EP 50: Wendy Seyb (autogenerated)
Dane Reis: [00:00:00] You booked it. Episode 50. Hey, entertainers and performers of the world. I’m your host, Dane, Reis, and welcome to you. Booked it. Where I chat with inspiring entertainers, seven days a week by digging into their journey. We’re going to discover everything you need to do to be a successful entertainer. You know, cause training usually skips that part about how to actually make your skills work for you in the real world.
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[00:01:24] Okay, let’s get started. I am excited to introduce my guest today. Wendy Sibe, are you ready for this Wendy? Beautiful. Wendy is an award winning director, writer, choreographer, and producer for film digital series and branded content theater and dance or award winning short film, which starred Emmy winner.
[00:01:49] Peter Scolari won nine awards and screened at 20 festivals around the world. She has worked on top shows on Broadway, off Broadway, national and international tours and all over the U S at regional. The heaters as well as at top companies, such as NBC, Amazon studios, Disney, Nickelodeon, and the Sacramento ballet.
[00:02:12] She has worked with grant Emmy and Tony award winning creators and talent, including sting, Oscar, Isaac, James Taylor. Christopher Lloyd Paul Reubens, Clint black Harry Connick, jr. David Bryan, avant Joby, Greg Kotis and John Rondo. She is currently developing three new comedy series and her first feature film, which is a full dance comedy narrative when the, that is a quick intro of who you are and what you’ve done.
[00:02:41] But why don’t you tell us a little bit more about yourself? Fill in the gaps. Who you are, and a little bit more about what you do as a professional in the entertainment industry.
[00:02:53]Wendy Seyb: [00:02:53] sure. yeah, that’s, I’m having you read that out. I’m like, wow. There’s a lot of things I’ve done. I started as a dancer.
[00:03:01] I moved through that. my whole life I’ve actually been doing choreography. I just didn’t know the job. I came to New York and I’ve just been moving my way through some wonderful difference, different kinds of mediums of storytelling. So to me, I’m a storyteller. I just have been to like all different kinds of styles.
[00:03:20] And as I moved from one to the other, they tend to lead one another. So as you can see, I’ve worked over many different mediums, but it’s usually always comedy and story. I’ve had the pleasure of working with theaters since, 2005 here in Manhattan. but I also moved here into 1995, just dated myself.
[00:03:43]but I came here to move into dance, to move those in the modern world, trying to figure out what my style is. and then I’ve always been a cinephiles since I was a kid. So eventually I found my way into that also series in the past, we’ll say like six years. so I’m always hungry for a good challenge, always trying to find, new information and how to tell a story story, a better story, a more engaging and more diverse story.
[00:04:11]and so I’ve had a really, I’m very lucky. I’m very lucky and very grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given, given to me, but also. I’ve fought very hard for those opportunities at the same time.
[00:04:25] Dane Reis: [00:04:25] Yeah, absolutely. And let’s move on to this next section here and look, Wendy, I am a sucker for a good quote.
[00:04:34] What is your favorite quote? You’d like to share with everybody?
[00:04:38] Wendy Seyb: [00:04:38] I was trying to think of one and the only one I could think of is kind of silly, but it actually is pretty awesome. As I get older, it means more it’s wherever you go. There you are.
[00:04:50] Dane Reis: [00:04:50] I love that. I’ve heard that. Yeah, I’ve heard that a few times, but I’m never on the interview.
[00:04:56] I love this.
[00:04:58] Wendy Seyb: [00:04:58] It’s from a film called the adventures of Buckaroo Banzai. and it’s a very weird cooky film with Peter Weller, John Lithgow, like a bunch of people, like I think it was in the mid eighties and it’s such a goofy quote, but as I get older, I tell myself that I’m like, right, just for me, it means being present.
[00:05:16] You know, as artists, we’re always as artists, we’re always like, yeah, what’s the next project? What are you doing? You’re always working on and practicing time and pushing things through and making things happen that it’s hard sometimes to just stop and be like, right. I’m in the world is not just about the projects.
[00:05:31] You know, I, I have a wonderful husband, great apartment here with two cats, you know? And so just remembering to be present and have a life outside side of that. So I’ve used that sort of as my mantra, a little bit.
[00:05:44] Dane Reis: [00:05:44] I love it. I love that. It’s so simple, a bit understated and I can absolutely admit myself being very guilty of, you know, just looking at the future, doing a project and being like, alright, that was cool.
[00:05:57] What’s next? What’s next. What’s next? And you always want to keep creating, but there’s so much fun and richness when you. Live in the present isn’t there.
[00:06:06] Wendy Seyb: [00:06:06] Absolutely
[00:06:07] Dane Reis: [00:06:07] fantastic. Well, let’s move to this section and Wendy, of course you are a professional in the entertainment industry. I am also a professional in this industry and I think you’d agree that.
[00:06:20] The entertainment industry is one of the most subjective, brutally, honest, personally emotional industries, either of us have probably ever experienced. And, you know, as well as I, that in order to create and to have a successful career in this industry, like you’re having now takes a lot of dedication and hard work.
[00:06:42] And while yes, of course there is an outrageous amount of fun and excitement being a professional in this industry. There are also our fair share of obstacles and challenges and failures that we are going to experience and we’re going to have to move forward through. So tell us, what is one challenge, obstacle or failure you’ve experienced in your career and how did you come out the other side better?
[00:07:07] Because of it?
[00:07:08] Wendy Seyb: [00:07:08] I think one of the main challenges was trying to figure out what I really want to do. And realizing it doesn’t exist.
[00:07:21] Dane Reis: [00:07:21] Okay. Can
[00:07:22] Wendy Seyb: [00:07:22] you explain? Or at the time it didn’t exist. And I realized I had to manifest that I had to. Continue to chip away at the piece of marble to discover my David.
