Tag Archives: 24th st theatre

[New] Artist Statement

I applied for a grant recently. I didn’t get it, but was forced to detail how I went from a theatrical director to digital media consultant and now straddle writing with my consultant freelancing and being the primary caretaker of my son (Lil’ Pirate Dude).

It’s a little long, which I’ll fix for the next round of grant applications, but I thought it might be of interest to tie together all of my interests.

I am Cindy Marie Jenkins, CMJ to many. I am a Storyteller, Outreach Nerd, Parenting Nerd, Mama to Lil’ Pirate Dude, Theme Park Wife, Former Theatre Director, Fairy Folk Myth Nerd, and Recent Transplant to Orlando (remember the Theme Park Wife part)?

For a decade, I’ve been obsessed with building new audiences for theatre. This began when I realized I was sick of doing all that work just for my family and friends to see. Sure, we can enrich one another, but art within the echo chamber is not enough for me.

        Through a six year project Voices From Chornobyl, I found success in reaching peopleVFC through a theme, a topic rather than people showing up to “support theatre” just for the sake of it, or because our friends are in it, or because we all work in it. At the same time, I was in charge of marketing for a small classical theater who had a stellar reputation but still struggled for audience and funding. It became clear to me that the ways that marketing had worked for decades were not nearly as effective with the age of the internet, and artists were falling behind the times faster than newspapers. Keep in mind, this was way back in 2009 when you still had to convince a theater company to go onto Facebook; the mere suggestion that you had to think beyond a press release was a battle, uphill both ways. I heard many artistic leaders take the simple route of blaming smartphones instead of exploring them, and condemning audiences rather than investigating their strategies, or even talking to them.

           I reconciled my dreams with the fact that the typical theatrical career path is not for me. I always knew that art could serve a real purpose in changing how people think. Through and beyond empathy, showing how others live and think can go a long way towards opening minds.  I didn’t want to direct whatever came my way just to grow my career. I enjoy entertainment for entertainment’s sake, but I want to create art that holds great value beyond the production. I want to use stories as a bridge towards greater empathy in the world. Every time I chose a project based on the greater good it could do for society, I worked at my best and was happiest. Every time I took a gig for any other reason than great passion, I felt limited by the story’s (lack of) need to exist, my lack of connection as to why, and didn’t do my best work.

Then in 2009, through an outreach project called Imagine East Hollywood, I worked closely with the East Hollywood Neighborhood Council and identified that local government faces the main two issues as most theaters had: (1) they only reach the same people and (2) if you don’t know they exist, then you can’t show up, never mind get involved. Beyond that lie at least ten hassle factors to stop someone from attending either. Most people didn’t even know they lived in East Hollywood. I used a film project, interactive visual art display, outreach tables at LA wide events and an immersive theatre experience to help people understand the agenda and workings of a neighborhood council, plus learn how their ideas could help their neighborhood and turn them from passive residents into active stakeholders.

These experiences led me to train myself (with guidance from Enci Box and Tamara

Krinsky) in social media, new communications models, and generally critique most vague, short term attempts to develop audience. I became an Outreach Nerd and trained individuals, then groups of self producers, and quickly added nonprofits, the City of LA and small business owners to my clients.

This quest for the audience led me to Manchester England, where I gave a keynote speech to Chernobyl charities on using my play, adapted from a book of interviews, to raise awareness and funds for their work. A 9-minute demo film was used to entice new donors. By 2006, the 25th Anniversary of the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, two groups in the UK did perform the piece, and my own ensemble led a series of readings throughout LA and San Diego. We also produced a workshop of Voices From Chornobyl Jr at local libraries and the Hollywood Fringe Festival.

This desire led me to brand myself a Storyteller AND Outreach Nerd, to align the idea of writing and stories into audience building, tying my name to “outreach” rather than “marketing” in an effort to change the direction of people’s thinking about their audience development.

This obsession led me to 24th STreet Theatre, where I could focus on acting as concierge for families to find quality art they enjoy together, while finding the correct medium to share stories that happen every day in this converted carriage house in South LA.

This adventure led me to experimenting with arts coverage during every Hollywood Fringe Festival, from interviews over Twitter to Google+ Hangouts, then from a full-fledged arts review show to podcasts and instagram reviews.

This need to find and engage arts-adjacent folks while feeling increasingly frustrated with theatre as an industry also led me to the longest crisis of faith I’ve ever experienced. Just as I was seeking a new direction, theaters called on my “marketing” (cringe) skills more and more. The more I was expected to just do the short term work that I knew didn’t last and that I so despise, the more I understood that my current path was not working for me. I don’t just want to be the one training artists to change their mindset on audiences; I don’t just want to be the ambassador to new audiences anymore. I also need to create the art that draws new audiences in the door simply by being good and meeting audiences where they live. In many cases, that requires me to move my creative writing as far away from a theater as possible.

Currently I freelance as a Consultant and Writer while raising my beautiful son.

 

Event: Making Life Work as a Work-at-Home Parent

If you are a work-at-home-parent, considering it, or as an employer want to keep your hiring options open, please join us!

Making Life Work as a Work-at-Home Parent

Thursday, Sept. 25 (1-2:30pm)

At 24th ST Theatre, 1117 W. 24th ST, LA 90007 (corner of Hoover & 24th ST) Map.

