:17:34 CC: That’s fantastic. So, when you’re producing for the theatre, what exactly does that entail? What do you do, as producer for the theatre?
0:17:45 WB: It’s not as creative as some producers would be, it’s pretty much, you get your budget and you hire all of your designers, and actors. The director is usually already hired, but the production committee has a hand in who’s hired. And then, you create the space. What’s awesome is when you’re producing for theatre companies you don’t have to go out and rent your space, its already there, you’ve already got your lights, you’ve got so much at your fingertips which is awesome.
0:18:14 CC: That is great.
0:18:15 WB: And so… And so, basically then you make sure things are running well, you make sure everybody is communicating, that kind of thing.
0:18:23 CC: Uh-huh. So, obviously you and your husband, Will, met in school? Did you guys start dating in college?
0:18:31 WB: Yeah.
0:18:31 CC: Yeah?
0:18:32 Speaker 4: Yeah.
0:18:33 WB: We did. You wanna talk about that?
0:18:37 S4: Man, that was so many years ago I don’t remember that.
0:18:38 WB: I know. That was like years ago.
0:18:39 CC: Where did you guys… Where did you meet?
0:18:41 S4: We met at Texas Tech.
0:18:42 CC: Was it in a class or was it in rehearsal?
0:18:44 S4: Actually, no. My brother who was a year above me…
0:18:50 WB: We have two different stories on how we met, by the way, go ahead.
0:18:52 S4: My brother who is a year above me had a crush on her, and they were in, I guess Annie, together or something like that, they were… A production of Annie, and he invited her over to watch Star Trek or something, and so I met her watching Star Trek. And I wasn’t a huge Star Trek fan, but she was, my brother was, so I thought she was pretty cute, but my brother was… Had a crush on her, but then my brother transferred to University of Texas and suddenly there’s this cute girl that still wants to come over and watch Star Trek, and the rest is history, I guess.
0:19:24 WB: That’s right.
0:19:26 CC: Star Trek gets ’em every time.
0:19:26 S4: That’s it.
0:19:27 CG: That’s right. That’s right. I love Star Trek.
0:19:29 S4: Chick magnet.
0:19:30 WB: Well, see, I actually met him earlier than that because he…
0:19:33 CC: So now the truth…
0:19:34 WB: The truth is that he was dating a girl when he came to Texas Tech, and she lived on my hall in the dorm and she would have guys over to her room like every day, spending the night when they weren’t supposed to spend the night, and I remember they were breaking up at the time, and I remember meeting Will and he looked miserable, just miserable, poor guy, so…
0:20:00 S4: And she fixed me.
0:20:01 WB: And I fixed him.
0:20:02 S4: So I appreciate that.
0:20:03 CC: Yay!
0:20:05 CC: Yay for being fixed.
0:20:06 WB: Yeah.
0:20:08 S4: Not in the dog sense…
0:20:10 CC: Oh, right. No…
0:20:11 WB: Yeah. No, no. Apparently not, we have two children.
0:20:13 CC: We’re fine on that, huh?
0:20:14 WB: Yeah, yeah.
0:20:15 CC: On that count. You also have an interesting story about your proposal.
0:20:22 WB: Yes. That was interesting.
0:20:23 CC: Yeah. Tell me that story.
0:20:24 WB: Well, we’ve been dating seriously, but we had never mentioned the word marriage, ever, never even said it, never even, never even said the word, and Will just surprised me and on stage, at the end of ‘Guys and Dolls’, dressed in a wedding dress ’cause I’m Adelaide at the end. Its like [singing] And then Will goes, “Stop the show!”, and I’m like, “What is going on?”. And he runs down and says, “Adelaide, Nathan doesn’t want to marry you,” ’cause he was playing Benny Southstreet, “I do and I figured your wearing a dress, a wedding dress already, Catherine will you marry me?” And I was like, “What?” Anyway, of course I said, “Yes,” and then later thought about it, “Do I really wanna say yes?”, and I was like, “There’s no reason to not say yes.” So, we’ve been married for… I don’t know.
0:21:21 S4: Almost 18 years.
0:21:22 WB: Yeah.
0:21:22 CC: Wow!
0:21:23 CG: Did anybody know you were gonna do that?
0:21:24 S4: Yeah. I had to get permission from the Department of Theatre and they loved it ’cause it was promotion for the show, so they brought in…
0:21:33 CC: Free advertising.
0:21:34 WB: Seriously, right.
0:21:36 S4: Reporters, and it was even on Good Morning America the next day.
0:21:38 CG: Wow! I got a very tougher time with you.
0:21:42 WB: Really?
0:21:45 CG: Why? I’m Fred’s baby. Fred…
0:21:47 WB: Uh-huh. Sure.
0:21:48 CG: I’m Fred’s baby, Fred was very anti him.
0:21:53 WB: Oh. Really?
0:21:54 CC: Fred wasn’t anti me.
0:21:55 CG: Oh yes, he was, darling.
0:21:57 CC: Fred loves me alright. Fred [0:21:59] ____ loves me.
0:22:01 CG: He did. Only it took us, I think being married about 10 years for him to be okay with you.
0:22:04 CC: He also just started to recognize how much of a screw up I was.
0:22:05 WB: That is so funny. That is so funny.
0:22:10 CG: I’m still Fred’s baby, but yeah, so Fred… Well, Fred has this general rule, he doesn’t want any of his kids getting married.
0:22:19 WB: Uh-huh. Really?
0:22:20 CG: Because it… He just… He knows its a tough business, and he knows.
0:22:24 WB: It really is.
0:22:24 CG: He knows if you get married then that’s one shackle right there. If you start having kids then that’s…
0:22:31 CG: And it just makes it more difficult, and he just knows how tough the business is, and he knows you have to be willing to move around and pick up your life and go where the opportunity and where the work is, and so he was just concerned that I might slow down, and I told him I’m progressing, I’m not gonna slow down.
0:22:47 WB: Yeah.
0:22:48 CG: And I drag him with me.
0:22:49 WB: Yeah. And it works out great. It worked out great.
0:22:51 CG: And it worked out fine.
0:22:52 WB: Yeah.
0:22:53 CC: Speaking, jumping up from that, of once you’re in for a penny you’re in for a pound.
0:23:00 CC: And you do have to go where there’s work, where there’s opportunities. How did that sort of direct your life? Like, in going to Virginia and then coming out here. How did those sort of decisions get made?
