Our Cocktail Hours segment is hosted by Sweet Tea Artistic Director, Jeremy Fiebig, Assistant Artistic Director, Claire F. Martin, and Company Member, Jessie Wise. This week, however, Claire and Jessie unfortunately had other matters to attend to. So, STS staff member Julie Schaefer once again joins in to talk Sweet Tea Shakespeare behind the scenes and to dream up magical ways to perform theater if given the chance (thanks, COVID).
Contact us at email@example.com
The show is produced by Claire Martin and Jeremy Fiebig and edited by Ashanti Bennett. Jen Pommerenke and Julie Schaefer also assisted with this episode.
This project is supported by the Arts Council in part by contributions from businesses and individuals, and through grants from the City of Fayetteville, Cumberland County and the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources.
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Hello. Welcome to the Sweet Tea Shakespeare Cocktail Our where we offer you sparkling conversation, a little bit of booze and a sneak peek behind the scenes. Enjoy Cool. Yeah. Was I live that whole time? Just stepping on my alcohol problem. Okay. No, that’s good.
Alright. If a nitro cold brew from love Starbucks.
Oh, that sounds good. Actually, I am drinking a honey wine per usual. I go too, and it is the worst day. So we drank with a big guy likes on the state and he likes to the wind. Yep. So I was tuned in to you and Rob for a little bit. And that was a, that was a cool conversation. Cause I’ve never actually watched you guys live a witch is a uterus, usually listen to the podcast. So that was kind of fun for me to, to tune in.
That’s great guy, Hollywood screenwriter, we met in grad school came in in the same year and yeah, I mean, we just hit it off. Our wives hit it off. We used to go over to their place for tacos all the time. And when lost was on, we had like lost a couple of days.
We want us to the movies a lot. I remember one summer. I can’t remember what a summer was, but we were like at the movies, like sometimes twice a week. So it was good times.
Oh, under the movies, honestly, like, I mean, I would rather be at home watching a movie if I could, but it did serve a nice like date night type thing to go.
It’s one thing I truly miss. I liked going to the movies a lot. Sometimes they take my kids and sometimes they would just go myself and just like sit in a quiet or a conditioned space. And I love it. And I miss it right now. I still can’t go to the movies we’re closed in North Carolina. And so I did by myself, a 75 inch television and a that’s a pretty good
That’s so one way to solve that problem,
You know, if you sit right in front of it, it’s like being in an iMac,
You put a fan right in front of you to like have the, the air conditioner. I have good ideas.
I need to do this. Yeah. I do miss popcorn. I’m on keto right now. So I can’t, I think the last time I had popcorn was like six or eight weeks ago. And then I missed that. So yeah,
The talk to him, that’s actually a snack that I would have trouble getting a lot because I do like in a lot and I actually mix like different flavors. Like I’ve made like a cinnamon sugar one, one time, like a ranch flavored, one like hot Cheetos flavored one and all this stuff. And yeah, I just, I don’t know if I could give that up. I can’t eat a lot as is because of the like sweets because I’m gluten intolerant and dairy and tolerant in that kind of limits me a little bit.
So I feel like my go to snack is popcorn actually at home. And I have like a, one of the little worldly pops at home. So I actually like pop it myself, like in a little really pop kind of cool. So I can, I can control like the butter amount that I put in and I still don’t solve all over it. So
I love it. I love it. I love everything about it. I can’t get enough of it. And you know, what are you gonna to do? Can have it right now.
You’re doing pretty good on the keto though. I heard you told it had been. Yeah,
Well I’m I, so I’ve done keto, like really three times. I started two years ago, right around this time, two of our Company members, Jake and Medina kind of got onto it. And I said, Hey, I’ll join. And actually they started in August two years ago and I sort of weighed and asked some questions. And then we had a hurricane hurricane. It was some hurricane Florence, I think. Yeah.
