Everything is under control at the moment. Well, for least a lot of stuff has been done by now. And we still have more than a month to go! The production team has selected the performing teams, solo artists and instructors, found facilities for shows and workshops, made tons and tons of excel sheets and lists and schedules, tried to figure out how to finance this whole thing, emailed and emailed some more… Oh, and the sign-ups to workshops are open now!
Though, we still haven’t been carrying around chairs, bags of food, boxed of bags, or anything else than our soon-to-be-stressed-out bodies. Looking forward to that! And we haven’t even fought with each other yet! Not looking forward to that!
You must be wondering, who are these people, doing all the work to put up an improv festival, despite of having also other jobs, studies to finish and further grown-up people responsibilities to take care of. Let me give you an introduction of the producers – the way I see them.
Trent is the founder of this whole festival, and therefore he has many visions about it. But he is also the Artistic director. That means, he is in charge of everything improv related, like who is getting on the stage, with whom and when. He also sends the rest of us designs every now and then: purple on white, white on purple, letters this way, then that way, upside down, tilted… So much purple stuff is going through his fingers! Trent is a comedian, an actor and improviser, AND he is from USA, so you can imagine how over-the-top open he seems in the eyes of us silent Finns.
Then there are Mikko and Siiri. They have been producing FiiF with Trent from the beginning. Someone said that Mikko is like God – he works all the time but no one sees it. That’s because he is doing everything for our website, payment systems, finance, and other things that require somewhat more engineer brain. He is good with numbers and such. Siiri is the PR and Marketing professional in the team. She has unbelievable talent of making people excited about things just with her energetic attitude, and example of working hard even after sleepless nights. But she also tells you directly if she doesn’t like something – that sassy lady. Interesting fact: both Siiri and Mikko are from Turku.
This year, we have two Producer Interns who are both studying International Business in Tampere. I always see Emily as the exchange student who fell in love with Finland and couldn’t resist of returning. I mean just think of it, as a high school student, she lived in Urjala for a year, which is basically just forest in the middle of nothing! And she returned!! Must be because her hometown in Michigan is so similar to woods of Finland. In any case, we are happy that she is here! She is lovely and makes good pizza.
Our second intern is Boris, who moved to Finland from Czech Republic 11 years ago. In addition to producing and business stuff, Boris also likes to throw people out of the bar when they are too drunk and keep lines of people from entering places. In his own words, he is “a gentle giant” from the Eastern Bloc. In some other people’s words, he is like the updated version of another Boris – an improviser in the local improv group JadaJada. But well, what can you do if you are younger, taller, more athletic, and even speak Finnish…
Evangelia, or Lia as we call her, got herself this fancy Bachelor of Arts Degree in Photography and Audiovisual Arts. Then, she decided that what she needs to do instead, is try to explore herself, her capabilities and any new experiences. So, she started producing this festival and doing bunch of other theatre stuff. Interesting fact: she has both Greek and Australian nationalities.
Sanni is a determined, enthusiastic and fun-loving Theater Producer. According to her, she does improv one way or another on daily basis. This Finnish lady knows a lot of (theatre) people and she’s an ambassador for many cool things, like our city Tampere, which we all love! She also likes to wear nice red lipstick.
Then there is me, Jette, another addition of engineering logic to this team. I am sweating my ass off between producing FiiF, dancing, and trying to finally graduate as MSc in Bioengineering, which will hopefully happen before FiiF will start. Then, I will have all the time in the world to be the Morning Lady again, like I was last year, or something totally else! Interesting fact: I have Finnish and Estonian nationalities.
So this is it, our multinational, multitalented, multigoofball team of producers. We are all waiting eagerly to meet you personally at the Festival!
Oh and don’t forget: the workshop sign-ups are open now!