Caroline Russell-King continues her “Postcard” series with a profile of producer/director Jason Mehmel (with a nod to Bernard Pivot and James Lipton).
What is the next project for you?
Our 20th birthday celebration reading of four scripts from our history. I chose plays that still have something to say today. Also I’m working on a project with Bruce Barton.
How do you contribute to this piece?
I’ve corralled everyone! There are 18 actors and four directors. I thought readings would be easy but everyone’s schedules …!
What is your greatest creative challenge?
Honestly, making time for creativity.
What turns you on creatively?
Collaboration! I love it when an idea forms in the room that couldn’t have existed in one person.
What turns you off creatively?
What’s one thing you’re really good at?
Helping people discover the work.
If you could resurrect and share a drink with a dead person who would it be?
Oh geez … Mary Shelley. She invented science fiction and I would like to talk with her about the explosion of genres that subsequently resulted.
What is one thing you wish you’d known sooner?
The glib answer is: “Time never slows down.” That and: “Trust your instincts.”
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Civil engineer — designing spaces and environments for people to live in.
What would you do with extreme wealth?
I would invest in the arts community through buildings and infrastructure, create rehearsal space and provide it free of rent. Oh, and I would re-route trains!
What is one piece of advice you would give to the person who wants to do what you do?
Stay flexible because the future has no responsibility to adhere to what the past has done.
(Photo of Jason Mehmel courtesy Caroline Russell-King.)
Caroline Russell-King is a playwright, dramaturg, and instructor. She is a member of The Playwrights Guild of Canada, the Dramatist Guild of America and the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. You can find her work here at www.carolinerussellking.com.