An Interview With

Tyler Jones

Director, Writer and Performer of the 2014 Martin Sims Award Winning Show: Point & Shoot

 

 

How long have you been an artist? Can you tell us a bit about your practice?

I always wanted to be a playwright, but for years I really struggled to get my work to a state where I was happy to put it onstage. Shortly after I met my writing partner, Robert Woods, he said to me, "Look, it doesn't matter if its good or bad, because it won't be anything unless its finished". Turns out that was just the push I needed to get over my reservations and start sharing my writing with others. Robert and I presented our first musical, FALLING TO THE TOP, at FRINGE WORLD 2013, and were named the WA Winners of the ARTRAGE Theatre Award. Our partnership has continued from there with the musicals POINT & SHOOT and DR FELICITY RICKSHAW'S CELEBRITY SEX PARTY, both of which have also been FRINGE WORLD award winners.

Robert and I speak the same artistic language and are drawn to the same types of stories. Our collaboration has always been based around telling darkly humorous stories that playfully satirise elements of pop culture, and creating performance opportunities to showcase the wealth of theatrical talent in WA.

 

can you tell us a bit about Point & Shoot?

POINT & SHOOT is a madcap musical satire of Hollywood's big-budget blockbuster business, featuring four performers who rotate through over fifty roles while singing, dancing and doubling as musicians. Set in the year 2042, the show follows an ambitious young screenwriter, a has-been producer, and a mysterious femme fatale as they attempt to turn a little-known 60s television show, "Selma Saves the Day", into a mega-budget action movie franchise. Featuring lightning-quick costume changes, increasingly ridiculous plot twists, show-stopping musical numbers and action-packed film sequences, POINT & SHOOT is a truly unique theatrical experience, and a musical unlike any other.

 

how important is it for your work to be seen on a world stage? What have you learnt about presenting work outside of WA?

When you pour your heart and soul into creating a new work, I think it's reasonable to hope that it will be seen by as many people as possible! It's immensely fulfilling to hear an audience laughing and applauding your show, and to know that they are not just your friends and family but complete strangers on the other side of the world! That being said, one thing I've learned from my experiences performing outside of WA is just how unique and special our home crowd is; we have such a tight-knit, supportive theatre community here in Perth, and we must never take that for granted.

 

WHAT WAS ONE OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF TOURING THIS SHOW TO brighton FRINGE? 

A definite highlight was the final day of Brighton Fringe 2015. We played our last performance of POINT & SHOOT to an incredibly enthusiastic crowd, polished off a celebratory bottle of vodka between us, then took home one of the top awards at the closing ceremony.


(Also, meeting a very handsome man on my first day in Brighton and bringing him home to Australia with me two years later was a great personal highlight.)

 

WHAT WAS the dynamic of the team like when you were touring so far from home? 

It was incredible to be on tour with three of my best friends, and perhaps even more incredible that we remained best friends throughout the whole hectic experience. With four people and seventeen musical instruments on tour (including three keyboards and a double bass!), we really had no choice but to share the load and support each other. 

 

CAN yOU TELL US ABOUT A TIME WHERE YOU HAD AN AMAZING SHOW/ENCOUNTER WITH AN AUDIENCE MEMBER?

While appearing at Brighton Fringe we got the opportunity perform for one night only at the King's Head Theatre in London. In a single thrilling day we packed up our seventeen musical instruments and two suitcases of props, lugged them to London (it takes a lot of creative manoeuvring to get a double bass onto the tube), bumped in, ate pasta, performed, bumped out, drank as much wine as we felt we deserved, and caught the train back to Brighton, arriving home just before midnight. Not only was it one of the most exhausting and exhilarating days of my life, but we were delighted to see a group of UK-dwelling Australians come out that night to watch the show and support us. That little taste of home meant so much to us, and gave us the energy and drive to plough through to the end of the tour.

 

ASIDe from fringe world, which has been the best festival you have presented at?

Brighton Fringe, without a doubt. They have a fabulous, devoted team there who made us feel welcomed and supported.

 

What ARE YOU WORKING ON NEXT?

Robert and I are currently developing a new musical through Black Swan State Theatre Company's Emerging Writer's Group. We also have a number of other theatre and film projects in the pipeline.

 

What does it mean for you to be making work in WA?

Making work in WA means being a member of a small but ferociously ambitious group of artists whose level of support and respect for one another is deep and unwavering. It means always having someone to turn to for advice and assistance, and always having the freedom to creatively experiment in a small arena before taking your work to the next level.

 

You have been a long term participant in FRINGE WORLD, What’s your favourite thing about FRINGE WORLD?

I love that FRINGE WORLD allows up-and-coming creatives to present new work to an audience with relatively low financial risk and lots of opportunities for growth. I owe my career and all my finest theatrical experiences to FRINGE WORLD.

 

if you were an animal, what animal would you be?

A penguin!