“The Last 5 Years” Final Weekend & Interview with Lead Actor/Producer Brittany Joyner!
Have ever contributed to a fund-raising campaign and feel like it takes FOREVER to get enough funds raised so you can get your incentive? I have a great Indiegogo campaign for you that is so different from other campaigns because it did achieve it’s funding goal and the ability to reap the benefits of the campaign were available within a 2 week span! It’s a musical play that is in LA that is amazing! This coming Saturday and Sunday are the last two performances of this musical and you can still get tickets if you act fast!!
Crafting Inexpensive Musical Theatre For Our Community
The Last 5 Years is an emotionally powerful and intimate musical about two New Yorkers in their twenties who fall in and out of love over the course of five years. The show’s unconventional structure consists of Cathy, the woman, telling her story backwards while Jamie, the man, tells his story chronologically; the two characters only meet once, at their wedding in the middle of the show.
Since this musical is contemporary and quite unlike most any other musical, it is more accessible to the general public, and tears through the traditional walls of musical theatre, presenting us with a simple, raw, emotional journey of 2 very ordinary people, telling their story in an extraordinary way.
Sounds like a different sort of campaign.. right? I found out about this campaign via a friend who alerted me to this campaign and the producer who created the campaign (with help) to fund this 2 weekend production of The Last 5 Years! (Thank you Karen Starr-DelloIacono!) Brittany Joyner is the mastermind behind this along with her team and the people who believed in this product enough to put in their time.
I was able to cobble together some questions not only about this campaign and play but about her career and her love affair with this musical play. Her goal was to provide an opportunity for anyone in Southern California to come see this fabulous musical for $10 a ticket! Got to love the dedication of Brittany and her crew for seeing this through.
Why am I talking about this:
Not just one video.. but more!
I was able to get Brittany Joyner to do an email interview to talk about this project!
Stevie Wilson: How did you get involved in this The Last 5 Years- Crafting Inexpensive Musical Theatre For Our Community
Brittany Joyner: The Last 5 Years has been a favorite musical of mine for 8 years and one I’ve wanted to perform in. This was the year I finally said “I’ll just produce it myself” and from there I got a music director, held auditions, and 2 months of rehearsing later, a fully fledged show was born.
SW: What is the basic premise for creating a musical that only runs 2 weeks?
BJ: The premise of a musical running for 2 weeks is availability of those involved plus the vocal stamina needed for this production. Jason Robert Brown‘s music is a vocal marathon and running for much longer than 2 weeks would be torturous! Plus, musicals are very expensive to produce and theatres cost a lot to rent. 2 weeks is more affordable.
SW: Tell us about the characters in this musical and the other actors who are on stage with you.
BJ: There are only 2 actors in this show- Jamie and Cathy, the husband and wife, who tell their stories about the last 5 years of their relationship in opposing timelines. Cathy begins at the end of their marriage, Jamie begins with their first date. They meet at the middle for their wedding, and that is the only scene that they are in the same time frame.
SW: Musicals seem to be a bit of a dying breed of theater. Why do you think that is?
BJ: Though I love musical theatre, oftentimes it can be a little inaccessible to the public- the largeness of it, the spectacle, the singing to no one in particular. Since this musical is contemporary and quite unlike most any other musical, it is more accessible to the general public, and tears through the traditional walls of musical theatre, presenting us with a simple, raw, emotional journey of 2 very ordinary people, telling their story in an extraordinary way. One other driving force in musical theatre’s dying popularity is the extremely high ticket prices. The average Broadway ticket is $106. This makes it very hard for middle class America to consume. That’s why we specifically set ticket prices at $10 for this show. For a 6-piece orchestra and powerhouse musical like this, that price is insane.
SW: What would you like to tell anyone reading this about your career? You have a stellar career arc; where do you want to go with it
BJ: I am a working actor who finds immense joy in the creative process. I hope that I will continue to be challenged and challenge others in my career and find new ways to inspire. I love musical theatre and to combine that with filmmaking would be a personal dream of mine. Movie Musicals, period films, and comedies are the genres I’m most drawn to. Passion projects like The Last 5 Years are the moments in my career that I step back, stop the daily grind of being an actor and throw myself completely in to creating a world and an experience that all involved can be proud of.
SW: It’s unusual to see a production have a fundraising aspect. What can you tell us about that?
BJ: I debated crowdfunding for this show off and on for awhile, and after carefully budgeting royalties, theatre rental, and musician costs, I realized that the scope of this production was going to be more than I was prepared to financially take on, most especially because I always wanted ticket prices to be affordable. I knew I couldn’t make back my investment through ticket sales. People came through in a beautiful and generous way and like patrons of the arts, made this show possible.
SW: If someone wants to see more of your work, what can people watch to see you?
BJ: To see more about me, brittanyjoyner.com has selections of my work, including the 2 films I produced and directed: Extreme Measures and Priscilla. Between Notes, a lovely film I got to be a part of, is on Amazon right now, and a T.V. show in which I get to flex my woodworking and DIY muscles is airing in the next few weeks on the DIY channel called House vs. House.
SW: What’s next on your acting agenda?
BJ: After this show ends I will be taking a long nap. Ha! I have a few projects in the pipeline right now that are in pre-production phase. I am an active improviser as well, and my teams perform around Hollywood frequently. I never seem to have trouble staying busy, so I’m sure I’ll be working on something fun and exciting quickly following this show.
SW: what do you do in your free time AKA for fun?
BJ: In my free time I love to make custom furniture in my woodshop.
SW: Favorite hobbies?
BJ: My hobbies include playing music- guitar, piano- camping, reading and carpentry.
SW: when did you know that you had to pursue acting?
BJ: Pursuing acting was a pipe dream to me until I graduated college with an English degree I’ve yet to use. I had always been in plays and musicals, but to actually pursue film/tv was something I never considered, really. Then, like most things with me, I went whole hog and dove in headfirst.
SW:) You do more than act: produce, write and direct. How is it wearing so many different hats?
BJ: Being a multi-hyphenate actor is something very appealing to me. I think a lot of actors enjoy what they do because there is very little routine and something new is always on the horizon. For me, adding on producer, director and writer just varies the job up even more and allows me to learn all aspects of the business. Plus, I’m really bossy, so I like being in charge.
SW: You have done singing in the past so this role is totally within reach…
BJ: This show has challenged me vocally like no other show has done. I’ve been in physical training for the last 2 months in order to build up the stamina needed to take on this role. It’s demanding and incredibly fulfilling. I did Texas All-State as a high schooler which is an incredibly tough singing competition, and even that is no comparison to what I’ve had to do for this show. I love that!
SW: Anything you would like to add?
BJ: Email email@example.com for tickets. I would also add that if there’s a story on your heart, but you’re scared to take the leap, just do it. The resources, the people, even the abilities will come.
SW: Anything else you would like to share?
BJ: The world is full of people who say “I wish”.
Be the person who said “I did” and live your life fully.
We were all made to create. So get out there and do it.
Thank you to Brittany Joyner for giving us such a fabulous interview. Her time is valuable and she was so authentic in her answers.
I would highly recommend that you see this show. BUY TICKETS NOW!
EMAIL Brittany Joyner firstname.lastname@example.org for tickets.
Remaining Performances are:
Friday, October 17 8pm
Saturday, October 18 8pm
Sunday, October 19 2pm
If you want to check out the INDIEGOGO campaign page, here’s the LINK
This is a GREAT event to attend and HIGHLY affordable in a very intimate setting. There are no bad seats in this venue!
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