We had the privilege of chatting to JC Snooke from The Talent Theatre about starting a new division to his production company during the COVID-19 lockdown. JC is the director, owner and producer of Life ETC (a division of Talent ETC).
The Talent Theatre's goal is to bring relief to this industry and offer artists a new platform to perform their work digitally. The Talent Theatre - FOR THE ARTS, WITH THE ARTS!
ONE What is The Talent Theatre?
The Talent Theatre is an industry initiative to give any type of performing artist a platform to do what they love online. This includes crew and cast that have been influenced by the pandemic. It is a space to entertain – for the arts, with the arts.
TWO Who is involved in The Talent Theatre?
I saw a gap to support the arts, with many artists that needed work. I contacted Christian Wolf (from C Wolf Visuals) to film this project. After that conversation, we compiled a crew to make The Talent Theatre happen.
The crew consists of:
Sarel van Vuuren (Shortwave Productions) - sound and final mix
Theo Scheepers (13 Lucky pictures) - editor and grading
Frankie Opperman (Crew ETC) - assisting with production and camera
Jennis Williamson and Precious Magoswana (from Talent ETC) and many artists (even though they are not with the agency)
Monarchy.TV - the venue & studio
Howler.co.za - hosting and ticketing
THREE What inspired you to start a business during lockdown, and how did The Talent Theatre come to be?
The business, from the production point of view, existed before lockdown. However, the idea of The Talent Theatre was born out of the COVID-19 pandemic because of the need for artists to perform and get some sort of an income.
FOUR What has been the most difficult part about starting your business during Lockdown?
The most difficult thing was the idea of an "online" concept. There is a lot of competition out there. There are so many online shows so we needed something that was unique and interesting for the public to buy tickets in order to watch the shows.
FIVE What have you learned about the South African theatre scene since starting The Talent Theatre?
I've learnt that you need to create an audience - tastes differ everyday depending on current affairs and situations in life.
SIX What advice would you give to someone who wanted to start their own theatre related business?
Be unique in your approach, your ideas and know what you want from the beginning (from a content point of view).
SEVEN It's amazing that a percentage of your ticket sales goes to the Talent Care Fund. What made you decide to do that and why did you specifically choose the Talent Care Fund?
Working in the industry for years, you notice the need for artists just to go for auditions to book work. They need money for petrol and airtime and the cost of food is bigger than what we think. The Talent Theatre forming part of the Talent Cares Fund made sense to us - to help where we can.
You can donate to support artists in need with any Talent Theatre show through Howler.co.za .
EIGHT The Talent Theatre has been set up as an online platform during lockdown, are you planning on continuing once theatres reopen?
Depending on availability of the crew creating this, we would love to make this a permanent institution for as long as we can.
NINE Do you think that the theatre industry in South Africa will have changed after lockdown?
Yes definitely. Ticket sales, travel, comfort and big groups made everyone rethink if it’s worth traveling to an area, rather than watching something from the comfort of your couch at home. People are getting more “introverted ” because of the lockdown. However, a step out of the house every now and then is great for us, and to experience theatre is always a fun outing. So I think it’s a flip of a coin.
TEN What can people look forward to seeing from The Talent Theatre in the future?
More innovative ideas to entertain people at home with fresh new and eventful content.
Next up will be:
Thuli van Niekerk - a Sangoma (a medium) talking with celeb’s and guests as well as their passed ancestors. He will be discovering where they are in life and what’s to come in the future.
The Labyrinth Quintet - playing some beautiful classical self composed music.
Once upon a VIRUS - Kiddies theatre that educates children about viruses and how to keep safe from them - featuring Pinocchio, Little Red Riding Hood and many more.
Visit @thetalenttheatre on social media to see when and where all of this will happen or on Howler.co.za under The Talent Theatre.
If you want to find out more, click the links below tofollow The Talent Theatre:
Interview by: Alyssa Harrison and Michaela Tobias (Plug In Theatre Intern)