Today we’d like to introduce you to Amanda Lloyd, Shae Rodriguez, Martin Rodriguez and Sarah Marcum Reyes.
Amanda, Shae, Martin and Sarah, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
All four of us graduated from the University of Texas’ theatre program and moved out to LA shortly thereafter. We weren’t close yet but were brought together by a common desire (let’s be honest, desperation) to make something. We were trying to get our feet in doors around the industry, but as it turns out, that takes a lot of time and we were itching to create our own stories. We scrounged up a few other friends and put up CRINGEFEST: AN UNCOMFORTABLE ANTHOLOGY in the 2017 Hollywood Fringe Festival, which earned us our first Encore! Producers Award and our first introductions to some of the amazing people in the Fringe community. From there, we started our inaugural season and the company grew like wildfire! We gained our nonprofit status and are now about 40 members deep. This Hollywood Fringe Festival marks our tenth show as a company!
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Yes! Just kidding, no. Flat Tire grew way faster than we could’ve imagined and it forced us to switch gears into a more professional and efficiently run company. That meant more than one “come to Jesus” moment of restructuring our leadership, reevaluating our goals, and many, many late night brainstorming sessions. On top of that, the four of us over the past couple of years have started to hit our strides in our own careers and struggled to balance our paid jobs with the theatre company. We’d work 9 am to 7 pm (or later) and then meet at Starbucks to game plan for our shows until they closed. We’ve started divvying up workload with other members, but it hasn’t been easy to loosen the reins on our brainchild. But we’re getting there!
Flat Tire Theatre Company – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We’re an ensemble based theatre company that specializes in quirky but emotionally packed new work, home grown and developed with our own writers, directors, actors, designers, and producers. Most recently we’ve started hearing more and more “Oh I’ve heard of you guys!” It’s been amazing to hear that our reputation precedes us as a professional group that consistently delivers. We think that comes with the way we constantly push ourselves to meet and exceed our goals, whether that’s ticket sell through or improving our production value. It’s a specific moment, but there was a time at last Fringe when the Studio/Stage manager, Erin Moore, told us she “breathed a sigh of relief” when she found out she got our show.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
It wasn’t our most “fiscally successful” show, but the very first show we did outside of the Fringe Festival BOY/GIRL PARTY was a surreal moment for us. It was a non-linear story of a 13 year old girl’s birthday party that we staged in an actual house. We’ll never forget standing in the driveway and watching people show up – people we didn’t know! We checked them all in and opened the gates when the show started and remember the four of us making eye contact across the crowd like “Wow, we did a thing, and people came!” Plus, you know, being nominated for awards is excellent too. But just seeing our shows excite and move people has been the most rewarding, validating thing every time.
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