0:23:16 S4: Well, I mean, we had an easy decision to make right after we graduated from Tech because we had a job available in Virginia at a theatre, the Barter Theatre, Resident Company, not Resident Company at the time, it was gonna be the Intern Company, the Player Company, as it was called back then. First Light. That’s what it was called.
0:23:35 WB: I think it was First Light. That’s what…
0:23:36 S4: And so, yeah, we’re gonna go, and I remember the first week we were there, we both got our paycheck of 80 bucks and we were like, “This is it, we’ve made it.”
0:23:44 WB: Yeah. Seriously. We walked to the car in complete silence, and got in the car, it was like, “I can’t believe we got paid. They’re gonna change their mind.”
0:23:55 WB: So funny.
0:23:56 S4: It was awesome. But, I mean, in Virginia too, those jobs, went a long way. The rent in Virginia is pretty cheap. And later, I guess a year later we joined the Resident Company as equity actors and the $80 went up quite significantly. And I don’t know… We were comfortable there for about five years.
0:24:15 WB: It’s a really wonderful company there.
0:24:18 CC: That’s what I hear.
0:24:19 WB: It’s so amazing. Well, Wendy Mitchell’s there.
0:24:22 CC: Oh really?
0:24:22 WB: Yeah. She actually came out to do a show, ’cause I was doing a show and they had somebody drop out and they needed a dancer to come in, and I called her. And she said, “Oh, I just don’t know if I can come,” and she called me back five minutes later and she’s like, “I don’t know why I’m saying no. Of course I’m gonna come.” So she came and met a dear friend of mine and Will’s, Nick, and they fell in love and got married, and now have two children, and both live in Virginia, and work at the theatre, yeah.
0:24:50 CC: Wow!
0:24:50 WB: It’s awesome.
0:24:52 CC: Fantastic.
0:24:52 WB: Yeah.
0:24:52 S4: And actually, John Hardy is kind of the guy who brought us out there. He was the head of the…
0:24:59 WB: Player Company.
0:25:00 S4: Yeah, the First Light Company owner, and he’s a Texas Tech grad as well.
0:25:03 CC: Oh, okay.
0:25:04 S4: We didn’t know him at Tech. I guess he was there a couple of years before we got there.
0:25:09 WB: And he got his PhD there.
0:25:10 S4: He got his PhD there. So, it’s kind of a, “Hey, Tech-Virginia highway”, I guess.
0:25:16 WB: Yeah, I guess, yeah.
0:25:17 S4: Not mass droves of people, but there is definitely a connection.
0:25:20 WB: It’s just, it’s a small world.
0:25:21 S4: Yeah.
0:25:22 WB: Such a small world. So we were in Virginia for five years and then Will got this bright idea that he wanted to go to film school. So, I guess he followed me to Virginia and then I followed him to film school, and then when you graduate from film school then this is where you come, is Los Angeles.
0:25:42 CG: It is where you come.
0:25:44 CC: It is part of the plan, yeah.
0:25:44 CG: You’ve got LA and you’ve got Austin.
0:25:47 WB: Yeah, right.
0:25:48 CC: Where did you go to film school?
0:25:49 S4: I went to Florida State, in Tallahassee.
0:25:51 CC: Tallahassee?
0:25:52 S4: That was awesome. It was great. The quality of that school is as good, in my opinion, as USC, UCLA, NYU. But there is some sort of “in-state tuition” type of arrangement that they have with five or six different states in the East Coast. And since we were living in Virginia, I got in-state tuition in Florida for my subject.
0:26:14 CG: Nice.
0:26:14 S4: So I’m in debt, but not as in debt as I would be.
0:26:17 WB: That’s right.
0:26:18 CC: Fantastic. So how long were you guys in Florida?
0:26:21 S4: Two years. It was a two year…
0:26:22 CC: Two year program?
0:26:23 S4: Very quick program.
0:26:24 CC: Fantastic.
0:26:25 S4: Yeah. Non-stop, no sleep, pretty much 365, you’re just going, going, going, learning as much as possible. And I went in as green as you can get. I had a video camera and I shot some little stupid movies here and there. But when I applied… Basically, I was put on the waiting list. I didn’t get accepted right off the bat because I was a little riskier, because I didn’t have any knowledge, any background in film whatsoever. But I came in through the theatre side. I had done acting and I had done some stage combat direction and stuff like that. And I had done a little bit of directing on stage, but they saw something and, “Okay, well this… He’s gonna bring the theatre side into the film school and we’ll see what that does.” And it was a welcome element. It really helped me. As far as being a film director, everything I know has a foundation from theatre.
0:27:17 CC: That’s great.
0:27:18 WB: Yeah.
0:27:19 CC: Speaking of that, of taking what you know this foundation of theatre and then transferring it to a different medium of film, how do you make that transition? What skills are you actually using from your theatre training?
0:27:35 S4: Well, I mean, when you go to the theatre, you sit and you look straight ahead and there’s a proscenium and there’s stuff going on. Same thing with film, you just move that proscenium wherever you want it to be. And you have to look at it through that viewpoint. And also, the proscenium is this close to you. It could be inches away from your face, so it restricts you from going too big, too. You know what I mean? It’s more intimate, but all of the foundations that you get from acting training and stuff like that, of how to make a moment real or how to react to someone talking to you. And how to dig into a character and make choices and all of that stuff, it’s the exact same language.
0:28:14 CC: Right.
0:28:15 S4: But that proscenium arch is constantly moving.
0:28:20 CC: Right. It’s an adjustable…
0:28:21 S4: Yeah.
0:28:21 CC: An adjustable proscenium arch.
0:28:22 S4: Exactly.
0:28:23 CC: That’s fantastic. You guys work together a lot, as writer, director, producer, etcetera, performer. Do you find that you work together easily? Do you have any sort of conflict when you work together?
0:28:43 WB: Oh, we work very well together. We prefer that, by far.
0:28:46 CC: Really?
0:28:47 WB: Yeah. When we were at the Barter, we were both actors and working together and on tour. I mean, our first year of marriage we were on tour in a van with four other people and us everyday. And it was awesome. We work really well. We found out then that we work really well together. Then when we moved out here, there was a good section of time where we didn’t work together, because I hadn’t yet moved into the film world at all. And Will was directing films and things, and so, only really recently have we started a production company, and we now work together everyday, all the time.