Florence and I had to go to Indiana. They stay with my folks for like almost two weeks. And I just decided one day, I’m like, I’m going to do it. And I started it and like stuck with it at that point for quite a long time. I can’t remember how long it was. It was about a year and I was down, I think, like 70 pounds. And then I kind of took some time off and then I went back on it and then I don’t, I can’t remember a lot.
I was off of it for like, since COVID started until like beginning of August. So now I’m back on it. Trying to reset.
I was gonna ask you, is it hard or was it harder the first time when you started it? Like, was it as hard to get back on the,
No, I don’t think so. If you know, what’s coming, it’s like easy. All you gotta deal with is like, it’s like caffeine withdrawal basically. I mean, it feels like that if you can deal with it for a couple of days and then you’re good, then the TV after that,
Did you ever get the keto flu or whatever it’s called?
Yeah. It’s, it’s it just feel like you just feel awful in Hungary and the headache and all of that. And then it goes away. Umm, and the thing that addresses it mostly is coffee. Lots of it like absurd amounts, hots at a time, something about the bitterness of it, like helps you think you’re eating or something. I don’t know, but that helps.
Yeah. But yeah. I mean it could take some, some people say it takes up to two weeks. I don’t think, I don’t think they’re trying it hard. You can get to it in like two days.
Yeah. I, I think people are just like trying to ease themselves into it. Cause that’s kinda what I’m doing with the intermittent and fascinating. And I started about a week ago on the 16, eight, but I want to work up to the 18 six, but I just decided to take as low and I’m probably am would of done well if I would have just dove had burst into it because, but my body does take a long time to kind of like adjust to new things.
It doesn’t, it doesn’t like when I try new things, cause it’s very set in its ways and it’s like, what are you doing? I’m are you trying to kill us? Because I don’t like this and that’s kind of what it was for like the first three or four days. But I think I’ve gotten to a point now where it’s, it’s definitely manageable and I, I never got sick or anything, but I don’t know if I would know the difference if a, if there’s headaches and stuff, because actually had chronic migraines. And so I did have headaches the first couple of days, but that also could have just been my usual having headaches.
So I couldn’t really tell the difference there, but I actually been doing Tea instead of coffee, because I’m a big tea and that seems to be helping cause the Berry, like I have like Berry tea blends and like spice problems and stuff. And I think for some reason my body thinks that like, Oh, I’m ingesting food. Cause it tastes like food. So that’s kind of been my way of convincing myself that like I’m not, I’m not dying, like is going to be okay, you’re going to be okay, Julie you’re going to get through this.
That’s what I have to keep talking to myself, but I’m fine now. So yeah, that’s where I’m not on it. I think it’s cool that we’re doing kind of like different things, but it’s similar kind of similar and hopefully kind of results and not really, I’ve never really been one to like kinda count carbs or like count calories or like worry about what my weight was at, but I just kind of want to be generally healthier as I get older.
I think that’s kind of where I’m at right now. So yeah.
Yeah. I took like 15 years off of that. Like, well, you know, having a teaching career and starting with theater company and I decided it probably ought to go the other direction.
Yeah. That’s a good, good idea. This is dress we’ll probably get to before anything else that sounded ominous, but it wasn’t into the sound bar.
It did Send mom in despair. Yeah. I’m just like, you know, just doing it now. I know I can, like for me I can turn them both on and off keto and intermittent fasting a So finding too. Like I know if like I got Our Quito today. I probably like put on 10 pounds of water weight and then I could like start it again on Tuesday. I lose it within three or four days. So, you know, I figured that kind of stuff up.
Yeah. I feel like isn’t that unhealthy to like fluctuate so much. I don’t know.
Couldn’t tell ya and not a doctor. I
Sure. So other than intermittent fasting and keto Talk what else are we discussing behind the scenes?
Yeah. I don’t know. What do you want to talk about? We’ve been doing all kinds of stuff.
