Day Jobbing with Feeling, Brief Interviews — Jean Ann Douglass
Finding a day job that offers a flexible schedule and doesn’t dominate your headspace while still paying the bills is the golden fleece of the art and performance world. Theater artist Jean Ann Douglass has found another way to skin this lamb, which we discussed at length during our 3rd Brief Interview.
“Cause I’m really good at it, and I have the student loans to prove it,” quipped Jean Ann in response to “Why are you the one to provide catharsis to people via the theater?”
“In fact, that’s the tagline on my website, ‘Jean Ann Douglass — really good at stuff.’”
Considering the question more seriously, she went on, “My life has been a process of exploding possibilities in the way I see the world.” This mentality led her to look for something meaningful in her day job, something that informs her art and that she cares about. It can be draining to invest her heart and mind 9 to 5 and then again from 5 to whenever. But, the effort has led to an interesting evolution in her career.
For years, Jean Ann focused on performing and directing with a specialty in devised work — collaborating with other artists over a series of rehearsals to create a performance piece. The process demanded everyone be present at the same time in the same place, which became terribly difficult to coordinate with her day job. Writing, on the other hand, doesn’t depend on other people and can be done anytime, anywhere. As conceiving pieces with others in real-time became logistically inconceivable, she found herself writing. And she liked it.
The result? One of Jean Ann’s plays is going up this winter and another is being scheduled for 2017. She’s getting more work out to more audiences.
Watch or listen to the interview for more about how Jean Ann is “really good at stuff,” about her views on gender representation in the theater, and also a few jokes.