0:29:25 WB: And I feel like we work best that way. We have skills that… We each bring our certain skill sets to the table and we can work together that way. We’ve written several scripts together, we have different clients that we work with and produce film projects for them now, and so we’re constantly talking about projects. We’re constantly talking about script ideas. We’re constantly talking about what location, what cast, what are we doing here. So I think it works really great.
0:29:57 CC: Mm-hmm. Yeah. Within your production company, do you have like, sort of a break down of responsibilities or you just kind of merge across the…
0:30:06 S4: We know what needs to get done and if I’m focusing on something, she’s focusing on the other. You know what I mean? But for the most part, she handles the producing. She makes sure the location is taken care of, that the cast knows what’s going on, that the call sheets are there, and all that kind of stuff. The food, whatever needs to happen. She takes care of that and I take care of the shot design, kind of the creative look of it and then we collaborate on what the creative look is gonna be and then on the day of, she takes care of everything behind the scenes and I take care of everything behind the camera, for the most part.
0:30:43 WB: Yes. And then, there’s times when we say, “Hey, I need your opinion, what do you think?”, or “Hey Cat, come look at the shot”, whatever, we kind of work together in that way too. And then Will does the editing and if we do an interview or something often, I’ll transcribe it and or we’ll talk about the story beforehand, but yeah, I don’t know, it’s worked really well for us.
0:31:06 S4: And then Cat is always the fixer too.
0:31:09 WB: I’m the fixer?
0:31:10 S4: Yeah, the fixer, as in like the final product is never a final product until she steps in and makes it better.
0:31:18 WB: So you need to just change this here or…
0:31:20 CC: Right.
0:31:21 S4: And then, the thing with scripts too. The way we write scripts together is…
0:31:24 CC: Sort of like the final eye that come in like, “Hmm, no, not quite… ”
0:31:27 WB: Sometimes, that doesn’t quite say what we wanna say yet, let’s try this…
0:31:32 CC: Or let’s give a little tweak here or…
0:31:33 S4: Exactly right. And that’s the way we write scripts as well, and sometimes I was the fixer on the scripts. She would take a first draft and then hand it to me and I’d fix it or…
0:31:43 WB: Or vice-versa.
0:31:43 S4: Or vice-versa. So, I think… And I think she has strengths where I have weaknesses and vice versa on that as well and so, makes a pretty good team, I think.
0:31:52 WB: Yeah, for sure.
0:31:53 CC: Excellent. Yeah. See, this way I feel Carmen and I, we’ve got different skill sets that…
0:32:00 WB: Compliment?
0:32:01 CC: Yes. Compliment. She laughs…
0:32:04 CC: At the mention of skill sets, and me on the weak…
0:32:10 CG: I didn’t say a word.
0:32:13 S4: But yeah. I’m much more the artistic, free thinking, touchy feely, actor crap, kind of guy and…
0:32:21 CG: That’s my treatment phrase by the way…
0:32:25 CC: And Carmen is the no nonsense business gonna come in and kick things until they fall into line.
0:32:33 CG: Well, I mean, the bottomline is that if it not for those, the organizational people, the creative people can’t be free to be creative.
0:32:40 CC: Oh, absolutely.
0:32:41 WB: That’s so true.
0:32:42 CG: That’s just the bottomline which is why… And I’m completely OCD and my mother jokes that I left the room much or more organized than I found it.
0:32:55 WB: Oh, that’s awesome. We need to have one of those feather.
0:32:57 CG: Because I’ve just always been that way. I’ve always… Fun for me when I was little was organizing the house.
0:33:05 WB: That is awesome.
0:33:06 CG: The bathroom doors, the kitchen doors, the jump doors, the doors by the closets.
0:33:11 WB: Wow! Uh-huh. I do sort of find that fun too sometimes.
0:33:13 CG: That was me. That was fun. So, I think that’s why I finally became a production manager. I’ve always been a non-performance anything.
0:33:26 CC: Do you find as being married creatives that… And that’s the term that I like.
0:33:32 WB: I like that.
0:33:33 CC: Creatives. That you support each other in ways that somebody that is not part of the business would be able to? Is that too hard of a question?
0:33:44 WB: No.
0:33:44 CG: No. I mean, sometimes I look at couples who, the wife is an actor and the husband is an accountant, and I’m jealous because they have some stability where… We don’t have stability.
0:33:59 WB: You mean financially?
0:33:59 S4: Financially, if nothing. Yeah, no. We are stable in other areas.
0:34:13 S4: No. But they have their financial stability, they have job security, whereas people, the creatives, do not necessarily have that job security. But we both know, I guess what the light at the end of the tunnel is for each other and we understand the struggles and why it’s worth struggling to get there, you know what I mean. And we speak, we have the same vocabulary too. So, that makes talking easier.
0:34:40 WB: Mm-hmm. I think so too, yeah. And we have the added dynamic too of children, so that’s always interesting as well.
0:34:47 S4: And they are in the business too.
0:34:49 WB: They are actually, yeah. And not on purpose really, like in theory, I don’t want my children to be actors or anything like that. I want them to have solid jobs, but yet that’s what we do. So, we are always doing family projects together like commercials, we’re like, “Hey, I’m gonna shoot a commercial for the Girl Scout Cookies.” Okay. So, the kids, we get the kids together and Lily is learning to use the camera. She was using the slider and they were both the actors and everything. Lily made a movie recently ’cause she wanted to make one, so we helped her make a movie and she had her friends in it and…
0:35:25 CC: That’s fantastic.
0:35:26 WB: So, you know.
0:35:27 S4: Yeah. My goal is by the time Lily is 12, she’s gonna get all our stuff.
0:35:31 WB: Yeah. She’s gonna be the editor.
0:35:32 CC: Yeah. Have your built-in editor in house.
0:35:34 S4: That’ll be great. I’ll be on the couch, thanks honey.
0:35:37 CG: Anyway to save money.
0:35:39 WB: Right, exactly, totally.
0:35:40 CG: I think that’s absolutely best though because being someone who’s now been faculty or staff or some combination of both at three different colleges now, I see the lack of support in so many of my students from their families.
0:35:55 WB: Really?
0:35:56 CG: Because their families want them to do something that is stable, that they know they’re gonna get the same paycheck from it. It doesn’t matter how much you tell them until you’re blue in the face, that like, “Look, you can make a living doing this.” I know tons of people, they do it every single day.