The wood. I don’t know. I talk to you every day. I think jog. I was literally just contemplating my life the other day. And I was like, when did I get to a point where I literally talked to Jeremy Fiebig 25 freaking seven and then have to jump on and see your face on breaking Cocktail Hours when I get here,
I don’t know. As other people would accuse me of being like, I’m just like, I’m like a virus I latch on and like, you know yup.
That’s mutually beneficial. I’m learning a lot, I guess. I, I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but I see it as more of like a mentor figure and I felt like I’m learning a lot from you too, which is good. And yeah, I mean, I think that’s the point of life. Like we don’t know where we’re going to add up and I probably always wanted to work this intimate Lilli with theater company and now having the chance to do that. So I’m, I’m grateful and also tired of,
Yeah, I, yeah. I mean like were in this big moment of transition and we’re going to be in transition, I think for another year or so. Cause like the COVID thing, nobody expected. We had a plan like most of our week I think has been spent like undoing that plan and putting a new plan together actually most of the last month. And it’s like, ah, here’s what I will say. I know nothing except what I can imagine.
I know nothing about like the F like the F The the places we are going. Like we’re doing, you know, we’re transitioning to a lot of zoom stuff, a lot of streaming stuff. I mean, I’ve dabbled in it, but I’m not, I’m a professional and it feels pretty strange to me. Like there’s not a, really a rhythm to it and it was pretty uncomfortable, but I also remember like feeling that way about like being an actor and being a director at one point and I did pretty OK at those things.
So I figure, you know, we’ll catch up sometime.
Yeah, yeah. We can only get better at it. I think, you know, it, I think we’re honestly doing pretty good. We’re open and that’s a, that’s more than a, unfortunately a lot of arts organizations can say right now because it it’s hit the arts sector pretty hard I think. And yeah, I mean, I think it’s, it’s, it takes a lot of like, you know, ingenuity and just figuring out every day and probably is twice the work because you know, you’re kind of deconstructing what you had in your mind of what you wanted the season to be or what the season was going to be and then kind of building up in a new way every day.
So yeah, for sure. It’s a, it’s a hurdle, but like I think we are getting through it in a positive way and we’re doing it together, which is, I think what counts, you know, we’ve got a really great team who is super passionate about this company. And I think that is, that is aiding us and moving forward or even if it is slowly, I agree. I mean
Like, so we, we did the Galatea thing the last month, which I was really delighted with and also really nervous about I have, I have not been shy about sharing my views about zoom productions and I actually have nothing against zoom personally, but like the, the, it it’s sort of anxiety inducing for me because like everything I do on zoom is either a classroom meeting. And so I just feel like that format sort of lends itself to, I dunno, being a trigger for people’s work anxiety mostly, and, and it’s hard to get good interaction.
So actually Claire and I spent a lot of time after a gala, Tea talking about what good interaction it looks like, because like there’s a, there’s a version of interaction that, where like the interaction becomes more important than the work, you know what I’m saying? And, and we could be like sitting in the chat and sort of paying more attention to that than we would the performances. And so we’re like thinking through sort of what it looks like, because a, and this is to your point about how much support we have.
I mean, I sort of after Galatea I went to eight or nine or 10 of my grad school friends and, and Shakespeare friends and said, Hey, do you want to direct a play for us? And Claire kind of went off into her world and made a list of a, like a billion place she wanted to direct. And basically everybody said yes to everything. So we have between now and March, what is probably going to be like 15, like streaming some things either it’s going to be a podcast, audio drama, or it’s going to be a zoom production or it’s going to be something else.
And a, I think that’s pretty cool. I’m a people kind of coalesce and, and certainly had a lot of support from a really great actors and musicians and folks like that. So I’m excited. It’s going to be very different for us. We do a lot of Shakespeare plays traditionally and then like the occasional departure and the next six months or so our are going to be mostly all departure. We’re just doing other things like restoration plays and non Shakespeare, early modern drama, you know, plays, plays that I, the last time I thought about them literally thought about them was in graduate school.
And now we’re doing like seven of ’em right in a row. So they should be an adventure.
