Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Spotlight On...Gene Fisch, Jr.

Name: Gene Fisch, Jr.

Hometown: Monroe, CT.

Education: Coursework at M.I.T., Harvard, SUNY, and Adelphi

Favorite Credits: Nuclear Engineering (Ha).  Theatre wise, I wrote a play anonymously so as to get a true sense of what the audience felt during and after the performance.  When Once Upon a Moment performed, it was one of the most rewarding experiences I've ever enjoyed. Deuces was a terrific experience as well.  The show depicted a bunch of experiences / inside jokes that were between an ex girlfriend and myself / was written within a 48 hour period of our relationship ending.  We still laugh about it to this day; it turned into a solid piece of work.

Why theater?: When I am "me" what you see is what you get. There are no masks or diversions. Participating in theatre (on any level) allows your mind to exercise its creative side and experience life from a different perspective.  You can rest and come back as a rejuvinated "you."

Tell us about New York New Works Theatre Festival: I'm very proud of this.  Each year I create a "give back" project that I believe will help the community.  So many of my friends enter festivals that cost tremendous amounts of money while not making good on the opportunities that the young writers hope for upon entering.  Almost entirely self funded, we have aggregated a cadre of Broadway Producers and Emmy Award winning writers to review the work of our participants.  When we factor in the wonderful space, the marketing (at our expense) for the individual authors, the nuances that we are undertaking to make this a terrific experience, we end up with an unbelievable event that we are quite proud of.  This is a "genuine shot" as the panelists can have a material effect on the careers of these young writers.

What inspired you to create New York New Works Theatre Festival?: I wanted to create a one of a kind Festival that didn't exist.  The financial position of the entrant does not matter; each participant is accepted on the merit of their writing.  We've given the participants an opportunity to be seen by legitimate decision makers in the industry.  Sometimes we just need a chance and that what this Festival offers.  It's a pretty cool feeling knowing  that you can provide such an impact to a young person.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Anything that can evoke thinking that is "out of the box."  Conformity stagnates our thought process and any type of catalyst that can bring about new ideas gets me going.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: I would probably say someone in a high level of politics that can get things done.  Resources (or lack thereof) can be a downfall and having partners that can navigate the process and be effective while doing so are invaluable to changing the way things have been done traditionally (and that's the only way we can all become both a better society and better people).

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Cabaret (the latest rendition)

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Gosh, I'm not sure.  It would have to be someone who really enjoyed baked goods, though!

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Lots and lots and lots of ice cream

What’s the most played song on your iTunes?: Probably something from the Queen repertoire

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: I typically take projects that attack something that is broken and then I try to rectify the situation.  My latest project is with Alfred Mann of MannKind.  With Michael Maher and Archana Sivadassen we are setting up international platforms to distribute medicine throughout the world to the areas that need it most.

What’s up next?: Lots and lots of ice cream!  Well that and there's been some interest in a pilot that I put together one evening, "Last First Kiss".  It was a "hobby" project and the concept has enjoyed some "beginner's luck" and we may be shooting with the help of a network in the next couple of weeks along with the Rock City Productions production company.