HOLLY JONES- Individual Profile
What are you currently working on?
I'm directing James and the Giant Peach at Musical Theatre Village in Irvine.
What's been inspiring you recently?
Getting out and seeing as much local theater as possible, as well as collaborating with different artists on projects.
Tell us a story from your childhood that illuminates who you are as an artist.
I remember living in Minnesota as a child and attending my first audition. I knew the audition song forward and backward and loved to sing, but when the time came to audition, I froze. I felt bad that I had spent the time preparing the music, only to be unprepared for the "stage fright." Years later, in working on many Theatre for Young Audience shows in Miami, FL, I found the opportunity to help encourage and engage young performers to not only find their voice but also find the joy that can come from performing.
What kind of theatre excites you?
All kinds of theater truly excites me! I love to see what can be put together when creativity is encouraged and collaboration is supported. I love local community theater, theatre for young audiences, "professional" theatre...there is something that can be gained from all types of theatre and the exploration of humanity.
Time in Greater Orange County:
Eden Prairie, MN and Tempe, AZ
Who are or were your theatrical heroes?
I have a number of theatrical heroes from former directors to actors to production staff. Each one has helped me learn how to be a better performer as well as director and mentor. The list is long: Denise Fenton, Sheryl Donchey, David Arisco. Earl Maulding, Amy London, Dan Kelley, Joseph Lillis, Ellen Friesen, JoAnn Yeoman, Gary Gisselman, Jack Mezzano, Margot Moreland, John Fionte, Barbara Legette, Rob Dawson, Timothy Matthews, Ruth Rose, Jack Matter, Elliott Jones, Tom Dillickrath, Michael Larson, Bob Ackerman, David Nagy, Eric Alsford...
What's the craziest thing you have ever needed to do for theatre?
I once did 21 shows in a 14 day period - that felt crazy at the time. There was another show in which I played 6 or 7 characters within the company and although it was exhausting, it was also exhilarating!
Outside of a theatre, what's your favorite hot spot in Orange County?
I wouldn't say I have a particularly favorite hot spot, but I'm always open to seeing what's new!
What surprises you the most about your role in the theatre community?
I think most people in life strive to find ways they can make a difference, and for me, theatre has been a major avenue for me to contribute. I have loved having the opportunity to shift between performing and directing, as I feel it helps me better appreciate and understand how best to communicate with fellow performers. I love encouraging collaboration! My feeling is that a show is never about one person but the cumulative effort of a group of people all putting forth their best artistic abilities and creating something amazing.
What advice do you have for theatre artists just starting out in Orange County?
Get involved! There is no theatre that isn't worth your time. There is always something you can learn, and something you can take away from each experience. Same with what opportunities you're given. As the saying goes, "There are no small parts, only small actors." Don't overlook what you can bring to a "smaller" or less featured role. Without solid featured and company members, most shows would suffer greatly. Likewise, I often feel as though community theatre gets a bad rap and is seen as lesser-than. But I've worked with so many artists that are truly the epitome of professionalism and even if no one was getting paid, I know they would still bring the same professional attitude to all they did.
Go ahead, promote your things...
I'm currently directing JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH at Musical Theatre Village in Irvine. As a Roald Dahl fan, I couldn't be more please to help bring this production to life! You can find out more info and get tickets at: http://musicaltheatrevillage.net/