The bi-coastal Jacqueline Hyde talks production, branding, tea, and pep talks.
Q: You are the producer and a performer in the upcoming Valentease which is sponsored by Bust magazine and includes an epic line-up featuring Angie Pontani, Indigo Blue, Jo Weldon, Harvest Moon, and so many more! Tell us a little about why you’re so “giddy” as your blog puts it, about the upcoming show at the Mauch Chunk Opera House.
JH: I am giddy because I didn’t actually think I could get this collection of performers. I wanted Valentease to be that of applicants and personally hand selected entertainers. I wanted to give those who were “new” or “newish” to the community an opportunity to perform with established entertainers; allowing for a dynamism that is unlike any other.
The cast of Valentease is a “dream cast” to me, and sensually unique. Valentease will showcase a variety of performers rising stars to industry recognized veterans. I am giddy because of the overwhelming interest by these entertainers in this unique love centric show. I think Cupid hit me with a couple of bows and arrows here.
Q: You hilariously refer to Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania as the “Switzerland of America”. Why do you say this?
JH: Actually “Switzerland of America” was not coined by me! It was coined by North Easter Pennsylvania era at the time of the industrial revolution surrounding coal. Jim Thorpe, originally called Mauch Chunk, was a major hub in the anthracite coal mining days. Jim Thorpe was an area that at the turn of the 1900’s had 13 millionaires in it. Today Jim Thorpe still has many of the original architecture and is rich with history of the coal mining days. Jim Thorpe is nestled in the Poconos in the heart of three mountains and has the essence of a little town in the middle of the Alps!
Q: You live in Edmonds, Washington just outside of Seattle, and produce shows in Pennsylvania, including the monthly “Silk Tease”. How did you become bi-coastal and how do you sustain having a business on each coast?
JH: I actually get this question a lot! I actually moved to Pennsylvania for an opportunity that was presented to me. While that did not work out quite as planned, what was built were the relationships with the area I had moved to. I fostered those relationships in the area via email, social networks and phone.
What is not really known is that I have actually produced shows not only in Seattle and Pennsylvania but in Paris as well. It is a matter of building relationships, finding markets that are untapped, and engaging with people in a variety of ways. I have a business manager who helps me tremendously, and have worked with him to create an action plan for the East Coast targeted areas that I want to work with. I have handed off the EC to him to work on my structured plan, as I continue to build up the WC presence… we meet up in the middle – lol. It is a full time job for sure.
Q: Speaking of your businesses, you own and operate Jacqueline Hyde Emporium where you custom create your own line of teas. How did you fall in love with tea, and what goes into producing custom blends?
JH: I fell in love with tea when I was little. But the concept for expanding Jacqueline Hyde as a brand one cold November morning in 2010. I wanted to be able to have “TEASe” parties and bachelorette parties that could be held in the afternoon or in the day. A place that would allow for the pun of TEASe to play out. A throw back to my preferred era of Victorian / Edwardian times when burlesque was socially different and where tease was just a hint of an ankle and a different level of saucy intelligence. Each named box of tea represents an act I have or a production I produce. TEASe shows are coming this summer and fall all over the country… so watch out!
Q: In the opening post of your blog, you write of the importance of having a good team of people working for you. We often get letters from readers about this issue. What advice would you give performers, producers, teachers, to help them decide when the time has come to hire a team (even a team of one to start) and how to let go of the need to do everything yourself.
JH: Having a team of people to help distribute the vision is vital to the success and growth of any business. Since I treat “Jacqueline Hyde” as a business, I of course have a business plan that is focused on driving my business forward. The business of all-encompassing entertainment. By partnering with individuals who have strong skills to support a variety of pieces in your plan, helps to distribute the workload, and helps to focus your attentions on other pieces for decision making. The biggest advice I can provide is to make sure you have a strong, strong budget. A realistic budget. You want to focus on an entire year of planning, rather than just one specific thing. Everything needs to budgeted down to even your applications to festivals to rhinestones, should a performer really want to succeed and move forward. It is also wise that have a non disclosure agreement between those you engage with on any level with any creative ideas. PERIOD! Creative theft is popular, protect yourself.
