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I am an apprentice: Tammy Isaacson

INTERVIEW WITH TAMMY ISAACSON:

FM:What is your experience with/opinions on mentorship?
TI: Prime [at Pi] (mentorship program) came out of looking at the community and what we perceived at the time to be a huge hole in the ecology: how do people actually get their work recognized? This year we will be creating what we’re calling Prime Placements, so we will pair up…for example a set designer with a practical, working assistant.

FM:Are there limitations to mentorship?
TI: The danger might be in people getting taken advantage of.

FM:What has been your experience with less formal, self-initiated individual mentorships?
TI: I was producer of the Fringe and… artists would help each other go across the country with work and developing work. It clearly spawned so many great things.

FM:Does formalized mentorship or self-initiated have greater value and why?
TI: In an ideal world there would be lots of both. In some circles it’s called professional development. It’s all how you cut it.

FM: Do you see variation between apprenticeships in the different sides of theatre (acting versus directing versus design versus admin versus tech, etc)?
TI: There has been no attention to designers at all. There are many more ‘artistic’ mentorships available. This is considered a common way to get into the industry and learn a craft. It is harder to get a technical mentorship such as that which I had. However, within the industry there is definite belief that hands on training is much more beneficial than university training.

FM:Advice to those seeking an apprenticeship?
TI: Dream big and do a crazy, wild pitch. Inspire someone.

TAMMY ISAACSON has worked in theatre, opera, dance and festivals as a writer, director, administrator and stage manager. She was the General Manager for Pi Theatre for eight seasons and is currently the General Manager of the Alberta Opera touring company.

Mission Statement

Multi-award winning Ruby Slippers Theatre produces provocative text-based theatre from the vanguard of the English and French Canadian canon. We are the only company in Vancouver mandated to producing the contemporary Quebecois canon in English, and have been doing so since 1990. Our work illuminates diverse perspectives and social issues, inspiring independent critical thought, communion, and diversity.

 

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