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For more information, check out our firstname.lastname@example.org slash Sweet Tea Shakespeare thanks so much. Yeah. That’s super exciting. Lesson is getting other people like an opportunity to do stuff that they’d want to do too. Cause I feel like people just want to create right now in any capacity and, you know, for some people that’s, I mean, it could be just like life or death, you know what I mean? There’s nothing to do. And it’s a very ominous time as though, you know, having something to kind of set your mind to as well and be creative and use that in that outlet and that we’re able to kind of give them that outlet as well and be flexible, I think is good.
And you know, we definitely want to do that at Sweet team. And we wanna open up at the table to a bunch of people who have these cool ideas, you know, and, and wanna want to work with us. So I think that’s really cool.
Yeah, for sure. I’m excited. Now we have to do is to figure out how to make money on them. And so if you’re listening and you’re like a podcast pro We, we just need your help. We just need you to, we just need you to call us or email us Hours is Sweet Tea shakespeare.com at tell us how to make money off of it. Like we could do it all all year long. I don’t know how people make money off podcasts. I know they do. I know they’re like millionaires podcast, millionaires. I don’t know how they do it. I just want to know, like somebody just teach us the way I wouldn’t be your paddle one.
I will too. I actually do want to know. I am very interested to see, you know, how people track like patterns and metrics and how they just get people involved and interested and they get that hook. You know what I mean? Like they get people hooked on it. Yeah. I don’t know if we, if we found that yet or if we have, and we just don’t have the, the numbers, but I would be really interested to know that as well. I think, I don’t know.
I just, maybe I’m biased, but I really think that Sweet Tea is special. That we’re cool. We have a lot going on and we’re really, really, really invested in our audience. So I think that, I think if we’re given the chance we could, we could do something with it, for sure.
For sure. That’s my personal opinion. So take that.
How’s your how’s your Mead
Is, it is honestly really good. This is that Viking blood one. That I’m pretty sure you’ve had before. Like been a s**t up. I usually use it for pagan offerings, but I decided to finish it off tonight. So I’m is actually, since this is my thing to do shameless plugs every time I’m on this episode, I am using a glass from a current client is a stainless wine glass. It says bra off hair, up sweats on pop cork and is relatable for people who wear bras or have long hair.
I have neither of those things, but I, I appreciate both. I appreciate both as well,
A huge appreciator of both. Yeah. It’s pretty good. I do. I do like this brand a lot, so I’d probably get some more and I did finish that other, that other made that I was working on the last time I’m from Stonewall and what school about there. Like I liked going to places where I can get the growlers, because they’ll always like give you a percentage off when you go back and just like reuse the growler, which I think is really cool and can, you know, sustainable.
So its kind of neat, but yeah. So you did say to come with questions.
Yes. Oh yes. Questions. How exciting
I thought of one question. So yeah, it’s not very exciting cause I only thought of one, but maybe it will spark me to have more. I also wrote down having a fun time, which I think we are having a fun time. So great for us. So hypothetically and you’ll like this. If we met all of our fundraising goals and got a successful amount of a grant applications that we had applied for and we quote unquote had an unlimited budget, what would be your, like what, what production or the itching to do if you had just like an unlimited amount of money and why and a would you, would you want to do it after COVID is done?
This is a good question. This is a good question. So I have a, of an indirect answer and I’ve actually mentioned it before on this podcast, but I’m, I’m gonna, I’m gonna answer your question in a different way. Then you asked productions, like I like plays, but I also like the way they talk to each other and all of that. So if I had to land on something, I think be b******g to do it would be something like, Mmm, a festival where like there’s a, there’s a common event that takes place and like all the plays attached to it in some way.
So one that I’ve talked about before is like, it’s doing like a shipwreck festival where you take all of the shipwrecks that are mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays and some others and you, you like different companies maybe do different. Like you do merchant of Venice, you could do 12th night, you could do a fellow, you could do the sea voyage, you could do Tempest <inaudible>. And, but like you, you pretend as though the shipwreck in each of those things is the same and like that they all kind of spun out of it.
