024: Actor, educator, and choreographer Lormarev Jones opens up about the artist hustle, MFAs, and self-care for artists.

Lormarev Jones, actor, choreographer, and teaching artist opens up about the artist hustle, MFAs, and self-care for artists. What’s it like financially and emotionally to work as a freelance multi-hyphenate in two cities? Was her MFA worth it? How did she weather her first solo show and MFA thesis, THE VIRGIN COOKBOOK? And why is she inspired to write a musical about capitalism: HOW I GOT SCREWED BY CAPITALISM (THE MUSICAL)? 

Lormarev Jones is a former Raleigh resident, having grown her resume on Triangle stages.  She received her BA in Theatre from Meredith College (GO ANGELS!) and her MFA in Theatre from Sarah Lawrence College.  As an actor, Lormarev has performed with several area companies, including Manbites Dog Theater, Raleigh Ensemble Players, Theatre Raleigh, and Cape Fear Regional Theatre. As a choreographer, her movement has been featured at Raleigh Charter High School, Research Triangle High School, and Deep Dish Theatre.  She’s also worked as a stage manager, and a designer of Props, Costumes, and Sound. She has taught young people of all ages: as a teacher at ArtsTogether in Raleigh as well various classes and devised theatre workshops for area high schools. She currently resides in Cincinnati, where she freelances in all her areas of expertise.  

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! This episode was recorded at the ASBX home studio.

Time break-down:

[0:00] Episode intro and Lormarev’s bio.

[1:18] What is Lormarev working on in Raleigh? Choreographing Cabaret and Little Mermaid Jr at two area charter schools, and Assassins at Theatre in the Park.

[2:11] Lormarev’s move to Cincinnati. What’s it like working in Cincinnati and in Raleigh — a mobile work-life as a freelancer

[4:37] Lormarev’s focus when she teaches high school students — beyond just the steps, she focuses on capability, awareness, problem-solving, and self-care to avoid burnout and make your best work.

[11:22] The story of Lormarev’s decision to get her MFA, applying and going to Sarah Lawrence. The difficult realization that her career was in the hands of other people — a very limiting prospect —  and that she wanted to make her own work. The decision to go to Sarah Lawrence where she could design her own curriculum.

[23:03] What to consider when deciding whether to get an MFA. What Lormarev gained from the Sarah Lawrence program.

[25:46] THE VIRGIN COOKBOOK, Lormarev’s MFA thesis and solo performance piece. Collaboration, burnout, using very personal material, working with your strengths, and support from other artists.

[34:15] The inspiration for Lormarev’s work in progress, HOW I GOT SCREWED BY CAPITALISM, a musical about Capitalism: unemployment, then having 5 jobs and still not being able to pay the bills, feeling the strain of underemployment

[41:16] Features of the musical: Vaudeville! Black female (not Lormarev) at the center, small cast, bare bones. Working with her partner on the musical as a collaborator — Lormarev on the book, Christopher on the music. The Trickle Down Ballet!

[45:56] Hoops, man. And the fish notices the water.

[49:04] Navigating the uncertainty of the freelance world. Managing the mental and emotional path.

[57:17] Artists and freelancers being well-equipped to deal with an unstable world. Lormarev knows that she’s doing what she was born to do.

[59:47] Thanks and sign-off


017: Playwright Tamara Kissane remodels MASTER BUILDER (interviewed by Mara Thomas!)

015: Choreographer and performer Nicola Bullock travels the distance for IMAGO

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