November 8, 2013

Spotlight on Alumni: Bryan Demore

Bryan Demore Bryan Demore

After producing a successful run of Saved by Edward Bond at the 2011 Toronto Fringe, I was homesick for some elevation. I decided to move back to my home base of Vancouver to reconnect with my family and the arts community out there. The past couple of years have allowed me to travel to Central America, London, Paris and build a new network in Vancouver as I develop my production company, a lasting dose productions.

Bryan Demore in Just Living Bryan Demore in Just Living.

Recently I finished completing a short film called Just Living. This was based off of a poem by Patrick Lane ( who is a writer I have admired, and he was gracious enough to grant us the rights to his work. It was an eye-opening experience as I was producing, co-directing, acting as co-lead, and loading a cube van of equipment every night. What I learned from previous experiences, producing fringe shows, hanging lights at York and classes with John Greyson, helped me wear a dozen hats on set.

Currently, I am in rehearsals for our production of Disco Pigs by Enda Walsh at Oz Studios (November 20-December 1). Tickets can be found here: York students can get in through Surprise Surprise vouchers.

Bryan Demore and in Disco Pigs Bryan Demore and Claire Burns in Disco Pigs.

What was your favourite place at York, and why?

I really dig the Joe Green. I think its my ideal size for a black box and reminds me a lot of the black boxes in the UK. Its very transformative and I have really fond memories of working on it as an usher in my first year, as well as doing Table Talk with Ross Manson and Marat Sade with Leah Cherniak. I think it is still a great canvas for young designers and creators to find new ways to allow a story to connect to an audience.

Bryan Demore in Smackhead Peter Bryan Demore in …Smackhead Peter

What did you do for the first summer out of the program?  

I was extremely lucky to get cast in a Summerworks show called The Sad and Cautionary Tale of Smackheaded Peter. Heather Davies (MFA 2009) cast me in the lead that had a lot of challenges thrown my way: surreal text, UK dialect, and working with a larger cast. She basically mentored me and gave me a boot camp in the real world of theatre after being fresh out of York. Her experience coming from the UK is incredible and I still pull nuggets of gold from a lot of the advice she gave me.

Did connections, friendships, relationships you made at York help you afterward?

Absolutely. I am in Toronto this month 'cause I have wanted to work with Matthew Thomas Walker (MFA 2009) for a couple of years. So those connections are what makes York a great place to study. Especially for the undergrad program. You are connected to a group of mentors to work with in the graduate program who have so much to share and to work with them after York is an incredible opportunity. The grads come in having careers, are developing work in the summer, and to connect with them is a bonus.

Do you have any advice or tips for York students just about to graduate or about to join the job market?

Learn how to hustle. If you still don't know how to find someone who is good at this aspect of the industry and learn the art of hustling. Waiting for jobs is just not an option: you need learn the business side and how to break through some doors. I think self-producing is a worthwhile venture if you are not booked and learning how to develop projects is a huge learning curve. Find some like-minded individuals and create something.

The development of technology right now is moving so fast and the resources to create art that can help fund, distribute your project independently is incredible. Take social media courses, learn graphic design and keep finding ways to manage your art in the most positive reinforcing way for your career.