009: Actor Jessica Flemming rides the waves of overlapping projects and deep reflection

How do we measure individual growth and advancement as theatre artists? Can we contribute to a local theatre scene? What life lessons are learned thru improvisation?  Enjoy this wide-ranging conversation with Jessica Flemming, as we touch on those questions, explore the balance of overlapping projects, and get the scoop on LAKE PLACID, an improvised play with music set in NY during the 1980 Winter Olympics. 

Jessica Flemming is an actor, singer, and occasional stage manager and theatre educator. She has been performing and working in the triangle since relocating from Flint, Michigan five years ago. She’s worked with Manbites Dog Theatre, Black Ops, and Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern as well as many fantastic musicians and performing artists on a variety of projects. You may have just seen Jessica on-stage at Manbites Dog Theater as Ella in LIFE SUCKS, and she’ll be performing next in LAKE PLACID, an improvised play with music which runs November 24 – December 9 at The Fruit in Durham.

This episode is brought to you by the Soapboxers, the official patrons of the Artist Soapbox. If you like these episodes and want more, get on the Soapbox!

Some of the companies Jessica has worked with:

Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern

Manbites Dog Theater Company

Curious Theatre Collective

Archipelago Theatre

Aggregate Theatre Company

Black Ops Theatre Company


Yay for local improv:

Transactors Improv

Third Date Improv

The podcast was recorded at the ASBX home studio.

Time break-down:

[0:00] Intro and Jessica Flemming’s bio

[1:06] Overview of Jessica’s busy 2017: projects, overlapping schedules, self-care, quitting her day job

[5:12] Once you quit your day job, did you approach your art-work differently?

[7:20] Lake Placid, an improvised play with music: description, how was this rehearsed?, music component, rules and structure for this piece

[16:59] Sharing the stage, building an ensemble, and the life lessons of improv

[20:34] Jessica’s email to Tamara prior to recording ASBX

[21:44] Digging into Jessica’s email 1: Considering advancement and growth as a theatre artist, how we perceive ourselves and others perceive us, dream roles, how to choose projects

[32:34] Digging into Jessica’s email 2: Being a productive member of the theatre artist community, the shifting landscape of the local theatre scene, how to contribute, successful theatre in non-traditional spaces

[40:00} What’s next for Jessica?

[41:19] Sign-off


Artist Soapbox

Artist Soapbox is a platform for original scripted audio fiction and an opportunity for artists to discuss their creative work in their own voices. We do this through our interview podcast, our blog, live events, and original audio dramas.

Artist Soapbox is an anti-racist organization. We believe Black Lives Matter. In addition, as a podcast production company, ASBX has signed the Equality in Audio Pact on Broccoli Content.

Artist Soapbox is more than just a podcast.

We lead writers groups, accountability support, workshops, and events. We produce and create audio dramas too! Listen to the Master BuilderThe New Colossus Audio Drama, Jesus Pancake, Declaration of Love, Food for Thought, and ASBX Shorts. Stay tuned to hear about more projects written by the Soapbox Audio Collective Writers’ Group.

Audio Dramas

Jesus (1400 × 1400 px)-2

Jesus Pancake

Jesus Pancake is the newest scripted audio fiction series from Artist Soapbox. Nine episodes of zany dark comedy.


The New Colossus

The New Colossus Audio Drama is a totally unhinged dark comedy reboot of Anton Chekhov’s classic play, THE SEAGULL.


Master Builder

This audio drama was adapted from Tamara’s 2018 stage play produced by Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern and inspired by Henrick Ibsen’s classic, The Master Builder published in 1892.


Declaration of Love

Co-producers Aurelia Belfield and Tamara Kissane of Artist Soapbox commissioned eleven NC playwrights to craft short audio scenes based on the prompt “Declaration of Love.”


Food for Thought

Three pilot episodes of new scripted audio fiction series inspired by the prompt Food for Thought.


ASBX Shorts

ASBX Shorts are six short audio fiction pieces created and produced by North Carolina artists. Artist Soapbox Shorts were specifically contributed by the artists to aid in fundraising and to get everyone excited about Jesus Pancake, our new audio fiction series in development.

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