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The No Proscenium Podcast

Exploring the renaissance in immersive theatre and interactive events. Hosted by Noah Nelson, creator of No Proscenium, a free events listing newsletter in Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco. Visit NoProscenium.com to sign up.
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Sep 22, 2017

This week on the show: a kind of psychological sequel to last week’s episode on physical safety.

We have sex-positive psych Dr. Liz Powell -- a licensed therapist and coach who specializes in LGBTQ/Poly/Kink-Friendly therapy joining us to talk about the mental side of safety and emotional risk.

Plus Elan Lee -- co-creator of Exploding Kittens and former Chief Design Officer at Xbox joins us to talk about his passion for escape rooms.

Head's up: strong language and frank discussion throughout!

Sep 15, 2017

Immersive productions can be challenging, both physically and mentally for creators and audiences alike.

Even when they are challenging, there is a reasonable expectation that they are safe. That every effort has been made to make sure that even experiences that seem dangerous are, in fact, not dangerous. That the risks that are being taken by audience and performers are the agreed upon ones -- not one of shoddy construction and poor design.

What sort of mindset should creators have when taking safety into consideration? What should audience members accept when it comes to safety issues? These are the questions we get into with our expert panel: from Delusion come production designer Kevin Williams and lighting designer/technical director Iam Momii. Joining them is David Ruzicka, a creative consultant who is part of the Creep team and who works in the theme park industry.

Plus: Charlie Melcher, founder of The Future of Storytelling, joins us for the "A" segment. (Use the code NP20 for 20% of FoST Fest tickets.)

Sep 8, 2017

Two of our favorite creators in the Southland, Jeff Leinenveber and Jarrett Lantz return to talk about lessons learned from their first show: the very much beloved The Nest.

Before that: Meredith Treinen talks about her upcoming debut work grief.

Before that: Noah formally announces the formation of LEIA: The League of Experiential & Immersive Artists.

Before that: we address the safety issues raised last weekend at one show in LA, and what we're going to be doing about it as a community.

Before that: you download the podcast.

PLUS: WE. HAVE. FOST. TICKETS. FOR. YOU. Listen for giveaway rules!

Sep 1, 2017

MINDSHOW!

There is pretty much NOTHING that gets me more excited about virtual reality than Mindshow: which turns an HTC Vive into a performance capture tool, allowing users to create animated stories with digital puppets. It's like having a film FX pre-visualization tool to play with.

For years now I've been anticipating Mindshow's release to the public and now, this week, it is finally HERE. You can roll onto Steam right now and get it for free.

To celebrate, we've got Mindshow CEO Gil Baron on to talk about it and the philosophy behind the software. Gil is one of my favorite people to talk all things immersive with, and I've been dying to do this episode for years now. If you're in NYC in October you can check out Mindshow and meet the team at the FUTURE OF STORYTELLING FESTIVAL, who are hosting them this year. (You should go.)

This is a big episode in every sense. Gil's interview starts a bit after the half-hour mark (WHAT?) because our friend Ricky Brigante of Inside The Magic stops by to talk about the jam packed summer he's had.

Hey: it's a holiday weekend. Consider this two shows for the price of one.

Aug 25, 2017

If you're in the amusement industry, Kevin Williams is a name you probably know. Once upon a time he headed up the "DisneyQuest" project in Orlando for the Mouse House, and beyond that he's a consultant on numerous projects, the editorial voice of The Stinger Report and founder of The DNA: Digital Out-of-Home Interactive Entertainment Association.

This year he's starting an all new conference focused on the Future of Immersive Leisure. We talked about that, his history in the amusement industry, and a whole lot more.

Plus: David & Lisa of Room Escape Artist stop by to talk about the state of Escape Rooms, and I go into a little more about LEIA: the League of Experiential & Immersive Artists, which is coming together in the Southland.

Aug 18, 2017

Oh, do we have a multi-layered episode for you today.

First, we turn to Jacob Patterson of Think Tank Gallery, as we drop in on the night of their media preview for their next big show Drinkin', Smokin', West Coastin'.

Then we unlock the No Pro time machine (Where do you think all that Patreon money goes to?) to enter the world of Nocturnal Fandango before The Sudden Loneliness Gift disrupted their dreams and plans. That's where we find Jason and Kevin Davidson, the couple at the heart of that company, weeks after Have You Seen Jake? ended, before a tragic fire--an uncanny echo of stories past--took Kevin away from Jason.

All that, and Noah shares his tale of a Technodelic experience.

 

Wait, what?

Aug 11, 2017

Christian Dieckmann is the Chief Strategy Officer of 3D Live, a technology studio in Los Angeles that specializes in creating "holographic" 3D.

Their LED video wall has made appearances at VRLA and other gatherings, showing that there is something magical to letting those of us outside a virtual space see what happens when participants and performers are interacting with virtual worlds.

Christian is going to be speaking at the Future of Immersive Leisure conference at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas this September 13th & 14th. The conference organizers were gracious enough to set us up with Christian for this interview and our audience up with a 20% discount for the conference when they use the code NOPROSCENIUM.

