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Meet Mark Sherman of The Lyric Hyperion in Silver Lake

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mark Sherman.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Mark. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I came across the Lyric Hyperion while searching for properties online. At the time, I was hoping to find an old warehouse that could be transformed into a unique event space, but after walking through the Lyric Hyperion, I fell in love at first site. I sort of had to rework my vision with this particular space because it already had quite a bit of history and a great local presence. I knew I wanted to shake things up but didn’t want to scare anyone off right away. My girlfriend at the time, Audrey Rose, was an interior designer from Austin, who came up with the new look. I had just spent a year living in Austin and was obsessed with the coffee shops in that city. We wanted to recreate that eclectic yet homey feeling we both enjoyed there.

The next step of course was curating a new line up of shows in the theatre. I wanted to avoid becoming one dimensional, I wanted the space to feel open to all types of artists whether it be comedy, music, theatre, performance art, clowns, art therapy and anything in between. It wasn’t until April of last year that things really started to fall into place. A brilliant artist and absolute weirdo by the name of Philip Burgers A.K.A Dr. Brown happened upon our theatre while looking for a place to put on his unique variety shows. He quickly found himself hanging out in the space regularly and not long after we met, I approached him about becoming the Creative Director for the theatre. His vision was simple, make it a playground for artists to find their voice, make sure it is always fun, and focus on creating original work.

It has been 2 full years now and the cafe is thriving with an awesome new menu and great booze selections. The theatre has some of the best events in town from cabaret & stand-up comedy to strange immersive art projects & full day festivals. There is always something new happening here and we are constantly encouraging our producers and performers to push the limits of their acts/shows.

Now we produce about a 1/3 of the shows ourselves and rent out a majority of our nights to various artists and producers around LA that we feel represent their communities best. The space has completely transformed from when I first took over, and keeps getting better each month. The goal moving forward is to keep surprising ourselves with what our space is capable of, and to help artists find their unique individual voice.

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?
The first year was brutal, no one knew who I was, and people had either moved on from Lyric Hyperion or just lost touch. We were only renting the space out maybe 4 nights a week at best and the cafe was struggling to find its place in the middle of an awesome food & drink scene in Silver Lake.

I’m lucky that my Land Lord is the old business owner, he put a lot into it and I think has seen me do the same. He gave us some breaks when we really needed them and some awesome artists did free shows along the way donating proceeds to the space to cover rent and taxes and bills.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about The Lyric Hyperion – what should we know?
We are a Cafe by day Theatre by night.

The cafe serves breakfast till 1pm and different food & snack options throughout the day, even late night bites. We’re most famous for our signature iced mocha drink called The Boom Trip, a must try item in our cafe. We have a beer & wine license and now serve fermented cocktails with Soju-Style vodka, gin & whiskey.

Our main feature is the 75 seat black box theatre behind the cafe. It is an intimate space; the audience nearly wraps around the stage itself which is a flat concrete floor with a decorative rug. There is a green room in the back for artists and a large garden patio in the front to sit and drink.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
We want to always be approachable to audiences and artists alike. Success means a lot of different things in business but sustainable success starts with giving each guest a unique and memorable experience. That is something we feel we can do very well at Lyric and hope to never lose sight of.

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