0:36:12 CC: It’s not easy.
0:36:12 CG: No, it’s not easy. And, I never tell my students it’s easy. In fact, I’m constantly telling them, “Guys, you have to want this with everything in you or… ”
0:36:20 WB: There can’t be anything else that you could possibly love doing.
0:36:24 CG: Yeah, because if there isn’t something else that you possibly love doing, then go do it.
0:36:28 WB: Mm-hmm, right.
0:36:30 CG: But, I do constantly see, especially when we lived in Florida, in Panama City, I had tons of students that their parents did not want them majoring in theatre. Tons. And, I have a lot of students here, shockingly.
0:36:43 WB: That is interesting.
0:36:44 CG: And, in University of California that they don’t want their… I have so many talented students that I wanna do things with, that their parents are making them be, pull up for science majors or math majors, just something that “makes sense”…
0:37:00 CC: What was it like when you guys were going into school? How were your families about the whole acting thing?
0:37:07 WB: My mom was pretty laid back about it, and very, very supportive surprisingly…
0:37:14 CC: Where are you from again? Sorry.
0:37:15 WB: Well, so, I grew up in New Mexico. But, she lives in Virginia now, and moved back to be with her family. My dad passed away when I was young, when I was 13. So, it was just her and I. And, she moved back to be with her family when I went to school. She was extremely supportive. And, Will’s family, too. Will’s brother is even in the business.
0:37:35 S4: Yeah. For the most part, they were. I mean, they highly encouraged that I get a double major. And, I did. I got a double major in Theatre and in Mass Communications. In retrospect, I kind of wished that I would have gotten my double major in Theatre and in Business, because this is the theatre business. It is the film business. And, there was a lot of stuff that… A huge learning curve that I had to find my way through in order to make a living in this. You know what I mean? Make a decent living in this.
0:38:09 CC: Yeah. Let’s talk about that a little bit, because that is something that I’m extremely interested in. And, it’s sort of the wide gap of knowledge that is missing sometimes in our education, especially in the creative arts. What was sort of the biggest surprise, eye-opening surprise going out into the real world from getting a degree? And you’re like, “Oh, wait. I’m not prepared for this at all.”
0:38:41 S4: I think for our first five years after getting our theatre degrees and all, not too many surprises. Life surprises. We had to learn how to budget [chuckle] our personal finances and we had to live together. I had to learn how to iron, that kind of stuff.
0:38:55 S?: Being an adult.
0:38:55 WB: We had a pretty stable job, which is unheard of…
0:38:58 S4: It is unheard of.
0:38:59 WB: In acting.
0:39:00 S4: But, we were consistently working actors for five years. Most people…
0:39:06 WB: In theatre.
0:39:06 S4: In theatre. Most people, just getting their degree, walking out, going to auditions, and stuff like that. They’re gonna have to figure out a way to pay the rent while they’re trying to start their career. And, I mean, I know a lot of very talented actors and designers that are no longer doing theatre because of those first five years.
0:39:25 CC: Absolutely.
0:39:26 S4: Because they had to figure out something, and they got stuck in that something. I imagine they enjoy that something, because they’re still doing it. But their dream of, “Let’s go do theatre,” it’s no longer there. So, I think that… And I think that the classes were there. I just don’t think I paid attention to them, because they’re not as fun as the ones where you roll around in the floor, and explore your emotions, and stuff. But, the classes of how to manage that career, how to… I don’t know. Like, how to find that audition or find that theatre company or how to market yourself, I think there could be some more emphasis on that.
0:40:06 CG: Well, and actually, I think Texas Tech does a better job of that than a lot of the other places that I’ve been. Because, Texas Tech actually does have a degree in theatre management, which… When I got there, it was new when I got there.
0:40:19 WB: Well, maybe it was there, and we didn’t know. But still…
0:40:21 CC: I know that was…
0:40:22 CG: It’s a master’s program.
0:40:23 CC: It was a new program under Doc Donahue.
0:40:29 WB: Oh, okay good. Oh, right.
0:40:31 S4: I think it was just starting when we were just…
0:40:32 WB: It was just starting when we left.
0:40:33 CG: Yeah, yeah. But, you can actually get your master’s in Theatre Management.
0:40:35 CC: Deborah Martin, I think, was one of the first…
0:40:37 S4: Yeah, yeah.
0:40:38 CG: But, even for actors because I thought you took it, and maybe you didn’t take it. But, there was a class on them.
0:40:47 CC: It was an auditioning class…
0:40:50 CG: Yeah. There was something else. It was actually about building your resume, and the way to make yourself look a certain way, and have a certain presence, and what kinds of things to look for when you get out there. I don’t know.
0:41:02 WB: Yeah. I took a class from Dr. Donahue.
0:41:03 CG: I was… The design and that thing, so I was gonna take in that class. But I just took whatever Fred told me to take. [chuckle] That was my life at Texas Tech…
0:41:12 CC: There you go.
0:41:12 WB: “Fred, what do I do?”. “Take this, this, this.”
0:41:15 CG: Yeah. Because, even if you went in with ideas of what you wanted to take, Fred would say, “No, you’re taking this.”
0:41:21 S4: He’s a smart guy. And now, he’s on a boat, right?
0:41:23 CG: And now he’s sleeping on a boat in the Caribbean.
0:41:26 WB: I know, right? What more could you ask for? Really, yeah.
0:41:29 CG: The man has done something right. He keeps telling me, I need to visit him on the boat.
0:41:32 WB: You should.
0:41:33 CG: I know. Oh my God, I know.
0:41:34 WB: Can I go? [laughter]
0:41:36 CG: I will tell him. I’ll say, “Can you swing through like Panama Canal and come back up to California?”
0:41:39 WB: Yeah, right, totally.
0:41:41 CG: Would slow the boat.
0:41:43 WB: Yeah, with people.
0:41:44 CG: With former Texas Tech people, just loaded the boat.
0:41:45 WB: Party! Yeah.
0:41:48 S4: And, on the film side of things, it was the same kind of scenario. I love the education that I got at Florida State. And, they do prepare you in some ways of like, “This is what’s gonna happen when you go out there.” But I honestly think they need to have a class in how to sell a car because the way this business works, if you can sell a car, you can sell a script. I can’t sell a car. That’s not part of my, I guess… That’s not who I am, I’m not a salesman necessarily. Since then, I learned to become a salesman but I really think probably right after film school, if I would’ve gone and worked at a used car lot, I’d be a lot more successful than I am right now.