Join the Facebook event for updates.

We are everywhere now: the Work-At-Home Mom or Dad. Technology has created room for working remotely unheard of just a decade ago. It may seem ideal, but really just creates its own unique challenges. Round-table with guests will include questions and comments from all attendees as well.

Use #WAHParent to join the conversation from home. And yes, children welcome!

*How can you transition from freelance/office hours to working around a child’s schedule?
*How to communicate client expectations without making excuses?
*How to create an office area flexible enough to also balance parenting activities?
*Where to find local activities that allow you to relax or work without your child, and ones that give you the time to focus on them away from work? (Also a handout)
*How to address breastfeeding during meetings
*Should your small budget go towards a babysitter or assistant?
*All this, and quality time with your partner, too?

Round table Guests include:

Lisa Cassandra  is an actor, grant writer/development consultant, and copy editor, as well as an entrepreneur with her own health and wellness business. She also conceived and directed the children’s short documentary film, The Jackson Pollock Project. She does all this as a single mom around a teenage daughter and son. Mostly she’s exhausted.

Róisín  Ching is a Speech Language Pathologist, parent educator, and co-owner of Echo Speech Therapy. She and her 14-month-old son are currently cataloging the hiding places of all the cats on their block.

Deepti Gupta  an actress, voice over artist and producer, recorded her first audiobook when 7 months pregnant, in a make-shift booth of blankets and towels, in the hot month of June. Now, a mom of a toddler, she’s recording audiobooks from her professional booth at home and learning to strike the balance with work and family on a daily basis. www.deeptigupta.com

Tish Hicks is an LA Voiceover veteran who runs The V.O. Dojo, a training, networking and resource center connecting voiceover actors of all levels

Diana Kohne Kenny is a visual artist who shows new work several times a year, a mom with an active toddler, and in between runs Art Cricket LA, a new business that connects people to local art.

Jessica Ires Morris tries to fit acting, raising a one year old and working remotely for a financial consulting firm into her life and her home. Each area benefits and suffers from the others.

Steven Wasserman has worked on numerous independent productions as director, producer, cinematographer, editor and writer. His work has been featured in numerous international film festivals and broadcast nationally on cable television, and CEO of Hachitan Entertainment, specializing in Creative Production of Film & Video content for broadcast, marketing and entertainment.

Moderated by Cindy Marie Jenkins, Storyteller and Outreach Nerd, Communications Director @24thST Theatre. A workaholic () who loves being a new mother  . What could go wrong? Adventures of Lil’ Pirate Dude chronicled @parentingnerd.

RSVP by emailing cindy@24thstreet.org

Sponsored & Hosted by 24th ST Theatre24th st

Indie Holiday Gifts: Day 9

With so many independent artists, there’s a variety of unique gifts you can give. I’ll highlight one a day through the New Year!

family theater

Jan 26 – March 30

Family 4-Pack

Tickets to Walking the Tightrope

at 24th Street Theatre

Each ticket can be used for any performance of Walking the Tightrope and/or Huraclown.
Click here to claim. Only good through Dec 31: http://bit.ly/Family4Pack24thST

24th STreet Theatre introduces its new in-house company LAB24 with the West Coast premiere of British playwright Mike Kenny’s gentle, funny play.

Young Esme arrives to stay with her grandparents at the end of summer, just like she does every year. But this time, something’s different: Grandma’s not there.

This magical play, full of moments of remembered childhood,  celebrates the special bond shared by grandparents and grandchildren. The play was the first recipient of Art Council England’s Award for Playwriting for Children & Young People (Rated G – ages ^+) Purchase tickets here.

With the Family 4-Pack, you can choose 4 tickets for your family, for friends, for anyone who could use a special night out!

More information on Facebook.

—-

Day 1 – Holiday Gifts by Adam Emperor Southard Photography

Day 2 – HUCK FINN: The Robotic Edition & The Selling, a supernatural comedy

Day 3 – Fund an education Shakespeare Puppet Video in someone’s name

DAY 4 – The Puppet Maker’s Bones by Alisa Tangredi

Days 5&6 – LA Makerspace & The Coffee Bean 4 Kids (with special needs)

Day 7 – Emitown

Day 8 – The Ensuite Life

Some great Shakespeare happens all the time in Los Angeles, and my client 24th ST Theatre has a very special engagement mentioned.

Shakespeare in LA

Looking for a way to get your Shakespeare fix now that summer is over? Check out what’s happening around Southern California below.

Advent Theatre has several more performances of Twelfth Night to benefit The North Hollywood Interfaith Food Pantry happening at First Christian Church of North Hollywood. Directed by Brett Elliott and Jason Rennie, performances run through October 14th (Friday, Saturday evenings, Sunday matinee). Ticket prices: General Admission $20, Students & Seniors $15, and Groups of 8 or more.

Griot Theatre of the West Valley previews Julius Caesar tonight and will continue its run through November 11, Thursdays through Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 3pm. Post-show discussions will be held with the actors and director following the performances on October 14 and 28. Bethel Encino 17500 Burbank Blvd. Encino, CA 91316. If you’re in Hollywood you can catch New American Theatre’sJulius Caesar at the McCadden Place Theatre through October…

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