Shouldn't be too hard to remember.

 

All that, plus the end of the show notes where I talk a little about In Another Room, which makes its bows this week in LA.

Aug 4, 2017

After two years (!!) we're back with Annie Lesser for a conversation on how her work has evolved as she's become a mainstay of LA's immersive theatre scene.

Plus: field reports from Noah about Midsummer Scream and a pop-up event for HBO's Big Little Lies that pulled in some of LA's best immersive actors and creators.

What a week. 

Jul 28, 2017

At this year's San Diego Comic Con the most buzzed about things weren't movies: they were immersive.

Pop-up "marketing activations" for Westworld, Blade Runner 2049, and Mr. Robot drew on the talents and skills of immersive theatre makers and ARG crafters to created the biggest tentpole for immersive this side of Sleep No More.

We check in with Daphne Mir and Maxwell Robison who checked out Westworld and Blade Runner 2049, respectively, to get a connoisseur eye view of these immersive gateways into some of Hollywood's biggest properties.

Plus: our neighbor uses a garden hose throughout a very special announcement from Noah.

Plus-plus: in LA this weekend? Swing on by MIDSUMMER SCREAM and catch our "STAGE & SCREAM" panel on Sunday. Featuring Zombie Joe, Shine On Collective, The Overlook Film Fest, and Unbound Productions.

Jul 23, 2017

What can we say about this Open Forum edition?

 

Well: we crack open a can of worms and we go right in. That's what.

 

WARNING: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE.

Jul 14, 2017

Steve Boyle, the CEO of the SF Bay Area's Epic Immersive stops by to talk about their work in immersive theatre and VR... and about their new show The Infernal Motel.

Plus:

  • A bit about the Future of Immersive Leisure conference this September in Las Vegas
  • A call for submissions in next weeks OPEN FORUM episode
  • An op-ed from Noah about some of the issues popping up in the SoCal immersive scene

All brought to you by our generous Patreon backers.

 

Sustaining Backer: Ross Sigworth

Music By: Chris Porter

Jul 7, 2017

Lauren Ludwig of Capital W stops by to take a deep dive into the process behind her latest, the much talked about Red Flags. Which means we dive deep down the acting and process rabbit hole.

What does that have to do with Jon Hamm? 

You'll see. You'll see.

Plus: "live events locksmith" Simon Rust Lamb jumps in to answer YOUR questions about getting a new production company off the ground.

Jun 30, 2017

John Bucher of Sideshow Media Group joins us to talk about his upcoming book Storytelling For Virtual Reality, and in the process gets Noah to go way, way off script. (Warning: content advisory.)

Plus the creator of the augmented reality/immersive theatre piece Transmission, which will be making its debut at the Edinburgh Fringe stops by.

 

Brought to you by our Patreon backers, including sustaining backer Ross Sigworth.

 

 

 

Jun 23, 2017

Vinny DePonto is an amazing mentalist based out of New York City who knows a thing or twelve about immersive theatre: he's been working for the past few years with Third Rail Projects on shows like Sweet & Lucky and the recently opened Ghost Light

While on tour in LA, Vinny stopped by NoPro headquarters to talk with Noah about how magic is the original immersive theatre and his own background in working in both magic and immersive.

Plus: we get Meiyin Wang, the new Festival Director of the Without Walls Festival, on the line to talk about their big announcement this week and Lauren Ludwig of Capital W (Red Flags, Hamlet-Mobile) stops by to talk about the launch of NoPro's brand new workshop program: because she's teaching the first class next month!

In other words: this is a MASSIVE episode, all in a tiny little space.

Because we know you like it that way.

(Oh, and dig our new logo by Dino Nama, cool, right?)

 

Jun 16, 2017

"When in doubt, LARP it out."

That, thanks to Andrew Hoepfner is one of our unofficial mottos here at NoPro. So it is with great exuberance that we introduce today's guest: Jason Carl of By Night Studios. 

By Night Studios are the folks who publish the Mind's Eye Theatre series of LARP games-- live action versions of the classic RPGs Vampire: The Masquerade and Werewolf: The Apocalypse. These are among the NoPro crew's formative immersive experiences, and the lines have been going strong and maturing for years now.

In this episode we do more than talk about what the games are and how they cross over with all things immersive, but about the lessons in consent and safety that have been developed through years of experience in the LARP world: lessons immersive creators and participants would do well to heed.

All that plus: GHOST LIGHT notes from Zay Amsbury in NYC, and something SPECIAL from the gaps of the Hollywood Fringe. #theboanthropic

Jun 9, 2017

This week on the show, the co-director of The Overlook Film Festival--Landon Zakheim--joins host Noah Nelson for a lively discussion.

We also check in with Mike and Russell of My Haunt Life to see how the Hollywood Fringe is going.

Plus we tease OUR panel at the Hollywood Fringe: The Fringe of the Fringe! This Saturday June 10th at 11AM!