0:42:31 CG: I think that’s really interesting and I don’t… Why are we not teaching these classes?
0:42:36 CC: I don’t know. But hey, we are in a unique position to be stalwarts of the future.
0:42:43 CG: I got a lot of that stuff but I don’t…
0:42:45 CC: Is that thinking too high-handedly or…
0:42:47 CG: I don’t know that I really got it in class or if it was just constantly designed… My design professor saying, “You have to sell yourself because you’re not gonna sell somebody on a pretty picture that you’ve spent how many hours rendering, or a pretty model. You have to sell you.”
0:43:05 CC: Yeah. There is a lot, I think, of that being able to present yourself in a certain way that should be taught, from a business standpoint of theatre film, whether you’re acting, directing, design, whatever, so that you can stand in front of a group of people and discuss your ideas clearly and…
0:43:31 WB: Sure. Well, one of the things that we learned a lot, I felt I grew so much as a producer. We have a screenplay that we are seeking financing for right now, and we created a business plan, and that was awesome. I’m super proud of it and then, when we went to start pitching it, we practice that pitch and understood all the numbers and I got to see it from a whole another side, and I learned so much from that. We haven’t had a no yet, so I feel like it’s a really good project, good solo project, and we’ve successfully been able to champion it, so to speak. We haven’t had a yes yet either, but we also haven’t had a no.
0:44:17 S4: Haven’t had a no. That’s…
0:44:19 WB: So I feel like in this business, that’s positive.
0:44:21 S4: I also think, like in the university setting, it would be great to have a little bit more but a lot of this is school of hard knocks too.
0:44:28 WB: True.
0:44:30 S4: I do think that… I did a reality show a few years back and the first challenge we had on that reality show, it was for directors where you competed, whatever.
0:44:41 CG: And, we watched it.
0:44:41 CC: Yeah, we watched it. Yeah, we were fans.
0:44:44 S4: The first shipping, you remember it? The first challenge was pitching, you had to pitch, you had three minutes to pitch a feature idea to some judges. That was the second time in my life that I pitched. In my life. The first time was for thesis at the Florida State. I pitched for my thesis filming and then I pitched in front of America. It was like, “Good Lord!”
0:45:05 WB: I think your acting background served you well though.
0:45:07 S4: It did. I did it as well as I could, and it worked. I think that anybody who is going into the film industry pitched everyday. Pitch to some, pitch to your neighbour, pitch to your dog, it does not matter.
0:45:21 WB: Practice, practice.
0:45:22 S4: Create a story, even if it’s a bad story, pitch it and see if you can sell that bad story to your dog. Just practice. And then on the theatre side, or actor’s side, I guess, audition everyday. It doesn’t matter if you’re auditioning the back of a cereal box, audition it. Just practice that monologue and try to find a way emotionally to get into those cornflakes or whatever you’re doing. But that is the sales, you’re the car that you’re trying to sell, learn how to sell yourself. So, that’s my advice.
0:45:54 WB: I think there’s also something to be said too, for creating… Just… You know how, people will say, “Nobody else is gonna do it for you.” I guess, that’s not really what I’m looking for but just make something, be creative. Because a lot of the time, people come out here and they’re waiting. They’re waiting for that thing, they’re waiting for that audition or that production job, or whatever it is. And what’s awesome about our theatre company too, Actors Co-op is that, if you have a play that you wanna produce, we’ve got two or three slots in December time where you can come in, its a much smaller budget but you can produce a play, and you can be creative.
0:46:39 WB: They’ve done new works before, they’ve done Shakespeare, they’ve done a little more racy stuff, we do a little more racy stuff than we do on our main stage. And so, it’s just a a really… Just don’t wait for somebody else sometimes. Like for us, we are like, “Let’s make a commercial today.” “Okay.” I mean, nobody’s ever gonna see that, it’s not gonna make us any money but at the same time, we’re being creative and we’re learning, and our kids are learning and we’re… Which is awesome.
0:47:03 S4: Yeah.
0:47:04 CC: Absolutely. Yeah, I know. I mean, I think that that’s one of the most important things is to get out of the idea of somebody else is going to make it and then they’re going to come and hire me for it. Instead of doing what you’re saying and saying, “Make something. Just go make something right now.” It doesn’t have to be the best thing that’s ever been made, but you’re making something, and that’s… You’re using your skills, you’re using your creativity, and you’re not sitting and waiting for magic to happen.
0:47:37 WB: Yeah.
0:47:38 CG: And that’s the thing that I always try to tell my kids is that, “Unless you’ve already made it, nobody head-hunts in this business. Nobody calls you. Nobody looks at a stack of resumes and you’re just… Your head shot happens to be the one that you dropped off with an agent and they see it and like, “Oh, my God!”
0:47:54 WB: Yeah, right.
0:47:55 CG: That does not happen.
0:47:56 CC: Finally!
0:47:57 WB: Finally! Yes, exactly.
0:48:00 CG: This is the five foot eight brunette that I’ve been looking for.
0:48:01 WB: Right. Yeah, totally. Yeah.
0:48:04 CG: It just doesn’t happen. You have… And I try to tell people that constantly, too. If you’re an actor then audition constantly, because there’s no way to get better at it. I think one of the things that we don’t do for actors that I did get more of because I was design, production, stage management, I was all that kind of, we were taught a lot about how you go in and you present yourself and how you go in and how you talk about an idea, and what you should say, and what you shouldn’t say, and like certain buzz words and things that can help and that can…
0:48:37 WB: That’d be helpful to have.
0:48:38 CG: I got taught that a lot actually, but I think actors don’t because they do get… It’s so much emphasis on the performance, that 60 seconds of monologue, that you forget about that 20 seconds of slating beforehand. Where you’re suppose to just be you. And they tell you, “Hey, you’re you for 10 seconds.” When you say your name and your number and then… But then how do you be you if nobody’s really taught you that?
0:49:04 WB: Yeah.
0:49:05 CC: Yeah. I actually always found that…
0:49:06 CG: Does that make sense?
0:49:07 CC: Yeah, I’ve actually found that the slate was actually a much more important part of the audition process than the monologue itself.