You know what I mean? So like it’s all one world Marvel comic universe style, and this is like put them up like over a two week span or people could just comment, have a marathon of different players by different companies, but they all have this like one event in common. I think that’d be pretty cool. This is what I’d like to do.
That sounds really cool. And would it be like festival type, you know, food drinks?
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I want to. So like we’re one of our projects over time is to figure out whether we want to space and if so, what that space would look like. And the thing that I keep settling on right now is like a big like field of grass, nicely trimmed put a Playhouse there. And we, we, and we also have a seating area that we got from bedroom I’m in New York and we would have those, but then around those things we’d have like shipping containers and maybe like tiny home kind of situation that we could build up in galleries.
So you could, you know, it would be outdoors, but it could also be covered. And like the tiny home situation could also be like, well, if we have to have how’s actors or directors who are out of town, they could like live there. And when they’re not there, we could like rent that stuff out, Airbnb style. And so you have like an, like an like back in Shakespeare state to have these M of they had a ends. Cause it was a li a, well, for awhile, it was illegal to do plays like inside the city limits, they have a theater, but you could do entertainments in plays.
And the, like all of the, you know, just like today, like if you think of a, of a hotel, like if they’ve got, you know, all the balconies all the way up and you just build it up and that kind of becomes your gallery for watching a play. I just think that would be a cool kind of environment. And you know, like when we’re off, it could be like place for standup comedy or concerts or whatever, you know, I think it’d be cool. A little destination make money a lots of different ways. Yeah.
That is honestly really cool. I love that idea. Cause I’ve, I’ve always, I’ve always liked that sort of gallery type of idea. I have kind of an interesting dream of buying an old house and renovating it and having like a little bar area and like basically like a stage inside a, like one of the bigger areas, like the living room and then kind of like build out like a gallery over top of it.
So that like, and kinda had like this house party vibe while like Shakespeare is being performed and have like some music on, but like the actors are maybe a little tipsy too. And like the, the audience is a little tipsy and we’re all kind of drinking together and I’m in like low lighting and stuff like that. So I kind of have that. It’s not similar. Yours is of the, on a very much grander scale, but like this kind of, this kind of idea of like this community and sort of bringing, bringing people together in that way, which I think is interesting.
Yeah. I really, really do like the shipping container idea. That’s dare I say genius.
Yeah. I think, I mean, like I’ve had conversations with, with folks in Fayetteville and, and like you, no, one of the things that’s always a challenge for, for cities of our size, I think probably many sizes, but I know ours for sure is like, you know, we want artists to like help transform our city, help transform our downtown. And like, it would be great if they could have cheap housing or free housing and like building like an artist village out of which like a theater thing emerges.
I think that could be cool. And other things, you know, like it doesn’t have to just be our theater. It can be many other things too. Like that’d be really great little Tommy and, you know,
Yeah. I really liked that. Yeah. I think, I think Fayetteville was very Artistic I’ve never been there, but as I can sort of tell from everyone who lives there and you know, everyone’s very passionate about, you know, the Arts being in their city, you know, and I kind of feel similarly to Pittsburgh and the fact that it’s, it’s just very artist driven and there’s just like that artist culture that, that everyone just loves, you know, just walking down the street and saying the street art and we have a really great theater community here as well.
And yeah, I think that’s really cool just to kind of build up on that and have like this welcoming place so that people can just come and like kinda just be themselves and just, you know, and also, you know, if it can also provide free housing and stuff like that, or at least like low income housing would be really cool because it would be like double a double edged kind of in helping the community in that way. See how I do like that. That’s really cool. I’m glad I asked you that. Cause it’s, that’s a really interesting,
I need somebody. I need somebody to draw me a picture of, of the vision, because I think if I had that, the rendering, like I could like, Shop it around when people give money to it, you know what I’m saying? I’m like, so I’m gonna make that Ashanti job. She is going to do that. I was fine. I got to find that artist, he can help us. And then as soon as that’s done, I mean, it’s just about stand in front of groups of people and making the sale people. And the thing about thinking about shipping containers and tiny homes is that they’re theoretically very cheap.
