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Interview with John

Updated: Dec 15, 2022

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MOLLY: Hello and welcome to the podcast where we talk about creating experimental art and trauma-informed and sustainable ways that support artists, our communities and the organization as a whole. I'm Molly and you're listening to Any Other Anythings?

Welcome to Any Other Anythings? John! How you doing?

JOHN: I'm doing pretty well. How are you Molly?

MOLLY: I'm doing all right, thank you. Um, so would you like to share or lead us through either a warm-up or a grounding activity that maybe is your favorite?

JOHN: Hmm...yeah this is actually this um this is the grounding, oh I don't know if there's a grounding. There's an icebreaker. It comes from um an organization group I work with sometimes. It's called like your rose and thorn of the day. Where you say like of the day, like what was a good thing that happened to your rose, and then like a bad thing that's your thorn. It's just like a way to connect with everyone. So, like I would say like my rose for the day is that I do not have a headache, which I had yesterday and I had a really bad headache yesterday, so I feel good now.


JOHN: But, I guess my thorn is, what's my thorn for the day? Um I don't know, I don't feel like this is not my best head wrap uh...

MOLLY: Okay.

JOHN: Yeah, but I'm usually better at doing head wraps except this one. So, what is your rose and thorn?

MOLLY: Um let's see. I actually have a headache, so maybe I like I borrowed it from you.

JOHN: Aww.

MOLLY: Um, so I guess like I think the headaches coming from, I had this, I spent like three or four hours at the car dealership this morning getting my car aligned and all that. So, that was that was definitely the thorn of the day. Um but the rose was that um because, I was a patient person they gave me a discount! I was like okay...

JOHN: Ohhh

MOLLY:, so yeah like I, I like that I like that image of the rose and thorn coming together because it's like you can have both that's beautiful.

JOHN: Very cool.

MOLLY: Wonderful! Um, would you like to start with some rapid fire questions?

JOHN: Sure! I'm down.

MOLLY: Okay, here we go! So, um with all the Grey Box work that you've done. We didn't even do an intro let's; we'll get there in a moment. With all the great Grey Box work that you've done, uh what is your favorite prop and why?

JOHN: Oh uh my favorite prop that we did was during Tangled Mess and we had like we attached like that thing, that mesh thing to the balloons...

MOLLY: Yeah!

JOHN: ...that was fun, that was really fun to play with. I had a really good time with that.

MOLLY: Yeah, that's a great one, that's a great one. Um what's your favorite artistic risk that you have taken within Grey Box show?

JOHN: Um I think I'd be going back to Tango Mess. It's just that um it kind of gave me, there's that one section where I was at the mic just talking, just ranting and sometimes I'm afraid to do that so um yeah that was the risk for me.

MOLLY: Mm yeah super vulnerable. Um okay one more rapid fire question and then we'll...we'll get into like introductions. Um what's the weirdest thing you've googled for show research or like the weirdest rabbit hole of the internet that you've gone down for a Grey Box show?

JOHN: Oh um I don't know if it's weird, but I've just with this with Grey Box I've just stumbled on, like that rather full of stock images; you know like those um ShutterStock or, whatever brand of um they have a lot of images just like, who's taking these photos?

MOLLY: Yes. They do, they do. Have you seen the, like, oh I it has a way better name than what I'm gonna be able to pull up right now but it's my job, but like a bad representation of what my job is on stock photos. Um and it's like they've got like the DNA spiral going the wrong way. They're not using them like the microscope just, like, yeah.

JOHN: Oh I haven't seen that.

MOLLY: If you need another rabbit hole to go down, um there you go.

JOHN: Alright, cool.

MOLLY: So, now that we know a little bit more about you. Uh, would you care to share uh an introduction and...and your roles um that you've had within Grey Box Collective?

JOHN: Yeah! So, um, I'm Johnny Dallas. Um I just did my first Grey Box show, like last year, yeah. I have a hard time telling time with quarantine.

MOLLY: Yeah.

JOHN: Yeah. Yes, it was Spring 2019 with Tangled Mess. Um I was a junior in college um and I've been, I've done if you count, Take Back the Night. Which was like a short version of Tangled Mess that we did. Um I've done three shows at Grey Box. I said like, I was in another one, but I had to drop out because I had some personal issues come up. So three and a half shows, I'll say I've done Grey Box.

MOLLY: Lovely. Um and you've performed in all of them, yes?

JOHN: Yes.

MOLLY: Yes. Cool, cool, so definitely hang and strung in that performer role. Um and then in Asses in Seats. Right, that was just a few months ago?

JOHN: Mm-hmm.

MOLLY: Um it felt a little bit more like,

I think the creative process on Zoom kind of levels the playing field between that traditional performer and director role. Um, did you feel that within the rehearsal process at all?

JOHN: Um kind of, uh it was um because it was cool for Dienae because they were directing it that um because they were in control of like a whole Zoom setup. That they could show themselves as well and, like share their screen so although they were the director. Dienae was also, like, in the show.

MOLLY: Mm-hmm, yeah.

JOHN: If that makes sense.

MOLLY: Yes, yeah just like redefining some of these roles that we're used to.

JOHN: Mm-hmm.

MOLLY: Um so within the the work that you've done with Grey Box Collective, um what is it that you have valued most within the work?

JOHN: Um I just love the flexibility that Grey Box has because, like, you're very understanding that like we have jobs and we have school and um because I think that's important for work that's about trauma. You have to take into account the performers and all the production people's lives that, you know we're trying our best to do like juggle everything and um I appreciate with Grey Box. That, um you're very understanding of our schedules, and um work, and other any other conflicts we have.

MOLLY: Yeah, I think it's so important to take into consideration like how do we be sustainable as artists.

Um and you've somewhat recently graduated so, how are you like building in some sustainable practices to life as an artist?

JOHN: Oh well, I still try to do even though, like currently unemployed, but I'm still trying to do like my eight hours of sleep every night. Just because I think I was told from a director, that Lin-Manuel Miranda said that like every performer should get eight hours of sleep. Now I never researched it to see if that's true, but, um, I try my best to get eight hours even if I'm not performing that day. Um yeah just trying to stay as creative and productive as I can, but it's also important to take breaks because taking a break is not wasting time it's actually a way to rejuvenate yourself as I've learned.

MOLLY: Yeah, totally um I...I appreciate that um like you're bringing up basic needs of like taking care of yourself. I think that's such, like, we don't give that enough weight and value sometimes. Um that as something as like simple and difficult I'll say as getting eight hours of sleep a night um that's really really an important, like a baseline to have.

JOHN: Yeah sleep is important because like you work so much like it makes sense you need to like to at least make up that time and rest.

MOLLY: Mm-hmm.

JOHN: It's just crazy our society doesn't value rest as much.

MOLLY: That is very true. Very true unfortunately, um and it's uh rebelling almost like I got a whole eight hours of sleep um...

JOHN: Yeah.

MOLLY: ...yeah.

JOHN: It's always like sleep is good! I don't know why it's like taking a break is looked down upon.

MOLLY: Mm-hmm.

JOHN: I wouldn't say all societies, because like in Spain they take like siestas in the middle of the day.

MOLLY: True.