0:49:13 WB: Yeah.
0:49:14 CC: That that first five seconds of introducing yourself, says more to the casting people than what you’re going to do in the next 30 seconds.
0:49:25 WB: Mm-hmm. True.
0:49:26 CC: There’s so much, I mean I think there’s so much communicated in just how you present yourself as you. Not as a character, but as you.
0:49:34 S4: When we first came out here, I was doing commercial acting and stuff like that too, and I [chuckle] I would book the ones where I was completely hungover or exhausted. And the ones where I was desperate for the job, never.
0:49:48 CC: Never.
0:49:48 S4: Never would I go. But I’d walk in and I’d be like, “I just wanna go home.” “Okay. Hey, my name is Will. How’s it going? Let’s do this thing.” We’d do it and I’d book that one. And so, alright. So maybe…
0:49:57 WB: I don’t know. What does that say?
0:49:57 S4: So maybe just be natural and just get it done.
0:50:00 CC: Yeah. It does seem to be that like it’s always when you don’t… When you’ve given up and you don’t care about the job, that’s when you get the job.
0:50:08 S4: Or when you buy tickets for Disneyland and…
0:50:10 WB: That happens every time!
0:50:11 S4: It’s like, “Alright. You booked it!” “What? No!”
0:50:14 CC: “We’re finally going!”
0:50:14 S4: “I just spent $5,000!”
0:50:15 WB: That has happened like three times. That’s ridiculous. What is that?
0:50:19 S4: I don’t know, but if we’re desperate for jobs, I’m going to Disneyland.
0:50:22 WB: We go to Disneyland.
0:50:22 CG: I was about to say, if you’re desperate for jobs, buy some tickets for Disneyland.
0:50:24 WB: Yeah. Totally. It’s like, “You’ve gotta be kidding me”. So yeah, that’s happened.
0:50:32 CC: So at this point, what would you want to do? Like, if you had sort of carte blanche to do whatever project you wanted to do Cat, what would you want to do?
0:50:44 WB: Well, our screen play that we’re pitching, I want to get the money for that and make that. I mean, we… I love what we’re doing now. I love creating these projects that we’ve been creating. They’re very… Especially the ones for one of our clients in particular, they’re very creative outlets, which is awesome. We do a lot of interviews too, which are not as creative but also fun. Telling the story, I love that. But I’d love to move to the next level and have ours… And you know, be able to produce our screen play and we’ll be able to direct that. So that’s… That would be our goal in the next five years.
0:51:15 CC: Is that anything you want to talk about right now or is it too early?
0:51:17 S4: I don’t know. Right now it’s in the hands of an investor, so it may be a little too early. Hopefully we can talk about it next week.
0:51:23 WB: Yes.
0:51:24 S4: In detail.
0:51:24 CC: You never know.
0:51:25 CC: Well, let’s keep our fingers crossed. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.
0:51:27 S4: No, but it’s a very personal project that we’ve been working on for 10 years.
0:51:31 CC: Wow!
0:51:31 S4: And actually, I wrote the first draft, a very, very, bad draft, when I was at Texas Tech. Then it sat on…
0:51:39 WB: It was the play version.
0:51:40 S4: The play version. And then it sat on a shelf for many years. Then it became a film version. And it’s been… And every project that we do, we grow.
0:51:50 WB: Yeah.
0:51:51 S4: And so occasionally we’ll go back to it and we’ll put those years of experience into that script.
0:51:54 CC: So this is the [0:51:54] ____ feature link script?
0:51:55 S4: It is. And we’ll put those years of experience into the script and it gets better and it gets better. And now it’s at that sweet spot where it needs to be made. It, you know, the fruit is ripe and…
0:52:05 WB: It’s ready to be made and it will. I really have no doubt it will be made. So, in the next five years, I think it will be. And Will actually just directed a movie. We didn’t produce it or anything, but he directed a movie that just came out on Video on Demand a couple of days ago. So that was exciting.
0:52:20 CC: The A-List?
0:52:21 S4: The A-List, yeah.
0:52:22 CC: So that’s out now on…
0:52:23 S4: It is. It’s available on…
0:52:24 CC: VOD?
0:52:24 S4: It is. ITunes, Amazon, Hulu, and all the…
0:52:28 CC: Fantastic. Excellent.
0:52:29 WB: Which is awesome.
0:52:30 CC: So we’ll put a link up on the website to that as well.
0:52:33 WB: Great! Great!
0:52:33 CC: So that people can see that and buy it and maybe get a few shekels in your pockets.
0:52:39 S4: They’re you go.
0:52:40 WB: Oh, yeah. We didn’t produce it, but you know still, it’s alright.
0:52:43 S4: We gotta make a lot of shekels in order to make shekels.
0:52:45 WB: Yeah, but that’s okay. But still, but it’s a good movie. Will did a very good job directing it.
0:52:50 S4: That was an interesting experience, ’cause I was brought in for a meeting on that, and a month and a half later we were shooting it.
0:52:57 CC: Wow!
0:52:57 S4: Which doesn’t happen very often in this town.
0:52:58 CG: No.
0:52:59 WB: But yet, sometimes it does, you know. You find that something comes up and then you’re moving…
0:53:08 S4: But that was… It was an interesting experiment, I’ll say that. Because I didn’t write the script. I gave about two rounds of notes on it and then we were shooting that thing. So really, I guess, where I watch the movie and I feel the most pride is in the visual look of it, because that’s where I had the most influence and the most control. And it’s a teen comedy, but I was able to shift it into a world that’s a little bit more heightened and so visually we’re able to take it in interesting directions, so.
0:53:37 CC: Cool.
0:53:37 WB: Yeah, he did a good job visually. It looks lovely. It looks really good. We had a great DP and…
0:53:42 S4: Yeah, it was awesome.
0:53:43 WB: And it was fun to go to Portland. I got to go to Portland and hang out on set with him for a little while. It was fun.
0:53:47 CC: Fantastic!
0:53:48 S4: And eat lots of good food. Portland’s awesome.
0:53:49 WB: Yeah. Portland’s the best.
0:53:51 CC: Yeah, we’ve never been. Can’t wait.
0:53:52 WB: Oh my gosh, you’d love it.
0:53:53 CG: Oh, I have.
0:53:54 CC: You’ve been to Portland?
