Ahoy there, you Christmas Carollers! Welcome back to our 'feet-ured' blog posts!
I don't know if you've heard, but we're producing a little old winter show in partnership with The Dukes and supported by Arts Council England...
(It's The Snow Queen, jeez, where have you been?)
But before our snowy, shadowy, Christmas offering gets underway, we'd like to introduce you to the tree-mendous cast and crew that made it all possible, addressing hard-hitting questions such as 'if you had a superpower, what would it be?' and 'what's your star-sign?' Real gritty stuff.
Here, we have Business Manager, Katie Marrin, and Jess Turton, Marketing Director. Let's see what these gals had to say!
Who are you - tell us a bit about yourself!
Katie: Hello! I’m Katie and I’m the Business Manager here at 3LF! I studied at Lancaster Uni with the rest of the team - I completed my undergrad in Theatre and English Lit and then stayed an extra year to complete my MSc Marketing masters degree. After graduating for the final time in 2019, I went to work at Manchester Uni SU as their Societies Coordinator, and I’ve recently started a new job as a Digital Marketing Executive for a digital marketing agency. I’m currently based in Liverpool, so I work with 3LF mainly remotely!
Jess: Hey I'm Jess! I'm Three Left Feet's Marketing and Media Director and general all singing all dancing creative...also the company's personal paparazzi. I can be found in my little creative corner editing most of the time and my main aim in life is to do as many creative things as possible. I work part time as a Duty Manager... at a theatre. I also love photography, music and recently just broke through into acting professionally.
What do you do for 3LF's The Snow Queen and how would you describe your role(s)?
Katie: I do most of the boring stuff at the company - aha! I’ve developed our contracts for everyone involved in the project so we’re not breaking any laws, and I’ve been on hand to help oversee the project and ensure everyone is sticking to their roles. As Business Manager, I rarely get involved with projects individually unless specific support is needed - I focus on company wide tasks, involving running our team meetings and keeping everyone on track.
Jess: I make sure that as a company we stay fresh in our look and keep you up-to-date with all our amazing projects. For The Snow Queen specifically, I have been managing all of the social media channels and prepping for ticketing release: also coming up with fun ideas to get you all involved with our work!
What's the reason you got involved with theatre?
Katie: I honestly don’t know - I loved acting in my school plays when I was younger, and I’ve always loved storytelling so maybe that’s why. I’ve always had a huge imagination, so I just stuck with the classes as I went through high school, did some Amateur Dramatics from 16-18 and then studied it at uni with even more am-dram on the side! Ultimately, I’d love my marketing career to lead to theatre/arts marketing once the pandemic allows there to be things to market, aha!
Who do you look up to, either as an Actor/Director/Creative or as a general influence?
Jess: I have multiple influences, but as a photographer specifically, I admire a lot of upcoming photographers with strong aesthetics that challenge the camera's functions for effect! Brandon Woelfel is an amazing example of this, his works are extremely influenced by light which is what inspires me to use a lot of natural and artificial light as a key element in my photography. Other photographers that I am drawn to are more fashion based, like Anni Leibovitz, Lindsay Adler and Jessica Kobeissi.
What is your favourite show that you have seen?
Katie: I’m a huge musical theatre geek, so this changes every time I see a new musical! I probably will be basic and say Wicked, with Phantom of the Opera on broadway coming a close second. I LOVE Wicked - the staging, the characters, the colour, the experience when you enter the theatre - it’s one of the most magical experiences. I’m also a sucker for a reworked fairytale so it’s right up my alley. I love how creative that show is with sets and lighting too - that scene where Elphaba flies during Defying Gravity is a stand out moment. That would be my absolute dream theatre role - hitting that note on that broomstick would be like yup…I’ve made it!
What is the best/worst role that you have played and why?
Jess: One of my favourite roles I have played was Kate/Lilli Vanessi in a local production of Kiss Me Kate at the Lancaster Grand Theatre. It's essentially a play within a play following a production of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew with a bit of a twist.. in other words, the production doesn't go to plan and it descends into a chaotic mess. With the play intentionally going wrong I had the freedom to do whatever I wanted to on stage (within reason of course), switching between accents and 'brushing up' on my Shakespeare. I love a good comedic role to get my teeth into and I was lucky enough to win both the District and North West Regional Awards for best Female Comedy Performance at the National Operatic and Dramatic Association Awards in Manchester!
