This week we turn to YOU, the NoPro audience (and our team), to find out what you're looking forward to in the coming year.
Ida Benedetto is the author of Patterns of Transformation: Designing Sex, Death and Survival in the 21st Century. That work came about thanks to years of practice as an experience designer, including being part of the legendary Night Heron speakeasy brain trust. She joins NoPro NYC curator Kathryn Yu to discuss her approach to experience design.
This is one we've been waiting for.
Tommy Honton wears a lot of hats: escape room designer, founding member of LEIA, and now the co-creator of The Museum of Selfies, a gloriously self-aware "Instagram Museum" which is opening up in the immersive-friendly SoCal city of Glendale.
We talk with Tommy about the very real, and very tongue in cheek, themes of the Museum and about his upcoming escape room "Stash House," which is coming out of testing.
Get ready for one of THOSE episodes.
Zay Amsbury, our man in New York City, is setting out for some traveling. Stepping into his shoes is Kathryn Yu, our not-so-secret-weapon.
In this AFTER DARK episode that duo join Noah to talk about, well... whatever we want to talk about. It's one of THOSE episodes. (Which are a lot of fun.)
Plus: what starts out as a media rant at the end of the show turns into something decidedly more, um, spiritual?
Sean T. Cawelti, Chelsea Sutton, and Lori Meeker of LA's Rogue Artist Ensemble stop in to talk about Kaidan Project: Walls Grow Thin. We dig into the long gestation process, and lessons learned from the Rogue's first foray into large-scale immersive work.
Plus: Rolfe Kent of The Unmarked Door stops by to talk about their first show, 'The Heart of Winter' which debuts in Culver City this month.
Louis Changchien and Steven Klein of the LA and immersive premiere of the Obie-Award winning CAUGHT (currently at Think Tank Gallery in DTLA) join Noah for a look into the twisty reality of this barnburner of a play.
Spoilers abound! But you still have two weeks to catch (accidental pun) the show at Think Tank Gallery, then come back here and listen to this deep dive into the history of the production.
THIS. IS. A. GREAT. SHOW. JUST. GO.
Before he was the Vice President of Experiential Global Entertainment for Westfield -- yes, that Westfield -- Vance Garrett was a producer on 29 Rooms and The Museum of Ice Cream.
Before THAT he was a key player in the opening of the McKittrick Hotel, home of Sleep No More.
On this episode of the podcast we take a trip down memory lane with Vance.
Eva Anderson and Michael Cassady, the co-writers of 'Amos: A Play With Music,' join us to talk about the EDM infused, site-responsive musical that audiences in LA are eating up.
Plus: Steve Boyle of Epic Immersive joins us to make a VERY SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT about The Immersive Design Summit, which is coming up in San Francisco this January. (Applications are OPEN NOW, and they CLOSE THIS SUNDAY!)
Get ready for some brain-twisty-ness on the latest episode.
First: we have Lin Bo, of China's dissident Xiong Collective joining us for a hot second at Think Tank Gallery where he is hanging their new collaboration 'District 798.' Lin Bo is the subject of the show 'Caught,' which is also making its bow at Think Tank.
How does that work? We have no idea.
Then it's time for one of THOSE episodes, as we sit down with Derek Spencer of Ceaseless Fun (and the League of Experiential and Immersive Artists) to talk about... well, everything.
Plus a short rant about Gothamist shutting down, word on the Immersive Design Summit, and strange interruptions galore.
This one really is like hanging out with us.
Just a quick check in with a few announcements about some upcoming events!
London based immersive producer Venetia Harpin joins Noah to talk about the scene in London, her work in experiential marketing and the way that world and the world of immersive theatre overlap.
All that plus more on this January's Immersive Design Summit.
This week: the creative team at Hall and Mirrors -- creators of the $5000 a ticket, one guest at a time show YOU -- sit down with us to talk about upending the traditional theatre market, making art for one, and what led to the creation of this audacious experiment.
Writer-producer Edward Tucker, director Daniel Student, and actor Lola Kelly join host Noah Nelson for a lively discussion.
Plus: a tease of this January's Immersive Design Summit.
This week David Ruzicka, the Artistic Director of Creep LA, joins us to talk about his career path in immersive -- from his earliest days as a kind of haunt prodigy (my term, not his) to working operations and then design in the theme park industry.
And then, of course, teaming up with Just Fix It Productions for The Willows and now Creep: Lore.
It's a great conversation with a great guy. And then Noah ruins it all by rambling for ten minutes at the end of the show. Like always.
This week Zay sits down with Woodshed Collective’s Artistic Director Teddy Bergman (K-POP) to talk about the storied NYC group's approach to immersive theatre. Bergman and Woodshed's The Confidence Man was Zay's intro into the realm of immersive, so he's been looking forward to this one... and I've been looking forward to listening to it! --Noah
Plus: some rambling thoughts from our master of ceremonies.
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!
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.)
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
All brought to you by our generous Patreon backers.
Sustaining Backer: Ross Sigworth
Music By: Chris Porter