0:53:57 CG: Gail got married in Portland. That’s the only time, my best friend, Gail. She got married in Portland so I was there for a weekend. But I pretty much just saw the airport, and the hotel, and the chapel, and the hotel, and the airport. Because… And I was at Texas Tech, but this was before we started dating.
0:54:16 CC: Yeah.
0:54:17 S4: When we go up there. It’s not too far.
0:54:19 CG: We knew each other, but we weren’t dating yet, so, yeah. But, I had gone up there. But, that’s the only time I have ever been to Portland, so, don’t be jealous.
0:54:29 WB: It’s like, why didn’t you take me?
0:54:30 CG: I didn’t get to… I mean, it was a very beautiful drive from the hotel to the chapel. I remember that, but otherwise…
0:54:38 CC: Right.
0:54:38 WB: How long have you guys been married?
0:54:40 CG: It was 11 years this past March.
0:54:42 WB: Oh, wow!
0:54:43 CC: Yeah.
0:54:43 WB: That is awesome.
0:54:45 CG: So, we’ve been together since September, 13, 2001.
0:54:49 WB: Wow!
0:54:49 CC: Yup, yup, yup.
0:54:53 CG: And then, we got married in March of 2004.
0:54:55 WB: Oh, cool. We got married in 1997, December. 1997.
0:55:02 CC: When did you graduate?
0:55:04 WB: ’98. So, May of 1998. So, we had a semester where we were married at Tech, and then we left, yeah.
0:55:11 CC: Right. I couldn’t remember the timeline.
0:55:14 WB: Yeah.
0:55:15 CC: Of course, that was a long time ago.
0:55:17 WB: Yes. Right.
0:55:18 CG: Well, see. And I didn’t get there until 2000. Fall.
0:55:22 CC: Yeah.
0:55:23 WB: So we were gone… Yeah.
0:55:24 CG: So, fall of 2000. Yeah, I got there in the fall of 2000.
0:55:27 CC: Yeah. Me and Ryan and Barb were sort of the overlap between the…
0:55:31 WB: Yeah.
0:55:32 CC: Between your class and the much later class. We were sort of the seven year bridge.
0:55:39 CG: Well, and that’s basically how I met Chuck was ’cause I got to be good friends with Barbie.
0:55:42 WB: Oh, really?
0:55:43 S4: Was he still there? He hasn’t graduated yet, right?
0:55:46 CG: Nope.
0:55:48 CC: He’s on the 24 year plan…
0:55:49 CG: He was gone, but he was hanging out. And so, I met him through Ryan Hart.
0:55:55 CC: Oh me? Yeah.
0:55:58 CG: Well, I met you through, you just showed up in the shop one day.
0:56:01 CC: Yeah.
0:56:02 WB: Yeah.
0:56:03 CC: Because I was taking a semester off, and so I just went to hang out in the same shop, like you do, on a day…
0:56:09 CG: Well, see that’s it. He left and I came in. And he was gone. And I happened to become friends with all the people he was friends with not even knowing he existed. And then, he came back.
0:56:18 CC: I came back at that time and it was like, “Hey everybody. Hey, who’s this?”
0:56:21 WB: Yeah, who’s this?
0:56:22 CG: And then, well, ours was kind of, it took us a little while because my room mate, who was an undergrad student there, my college room mate, we shared an apartment, she had a crush on Chuck.
0:56:33 WB: Oh.
0:56:34 CG: And so, the day Chuck and I met, Chuck does not know how to flirt.
0:56:39 WB: A lot of guys don’t.
0:56:40 CG: So it became very obvious very quickly that he was interested because he didn’t know how to be, like, sly about it.
0:56:43 WB: Oh, how funny.
0:56:47 CC: I don’t know. I thought I was pretty sly.
0:56:49 WB: You did? Yeah.
0:56:50 S4: You just tackled her or something? Is that it?
0:56:51 WB: Yeah, that was it.
0:56:51 CC: Pretty much.
0:56:52 S4: Okay.
0:56:53 CG: We were having a party that night at Ryan Hart’s house, Chinese New Year for [0:56:55] ____ Jowa. And he just kept going, “Are you going? So you’re going to go? So, you’re going to go tonight? So, I’ll see you tonight?” He just kept…
0:57:04 WB: That is so cute.
0:57:04 CC: I do remember that.
0:57:08 CG: He just kept doing that. And then, later on, I was with my room mate, and she goes, “I heard Chuck was in town.” And I said, “Oh, yeah. I met him earlier today.” And she’s like, “I like him so much. He’s so cute.”
0:57:15 WB: Oh, my gosh. How exciting.
0:57:15 CG: And so, my friend was like, okay then we’re not going there because Stephanie likes him, and it’s girl code.
0:57:22 WB: Right. Right.
0:57:23 CC: So, in turn, off limits.
0:57:23 CG: We didn’t get together for a long time, and he didn’t understand. He was like, “Steph, I don’t like Stephanie.”
0:57:28 WB: Yeah.
0:57:28 CC: Well, does that matter?
0:57:30 CG: It doesn’t matter if you don’t like Stephanie. I live with Stephanie.
0:57:31 WB: Right. Right. That is so funny.
0:57:35 CG: So, yeah. So we didn’t start dating for eight or nine months, I think, after we met.
0:57:41 CC: Did you guys know, who’s the one who has the feeder company in New Mexico now?
0:57:45 S4: Amelia?
0:57:46 WB: Amelia.
0:57:46 CC: Amelia, yes.
0:57:48 WB: Yeah. So, she started an equity theatre company in Albuquerque, actually.
0:57:51 S4: She was at the Barter, as well.
0:57:52 WB: And she was at the Barter.
0:57:52 CG: I don’t know Amelia.
0:57:54 CC: Yeah. Amelia Ampuero.
0:57:55 WB: Ampuero. Exactly. So, she may be one to talk to, too, because she started a theatre company in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Yeah.
0:58:03 CC: And that’s not too far. So, that’s probably within my non-existent travel budget.
0:58:06 WB: Yeah. Take a road trip. Right, yeah. Well, you know, you could go to New Mexico, go skiing, and then…
0:58:12 CG: He’s been to Vegas already for this thing.
0:58:13 CC: That’s true.
0:58:14 WB: Yeah. Come on. Just keep going. Well, it’s, actually Albuquerque’s not that far from Lubbock, so you could go visit Lubbock.
0:58:19 CC: There you go. My dad is actually still in Lubbock.