What's going to surprise people about this show?
Katie: I think people will be surprised at how invested they become in puppets - it’s a rarely used medium that is often associated with children’s shows, but I think our team have succeeded in creating a magical, sophisticated and elegant puppet show that will enchant you regardless of your age.
Without wild spoilers, tell us one of your favourite lines.
Katie: My favourite line from the show is "Girls can do anything boys can" - I think this is a really lovely line for all the children who watch this show to hear. It’s important for little boys and girls to remember this.
Jess: It has to be the Sad Sorcerer - "I hope you find....er what was it... enlightenment!"
Who should watch this show, and why?
Jess: I think that there is definitely something in this show for everyone.. the amazing puppets, the beautiful music score, the dynamic voice acting... It was extremely exciting during the production process for me to see the characters get brought to life through voice and movement; it will be an absolute treat to see it all together. Not to mention that the story is truly heart-warming: the perfect thing to watch with all the family to get you all in the Christmassy spirit!
What's your favourite Christmas story/film, and why?
Katie: I’m a huge Disney fan, so my favourite Disney film is actually Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas (and Mickey’s Twice Upon A Christmas because I obviously watch both together) - these are my Christmas Eve films! I love that the films focus on ‘gifts’ of Christmas, but the gifts are about the type of person you should be, not only at Christmas, but all year round.
How are you celebrating Christmas this year?
Jess: The same way I do every year.. getting up ridiculously early with the fam to open presents, Bucks Fizz and bacon/Sausage butties for breakfast, then getting dressed up extremely fancy (Christmas jumper included) just to stay at home and ultimately tuck into a hearty Christmas dinner.
Did you ever take part in winter plays/nativities at school – who did you play?
Katie: I remember being furious that I was never Mary because the tallest girl in the class was ALWAYS Mary - it was a sad start to a life of playing supporting roles and never the lead! I learnt that from a young age, aha! I was the Angel Gabriel, and I sat on the altar at church, until Jesus was born and I stood up and proclaimed 'A baby has been born!' - a true Christmas miracle because I had lines.
What's your favourite Christmas song?
Jess: Well, I couldn't pick one, so I have my top 3 ultimate go-to Christmas bangers - Wonderful Christmas Time (Paul McCartney), Fairytale Of New York (The Pogues) and Step into Christmas (Elton John).
If you could sing a duet with anyone, who would it be?
Katie: I would LOVE to sing a duet with several people - Beyoncé, Christina Aguilera and Lady Gaga would probably be my top three because I just love all of their voices and I think performing with any of them would just be incredible. From a musical theatre side, either Louise Dearman or Rachel Tucker as they’re the two Elphabas I saw live and they were just insane.
If you directed a movie of your life, who would play you?
Jess: I have been stopped on the street multiple times and been told I look like Lorde or Maisie Williams but apart from them I'd probably choose the extremely talented Jodie Comer.
Which Disney Princess are you most like, and why?
Katie: It can’t be just one - I like to think I’m a mix, so prepare yourselves:
Tiana: she is all about ambition, and knows what she wants and where she wants to be. She also knows that wishes and dreams are great, but you need a lot of hard work to make that happen! Just wishing doesn’t get you anywhere.
Rapunzel: she’s my favourite princess - like me, she has so many different interests and hobbies, and I strive to be like her and see the positive in life (and always be curious!)
Merida: she has a really close relationship with her Mum, just like me, and she loves shooting bow and arrows, just like me. I also love her iconic line - ‘I’m Merida from Clan Dunbroch and I’ll be shooting for my own hand!’. Very me.
Moana: I legit love the ocean so much it’s ridiculous, and I have that itching feeling to get out and see the world.
So mix all of those together and it’s me
What's your star-sign (and what's the most [star-sign] thing about you)?
Jess: I'm a Pisces through and through. Those who know me knows that my star sign is incredibly accurate in both traits and personality. In an astrology book I'm currently reading says that Pisces have "godlike empathy, limitless compassion, and a saintly ability to forgive" which is also extremely fitting for the story of The Snow Queen (you'll have to watch it to see why)! It says that Pisces' "easily channels spirit through Artistic expression" which is pretty accurate but "tends to have [their] head in the clouds" ... very much also accurate!