I mean, what would, what would be a multimillion dollar building somewhere else could be like, you know, you could, you could repurpose it in and get away with it for much less affordable. Yeah. So cool. We’re going to try it.
I like I’m on board. I’ll have to do a lot of paperwork. That sounds
It’s like a job for an executive assistant, which I am.
Yeah. That’s all the questions I had. I thought.
Right. Well, we did that. We did it. That was good. That was good. We should say to all the people who listened to us that we’re sort of letting some of them decide what this shows going to be.
The one, if you are a, a, if you are a Patrion supporter, if you just log in like every, whatever beginning of the week, and we’re going to have a little like poll news, tell us what you want us to talk about. And then we we’ll talk about it when we next record the show. And then, or if it’s a question we can answer whatever. And so you shape the show. If you’re a Patrion, Member you shape the show. If you wanted to be a Patriot, a member, you go to patrion.com/sweet Tea Shakespeare become a member and whoosh, you can shake the show.
We can even have you on the show if you want some of your shy. I know, but we could add on the show. It’s no big deal. You just need the Skype.
It’s all. And that’s for any tier as well. Like you could sign up for six bucks a month and you know, help curate content basically. You know, that’s what you’re doing. So its kind of a cool perk.
Yeah, I think so. And you can also see our live stream of this when we record it. That’s nice. It’s a little perk. You see our faces.
Yeah. Which are very beautiful by the way
Background. My very now dog.
Yeah. It’s it’s yeah. Yeah. She’s have a long day. I guess
I am Jeremy’s dog. Wait, what’s your dog’s name again? I’ve a horrible memory. And from Greece, is that what you named her?
We didn’t name her. Actually. She came with her name. She had a rescue. She is from the puppy pen.
That is adorable. My cat is also a rescue. I totally actually she was, she was a barn cat, but barn kitten. And she was very, very, very feral when I got her and yeah, she’s she’s taken seven years, but she’s slowly warming up to me. So I’ll take it. Calico’s are like that though. They are pretty moody. So I knew what I was getting into, but yeah,
That’s cool. Hey, alright. We did it.
That’s all I got. So I’ve been, I was slowly and keep drinking my maid.
That’s great. I think I’m going to go on, I don’t know. Watch the Norwegian television, I guess.
That’s right. You were talking about it with Rob. I did catch that.
What are your show? Because both of the shows that I had been following are over now, so had to start something else.
Oh, that’s always really hard. It takes me like an hour and I’m usually just scrolling through Netflix. Unless someone gives me a suggestion, which then I’ll be like, okay, I going to start this. Cause I don’t have anything else, but I’m currently watching three shows. So I don’t need any suggestions currently. But if I do, I will come to you. And you seem like you watch a lot of shows.
I do. I mean for the, for the first time of my life, well not, not of my life, but like prior to COVID I was like in rehearsal at a time. I hadn’t watched the movie and catching up a year later on some shows, but now I have nothing but time, nothing but time. And I think television is self care. I think it is.
Yeah. That’s true gaming for me too. I, I have like a couple of games that I sometimes just, just play their, their non-stressful. I don’t like, you know, stressful, anything even like TV shows. I don’t like horror or suspense or anything like that or just, I don’t have the energy to deal with that. So I just want something that’s kind of like interesting, but not, not going to like set up my energy if I’m doing it. So that’s kind of where I’m at on that.
Yeah, I definitely, and that’s cool. Yeah. Well have fun with your Norwegian show. Okay. And it’s super fun talking to you one on one by I guess we never explained it was just Julie and Jeremy Our but I had been just Julie and Jeremy Our. So Jeremy have a fun evening by everyone.
You’ve been listening to the Sweet Tea Shakespeare Cocktail Our thanks for joining us. And for being a patron of Sweet Tea Shakespeare catching next time.