0:58:22 WB: What? See, there you go.
0:58:24 CG: Really, he still lives there?
0:58:25 CC: Yeah.
0:58:25 CG: Really, well when we…
0:58:26 WB: Really.
0:58:28 CC: That’s my one tie to west Texas now.
0:58:31 CG: Well, and Texas Tech, they’re having that reunion.
0:58:34 CC: Well…
0:58:34 WB: At Texas Tech?
0:58:35 CC: Yeah, it’s happening this summer.
0:58:36 CG: It’s this summer and it’s the theatre and dance department reunion. It’s like, it’s going over 15 years of classes or something.
0:58:44 WB: Did I know about this?
0:58:44 S4: Yeah. We got an email about it.
0:58:46 WB: Oh, we do?
0:58:47 CC: Yeah, it’s in July, end of July I think.
0:58:49 CG: Something like that.
0:58:50 CC: Yeah, and I think we’d looked about it, looked at it, but we just can’t afford to travel, you know? Especially with the two of us having time off at the same time is…
0:58:56 S4: Yeah.
0:59:00 CG: It’s a very… We can’t get time off at the same time. It’s pretty close to impossible.
0:59:05 WB: Yeah, I’m sure.
0:59:06 CG: It’s pretty close. My mom is actually going to try to come visit us in September.
0:59:08 WB: That’s nice.
0:59:10 CG: She’s going to try to come out here because the two of us trying to get time at the same time.
0:59:16 CC: Yeah.
0:59:16 CG: He told me, he’s like, “I’m taking vacation in June,” and I was like, “Okay.”
0:59:19 WB: Great. Yeah. Have fun.
0:59:22 CG: He’s got to take vacation time…
0:59:23 WB: Yeah.
0:59:23 CG: You know, or he’ll lose it.
0:59:25 WB: Yeah, so you better take it. Yeah.
0:59:26 CG: So, he’s got to take it. He’s like…
0:59:28 CC: So, my vacation’s going to be the best vacation of all.
0:59:30 WB: Yeah. You’re going to be like…
0:59:32 CG: And he said, “I’m not saying we’re going anywhere,” and I said, “Well, that’s good because we’re not going anywhere.” [chuckle]
0:59:34 WB: Because I can’t. Yeah. That’s so funny.
0:59:38 CC: I plan to record lots of podcasts. [chuckle]
0:59:40 WB: Yeah right.
0:59:41 CG: He’s going to stock up.
0:59:42 WB: Yeah, totally.
0:59:43 CC: I’ll just travel around and record a bunch of podcasts.
0:59:46 WB: Sure.
0:59:48 CC: Well, guys. We’re actually reaching the end of our hour.
0:59:50 WB: Awesome.
0:59:52 CC: So, thank you so much again for… This is a Twofer one!
0:59:55 WB: Yeah, it’s fun.
0:59:56 CC: I love it. So, before I cut you guys loose… Since we do have a Twofer, I’m gonna actually ask this from both of you. I’d like to close with some words of wisdom. So, for people out there that are either coming into the business or maybe heading a little bit of resistance and need a little bit of positivity.
1:00:20 WB: My advice would be you can’t ever give up, because if you give up then you lose. And there are some times where you feel like it’s dark and you don’t see the future and you have to keep creating, you just have to keep creating.
1:00:37 S4: Mine’s gonna get a little more complicated but I think there’s an equation and at the right side of that equal sign is your goal. And you either fit in that equation or you don’t fit in that equation. If you want to have that equal sign equal your goal, then either change yourself or change the equation, does that make sense?
1:00:58 CC: Yes.
1:00:58 S4: Okay, good.
1:00:59 WB: I think you should… I don’t know. Does it make sense?
1:01:01 S4: It doesn’t make sense to you?
1:01:01 WB: No.
1:01:03 S4: Basically…
1:01:03 WB: Give us an example.
1:01:05 S4: If you desire to be an actor and you are a certain type, just make sure that that is the equation that’s on the left of that equal sign. Don’t try to fake your square peg in a round hole. Don’t try to be the 50 year old man if you’re a 15 year old girl. Know who you are and play to those strengths. If you wanna be tha
0 year old man make some changes, change that equation.
1:01:31 CC: Start with that 50 year old man.
1:01:32 S4: That’s right. That’s a little hard to do but, basically, whatever your goal is, you either need to change what that goal is according to who you are or change who you are in order to get that goal.
1:01:44 WB: So you’re saying, know thyself.
1:01:45 S4: Know thyself and to thine own self be true.
1:01:48 S4: Or to thine own self be a 50 year old man.
1:01:49 WB: Don’t try to be something you’re not. Yeah.
1:01:51 CC: Fantastic. Thank you guys so much.
1:01:55 WB: Thanks, this was fun.
1:01:56 CC: This is your curtain call, so take a bow.
1:01:59 S4: Yay!
1:02:00 WB: Thank you.
1:02:17 CC: Hello there, folks. This is Chuck Clay, your host of Curtain Call Podcast. I just wanted to take a quick second to say thanks for listening. And if you enjoyed that podcast as much as we enjoyed recording it, please, take the time to give us a listener review. Here at Curtain Call Podcast we want your feedback, so please guys, gals, take a few seconds when you get done with the podcast and go to iTunes, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or whatever fine purveyor of podcast you use and please give us a listener rating or review. Trust me, it goes a long ways in getting us new listeners and new eyeballs, and that’s always a good thing in the land of Curtain Call Podcast.
1:03:02 CC: Also folks, if you enjoy what you hear on Curtain Call Podcast every month, please visit us at curtaincallpodcast.com where you can explore all things Curtain Call Podcast, including listening to past episodes, you can leave us a comment or a suggestion or you can connect with us on social media. On Facebook we are Curtain Call Podcast and on the tweets we are @CurtainCallPod. More than anything else, if you enjoy Curtain Call Podcast please share us with your friends, your family, your colleagues, your co-workers. Find us, friend us, share us. And finally, here at the Podcast we have nothing to talk about if we don’t get out and do it. So please, go out, see, do, live some theatre. Thanks. Have a great month.
1:04:10 CC: And remember folks, when you find people who not only tolerate your quirks but celebrate them with glad cries of, “Me too!”, be sure to cherish those people because those weirdos are your tribe. Till next time, tribe. That’s all for Curtain Call Podcast.