We all still want to do everything ourselves. You should know, or have conceptual knowledge, of the things you need to put in place. It is vital to not just let someone do something for you. You maintain the artistic control, the business control and for crying out you control the money decisions! You have to be willing to experience failures with people, as well as make the key decisions for letting people go should you so need to. Many people say, get your friends involved. I say… learn to separate yourself. This sounds silly, but you have to be willing to tell your friend their failures and detach from them business wise if you need to. Nepotism can be your greatest failure if you do not have the strength to change something that is going away from your vision. Many people do not necessarily like it, but I am friends with people I work with, and socialize accordingly, but I have learned over the many years of the entertainment industry the art of “separation” of friends and business. It is hard for some to do this.
Q: Speaking of writing, you announced your upcoming book Live it. Breathe It. Own It. – The Book of Pep Talk. Can you give us a sample of one of your awesome pep talks?
JH: Live it. Breathe It. Own It. has been something in the workings since 2007, when I faced one of the most challenging years ever. Since then, knowing I could survive “drama” I began looking at how I could translate that into a positive. LBO, as I call it, is my mantra for solving things, making life better, and to be free of as much drama as possible. Pep talks mostly are on individual basis, I start by questioning a person, challenging a person, and then making them believe! Yes, you can make someone believe if you believe.
Here is a sample “Pep Talk”… Scene (picture it) … a performer (Jane) really has been down lately, they don’t see themselves as someone who can make a splash in to the performance community. This would be how I would respond…
Look, Jane, you are an amazing individual with so much heart in your performances. People have come to see you perform in this show, that is noteworthy. If you want to go bigger and badder and make that name for yourself, you will have to live with choices from here on out. Ask yourself if you are living your experience. Are you enjoying this moment of being dressed up in your costume? Have you told yourself in the mirror that you are a freaking rock star and that you have something to offer? Are you taking in this moment to your heart with every breath? That you are inhaling the moment of glitter? Now mind you Jane, Glitter is not friendly up the nose, so make sure that when you dust yourself, that you don’t literally take it in. (Friendly laugh). Now, you are about go on sweetie, and you are nervous because you care. But go out there and OWN that stage. Own the moment. Own your change. Own the experience that you are providing for yourself and for others. Remember, that audience is here to see you. Remember that you are amazingly awesome in every way. Remember you can achieve if you want it badly enough.
Now, my book helps take people through the process of LBO. It is hard for many to digest a process of change or the motivation for making their world theirs. It is all about changing bad situations into good situations by changing your mind. I don’t tell anyone to forget the past, but to remember it, as it has defined them to who they are today. You can only learn from life. Breathe in the present with experiences, and enjoy life to the fullest. And you have to own all responsibility for successes (and failures) because this way you have a well-balanced life. Think of LBO as the vitamins of life.
Live It. Breathe It. Own It. will be available on my website(s) in late February early March, and the pep talk tour will be starting this summer (2013). Look to www.jacquelinehyde.com for connections about LBO.
Q: A question we often get from our readers is how to impress producers. As a producer, what are three tips you can give performers to get more bookings?
JH: Have a true press kit. I am sorry but Facebook doesn’t do it for me, in fact it makes me angry. Entertainers that truly want to be known and recognized need to manage their world like a business. That means have a website, have a press kit, have presence. Additionally, if producers have application portals (like I do) make sure to take time to fill out the form, attach photo and have video. Don’t assume that they will be able to find your email. If you are selected by that producer to work with them, don’t give them attitude, be on time, get your stuff in when asked, and realize that they are stressed out most of the time, thus we can’t babysit you. Sounds horribly mean, but it is very true. My 25+ years in the entertainment industry made me realize that perception is everything and if you are not “put together” in a variety of ways, well, you don’t really have your stuff together and you don’t want it badly enough. Be professional. Consider it a real job, after all we are paying you for your services.
Q: What’s next for Jacqueline Hyde?
JH: Well that’s a secret, but what I can tell you is that it there will be a lot more shows all over the country and in Europe that collaborate with others on for producing. Expansion of my Emporium to have more products for performers at reasonable rates, such as rhinestones. Additionally, there will be new wearable items that are going to be available as well. This summer I will be traveling to Paris again to perform with Sugar Da Moore, and I am looking to capturing another title somewhere in some avenue of everything I do. Mostly, the Pep Talk Tour will be keeping me busy on the weekends, as I really want to focus on giving back to individuals, and giving them the opportunity to challenge and commit to themselves and their dreams. Possibly in three years, I will actually open a venue of my own, the business plan is almost complete, its just a matter of talking to the right people.