INTERVIEW WITH JOHNNY WOOD
Johnny took part in the Stage One New Producers' Workshop in 2012 and has since worked extensively in theatre production and management. In 2016 he co-created Soundcheck Productions with Daniel Hinchliffe and became Associate Producer on the current UK tour of Footloose with Sell a Door Theatre Company.
Johnny was recently awarded a Stage One Start-Up Fund for his forthcoming debut with Soundcheck Productions, the UK premiere of Murder Ballad starring Ramin Karimloo and Kerry Ellis.
At the moment you are…
…Very much gearing up for my first production as lead producer! I’m in my element bringing this show together - although it's still a tad surreal to have secured such an incredible cast.
We’ve been lucky enough to have previewed a few sneaks of Murder Ballad by way of public performances, the most recent being West End Live. It was a definite ‘pinch-me’ moment to see some of the biggest and most talented performers in the world sing together on a show I’ve worked so hard to realise.
Soundcheck have also been working as Associate Producers on the current successful UK tour of Footloose with Sell a Door Theatre Company.
What does Stage One mean to you?
The Stage One Workshop gave me the confidence to make a step into this challenging industry and also provides an ever expanding network of likeminded producers to collaborate with.
As a manager and production coordinator each and every producer I have worked with had received support from Stage One. In turn I have been able to develop and learn in their company with the knowledge that someday Stage One could do the same for me.
Receiving the Start-Up fund will be the moment I can trace back to where my career as a producer in my own right was validated. It was an honour to be recognised this way and I now have every opportunity (with the mentor and support Stage One offers) to emulate the Start-Up recipients before me in securing a successful career with longevity.
Last show you saw and loved?
Such a hard question. I’ve loved elements of a lot of shows I’ve seen in the last year.
Most recently American Idiot gave me a healthy dose of nostalgia for a misspent youth, the original album came out when I was 18.
But overall I’d have to say In the Heights.
It was a show I think we really needed in London and the cast’s energy and overwhelming positivity it received set a welcome precedent for more modern musicals in London. It's encouraging to see so many shows being developed to attract new and younger audiences.
What do you think, is the best thing about the Theatre Industry?
We’re incredibly lucky to work in this industry. There aren’t many jobs that you can take your friends and family with you and show them what you’ve been working on. I particularly like that under the banner of theatre there a number of industries are pulling together for a shared goal. It’s such a collaborative world and it makes the pay off on opening night all the more profound when so many have given so much to get there.
I’m really looking forward to developing my own network of collaborators and by being investment minded, make sure I provide a rewarding experience for all supporters and those working with me.
What's the best piece of advice you've been given?
“Make sure you find a good accountant” and a sagely figure told me once “It’s important to not think of your own wallet”. We’re in an industry that as an individual you can receive great rewards but they only come after you’ve rewarded the people who believe and invested in you.
Reading even further into this, if you look after and respect your company members, employees and anyone you do business with, you will always come out better in the long term. Thinking of the people I’ve worked with, those who adopted this way of thinking have all gone on to bigger and better things.
Applications for the Stage One New Producers' Workshop open on Monday, you can apply from Monday by clicking HERE.
To find out further information on our Start Up Fund or the Stage One New Producers' Workshop, visit our website here: www.stageone.uk.com