Unscripted. Unstaged. Stephen White.Unscripted. Unstaged. is an interview series from Laura Murray Public Relations that speaks with fascinating artists, advocates, administrators, and other individuals who keep the Canadian artistic community visible, viable, and vibrant. This week we spoke with Stephen White, Producer of Dance Victoria. Stephen never intended to have a career in dance. In fact, he studied to be an actor and spent many years working in the theatre as a performer, director, and playwright. Along the way, he has enjoyed working as a Festival Producer, a Grants Officer at the BC Arts Council, a waiter, and a writer.
Stephen has previously been a guest writer for Creatively Speaking. His post on a recent cultural ambassador trip to Germany can be read here.
Q: Let’s say we run into each other at a party – how would you introduce yourself?
Well to start, I’m so handsome it would be you introducing yourself to me. No seriously, I’d say I am the Producer of Dance Victoria.
Q: If we checked your nightstand, what books would we find you reading right now?
King, Queen, Knave (Nabakov), Mad World– A Biography of Evelyn Waugh (not sure of the author’s name), Dance Current (a magazine).
Q: If we checked your computer, what favourite sites would be bookmarked?
The Royal and McPherson Theatre (rmts.bc.ca). There I can see maps that display available seats for upcoming events at Victoria’s two civic theatres. I can check out how we’re doing at the box office, but also how all of my colleagues are doing. Box office sales are a bit of an obsession for me. I am also a huge fan of Arts Journal, a compendium of published articles and blogs about the arts, NY Times (20 x month), and Globe and Mail.
Q: How did you come to do what you do – was there a defining moment you can tell us about?
A very crooked path starting with actor training. 12 years ago the position at Dance Victoria (then Victoria Dance Series) was posted. I interviewed and got the gig. At the time it was a very small enterprise. I have enjoyed building it from then.
Q: When it comes to marketing, is there a particular campaign or a poster, advertisement, or promotion that made a significant impact or that stands out in your mind?
I love that documentary from a few years ago called Art and Copy. It pretty much contains every iconic marketing campaign from the past 50 years and includes interviews with the creative people behind each campaign. Obviously, the most brilliant is “Just Do It!”
Q: Lastly, what inspires you?
Good marketing for sure. Dance as an art form. Good writing. Visual art. Watching dancer process. Cooking a fabulous meal. Wine. Travel – especially to different cultures.