Episode 23 – Surrender to Flow with Julie Tattershall

My name is Sally Adams. Every Monday evening I talk to people about making original work for a live audience. We talk about lots of other things as well. For instance, director Julie Tattershall and I talk about creative flow, emotional vulnerability, and theatre as therapy.

Leave comments. Give me a review. Or send an email to Sally@sallypal.com. Your ideas keep the flow going every Monday evening. Thanks so much for sharing the podcast and the blog.

Don’t forget about the FREEBIES on sallypal.com/join. You can still get your 20-page FREE theatre resource. It’s a glossary of live performance support you need for show flow. It’s useful, entertaining, and you can copy the pages and trade with your friends!

Sally and Julie Tattershall on SallyPAL
Sally – Julie at the Mic

Today’s episode features play director, performer, and playwright Julie Tattershall. Julie is a forever friend with a long resume.

Julie Tattershall was the 2012 Mary Kay Place Legacy Award recipient through the Tulsa Awards for Theatre Excellence. Tulsans call it TATE. Over the years, Julie has won two TATE awards and two Oklahoma Community Theatre Association awards as a director.

National Gallery Chicken with Julie Tattershall
Julie & Blue Chicken (chicken not actual size)

Julie worked with theater companies in Chicago before settling down in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In Tulsa she became the Artistic Director of Clark and Heller Theatres logging nearly 30 years of non-stop directing flow. In addition to directing over 100 productions, Julie founded the long-running Laughing Matter improvisation group. With her husband, Tony Batchelder, she co-founded the Tulsa Area Community Theatre Alliance. Julie has toured nationally with “Where the Red Fern Grows”. She also participated in the Oklahoma Artist in Residence program. Julie still works as an artist in the schools performing original works that resonate with a message of acceptance and healing. She has a Masters degree in Psychology and uses that knowledge to create live-performance flow. Julie visited me and George in our new home on the Potomac river in Virginia.

Concise Advice from the Interview (a short version of tips from theatre guru, Julie Tattershall.)

7 – Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable on stage.

6 – Decide where the character holds stress and build that into the character.

5 – Take advantage of seeing things from another point of view.

4 – Open yourself up to the flow to be in the now.

3 – Approach any play script as if you are approaching a brand new play.

2 – Create a safe environment for rehearsal.

1 – And Julie Tattershall’s number one piece of advice? Don’t feel like you have to know it all, and don’t pretend to. 

Next week, download my conversation with former Broadway stage manager, Liza Vest.

Check out the blog, SallyPAL.com, for articles and podcast episodes. And sign up for a FREE Creator’s Notebook insert at SallyPAL.com/join.

Thank you for sharing, subscribing, reviewing, joining, and thank you for listening. I want you to pursue your dream to have original work on the stage in front of a live audience. It’s scary, but I’m here with resources, encouragement, and a growing community of people like us.

If you like SallyPAL, a new show goes out every Monday evening! Download and listen on your drive to work, or fall asleep to my alien transmissions like my sister does. And let me know you’re out there.  I want to help you create original shows for a live audience.

All the performances you’ve seen on stage once lived only in someone’s imagination… Now it’s your turn!

Episode 12 – Stage Direction with SallyPAL host Sally Adams

Stage Direction
In Episode 12, I enlist my husband George (the coolest guy on the planet) to ask questions about stage direction. I cover how to approach work when you are a beginning director, how to collaborate without giving away your job to enthusiastic performers and staff, and how a director can make an impact on an audience.


Sally on Stage Talks to Cast

What’s the most important advice for a successful collaboration? Communicate with your stage direction team. They can keep you on point while they lighten the load.

What’s the best way for a beginning director to approach stage direction?
Start small and keep it simple. We used to say, “Keep It Simple, Stupid” or K.I.S.S. Now we say, “Keep It Simple, Simon.” It’s nicer.

What’s the most important thing for a director to remember?
The Story, The Story, The Story. Everything we do must serve the story. That truly is all there is. We are, after all, story tellers.

What does it mean to create a safe space in terms of stage direction. And how would you do that?
It’s about maintaining a rehearsal environment where actors feel free to collaborate. It doesn’t serve anyone if your team is afraid to express their ideas in what is, essentially, a creative space.

What do the most successful directors do that we can emulate?Collaborate while maintaining the vision. For the director, the vision is what holds the whole together; set, lighting, costumes, performances, script. Without vision, these are a jumble of pieces that don’t necessarily go together.

What is the unseen work in stage direction?
A good director will spend a lot of time with the script. They will also talk to designers and other staff before performers are selected. Do your stage direction homework. Solid front end work saves time and creates confidence in your performers.

How can directors make an impact on an audience?
Have a clear visual notion of the story you are telling. Design cohesion in stage direction means paying attention to details and honoring the work of collaborators. Everyone’s contribution counts as long as everyone is building the same world.