For even more news: check out NoProscenium.com

Jun 2, 2017

Welcome to the all-new No Proscenium Podcast.

The format has changed! 

But we've still got an amazing guest for you: contemporary artist Simon Birch, the creator of The 14th Factory, which has been turning heads in Los Angeles since it opened. The 14th Factory is three acres of art--much of it immersive--and all of it designed to create a sense of awe and wonder.

It's a can't miss spot in LA this summer.

Plus we check in with Ricky Brigante of Inside The Magic to talk about an otherworldly  attraction in Orlando.

All that and more on the all-new No Pro: brought to you by listeners like you!

May 26, 2017

Two years.

One hundred episodes.

Guiding you through everything immersive.

This very special episode of NoPro features the voices of some of our friends--all looking forward to the future of immersive entertainment.

(It's also super short, as these things go!)

We'll see you back here next week, for the ALL NEW No Proscenium.

May 19, 2017

Our man in NYC -- Zay Amsbury -- and Bryan Bishop (Senior Reporter for The Verge) join master of ceremonies Noah Nelson for a wide-ranging talk about how we talk about this immersive thing of ours.

Oh, yeah, it's one of THOSE episodes.

The "I-word," ARX vs. ARG, virtual reality and more come up as three dudes try and figure out which part of the elephant they are holding. All part of the lead up to episode One- Zero-Zero.

 

Plus a flash facts version of News & Notes.

 

 WARNING: WE CUSS.

May 12, 2017

The proprietors of LA's most deliciously strange haunt--Creep LA--invite you to meet the family: The Willows family, that is.

Planned as a year-round production, The Willows is the Creep take on the classic murder mystery dinner. If 'Clue' were staged by The Addams Family and viewed through a disturbed gothic indie horror lens. 

Naturally, we love it.

We dig deep into what makes the show possible and the vision Justin Fix and Daniel Montgomery have for it and their production company on this blockbuster episode.

 

Plus News, Notes, and a call to action for the upcoming Episode 100!

May 5, 2017

The LA immersive renaissance is really heating up, and choreographer Sophia Stoller is bringing some stunning dance chops to the table this month with her piece 'The Other Side,' which uses some infamous experiments in social control as her inspiration.

We dive into the inspiration for the show and Stoller's craft... and you get a nice dose of news, notes, and an old fashioned Noah rant after the interview proper.

All brought to you by listeners like you.

Apr 28, 2017

This is a first: an After Dark episode with someone who isn't on the No Pro team. 

Here's another first: talking to a member of The Speakeasy Society solo... well, mostly solo. Maybe there are special guests. Maybe not all of the are human. Maybe you'll have to listen to find out what we mean by that.

This is one of those lovely philosophical discussions about the form where we really get our hands dirty. And occasionally curse. So grab a drink (but don't drive!) and join us After Dark, won't you?

 

OH, YEAH: I totally give you a hint at what's going on with the Hollywood Fringe Festival, the tickets for which go on sale at MIDNIGHT MAY 1st.

 

Apr 21, 2017

Story time: months ago, while driving Interstate 5 in California, I listened to Kent Bye's interview with Jessica Brillhart of Google. In that episode of his "Voices of VR" podcast Kent offered up an "elemental theory of presence," mapping the classical elements onto the different building blocks of immersive experiences.

It was like a door opened up in my head. Luckily, I didn't drive off the road.

I knew at that moment that I had to have Kent on the show. I knew I had to bring him into our little corner of the immersive world to share what he discovered. 

In other words, get ready for one of those episodes of No Proscenium, because we're not going to be the same after this one.

Oh yeah: all the news and notes--and then some--are here in our pursuit of EVERYTHING IMMERSIVE.

Brought to you by Patreon backers like you.

Apr 14, 2017

What can we say about Dasha and Keight, Keight and Dasha?

If you're a fan on the LA immersive scene you've probably encountered their work with Annie Lesser (Getting To Know You, Covell), or seen Dasha in Delusion or had the most disturbing one-on-one possible with Keight in Lesser's A(partment 8)--which is getting a reprise this year at the Hollywood Fringe and is appearing at the Overlook Film Festival as The Chalet.

But that's their resumes.

What's it like to, you know, just hang out with Dasha and Keight?

It's awesome. Enjoy.

 

All that plus another ridiculously huge raft of News. Honestly people, you need to calm down.

Apr 7, 2017

This week Noah is joined by Jon Lawrence Rivera, founder and artistic director of LA's Playwright's Arena to talk about their 25th-anniversary show "The Hotel Play," a site-specific piece that unfolds in a series of hotel rooms at the Radisson by USC.

We get into their writing process behind telling a mosaic story with a writer's room of playwrights. (Apologies for the slightly off sound quality. SOMEBODY forgot a cable and we recorded on the laptop... but it sounds better than the pre-Yeti mic episodes somehow!)

All that plus a MEGA News&Notes (sorry, not sorry, but kinda sorry) and the announcement of EVERYTHING IMMERSIVE our new GLOBAL Facebook group for... everything immersive.

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