[00:07:35] Although I am nowhere near Michelangelo, let’s put it. Let’s make it clear very much right now. It wasn’t just like, Oh, I direct the school theater. Here’s what I do. Not that that’s easy for others either. But like, you know, as I was saying about my, my background, I sort of fit in a bunch of different places, but never did I find one that.
[00:07:56] Totally fit. Exactly what I had been seeing for my entire life, which is my art wasn’t dance comedy. And so it took me a long time to realize others didn’t see it. And then I was like, Oh, I got to figure out how to tell them what it is, but it’s a completely verbal art form, but I can only use words and I can’t point to something and be like, it’s exactly that.
[00:08:18] So it’s been a challenge in staying true to myself, to continue pushing myself, to continue to figure it out when I really don’t know what the heck it is. And that’s okay. And no one can tell me what it is cause that’s my job. So through that, I finally realize what words do you use, to get close to describing what it is because it doesn’t exist.
[00:08:42] And what influences were that helped people get intrigued by it and they get a taste of it, but they don’t really know what it is. But then I also realized, well, if they didn’t know what it is, then they would be doing it. So that’s okay too. So it’s sort of this, I can only make what I want of it. Myself.
[00:09:01] Others helped me. Yes. But I can’t turn to someone and be like, Tell me what it is, what should I do next? Why aren’t people understanding this? Why is what I been given this crazy stories in my head? What am I supposed to do with them? It’s not fitting anywhere. So that was sort of, you know, the challenges along the way of that.
[00:09:21] And so, you know, I’ve gotten to a place where I’m like, Oh, I know what it is now. I understand what it is now. And people say, no, no, no, no, no. And I’m like, right, bye. And then I go somewhere else and that’s okay. And so it’s it’s and it’s being fully sure and confident. It took me a long time to get there, but I know what it is.
[00:09:43] I know how to do it. I’ve been lucky enough to work in so many, like I say, different mediums and genres to be given on amazing tool bells to pull from. So when people are like, Oh, I don’t get it. That I don’t understand that that doesn’t exist. That doesn’t make sense. That sounds bad. You know, they just don’t know.
[00:10:01] And that’s okay. Cause that’s my job to make it. And then also the challenge was figuring out who I’m speaking to, what world they’re from, meaning like theater, film, dance, music, and what words I can use two, two, so into their world. So they understand what I’m saying. Like I’m not going to talk about ballet to someone in film.
[00:10:26] You know, they may get it. It’s just not their background. So how do I explain it to them from their lens? Because that’s going to be the easiest way for us to get to what it is.
[00:10:36] Dane Reis: [00:10:36] Absolutely. I love that you have really embraced and created your own journey and your own art out of all of this. And. Would I be correct in saying that because of what you envision, what you see and in your head, and you’re trying to create and manifest and share with everyone.
[00:10:55] There’s a big reason why you have chosen to explore so many different mediums because they all offer something a little bit different to help express your ideas. Correct. Fantastic. I love that.
[00:11:07] Wendy Seyb: [00:11:07] And I was also trying to find a home for them, you know, trying to find like, Oh, maybe this one is, is where it should be.
[00:11:13] Or maybe this is where it should be. Maybe this is where it should live. So that’s sort of been the discovery too,
[00:11:20] Dane Reis: [00:11:20] for sure. And then, like you had said, it sounds like you’ve discovered that they don’t. Nothing really fits in any one singular box, but I could imagine different projects are able to adapt and really shine different aspects of the ideas through the different media.
[00:11:34] Wendy Seyb: [00:11:34] Sure, sure. I also find that. It also depends. It also depends on what that medium can offer for it. You know, like I love the dance world. That’s where I grew up and I was able to return to the Sacramento ballet and able to workshop the piece live that became the short film. So, and I’m kind of finding that film.
[00:11:55] Yeah. Sort of where I feel like this style works best right now. But most of the pieces that I’m moving into films started out as labs or live performances or, you know, just sort of, so yeah, they all kind of feed each other. Yeah. and I don’t, I can see one of the films then returning back and doing a musical on Broadway, you know, so.
[00:12:17] It’s kind of like all in nothing.
[00:12:20] Dane Reis: [00:12:20] I love it. I love it. Well, let’s move on to this next section to a time that I like to call your spotlight moment. That one moment in time you realized, yes, I am going to be an entertainer for living or maybe it was, yes. This is what I need to be doing in the entertainment industry.
[00:12:44] Tell us about
[00:12:44] Wendy Seyb: [00:12:44] that. do you have a preference of a theater or a film?
[00:12:49] Dane Reis: [00:12:49] Whatever you’d like to share?
[00:12:52] Wendy Seyb: [00:12:52] Oh, a theater. Cause that was kind of fun. I never expected I’d be a choreographer, a musical theater. I was a very snotty ballerina, but I love it because it has serene. It has comedy allows me to flex those muscles.
[00:13:07] And so, you know, as an artist, we’re working, working, working, working, working, getting that job, trying to make connections and debt. And what I like to do the game I like to play is let’s trace back how I actually got this job. And it’s never something you could have planned, you know, like. so I ended up doing the PB Herman show as a choreographer on Broadway.
[00:13:30] And that was my first probably gig. And I was like, well, how the heck did that happen? Could I replicate that? And I go back and see, that was in 2010. So that goes back to 2007. I ended up manifesting a one nighter at the New York musical theater festival. That was all dance comedy. So it’s different crackers who had dance kind of pieces.
[00:13:48] Cause I’m like, I can’t be the only one. And my friend, Danny Goldstein is a wonderful director who I’d done, but I’m a cheerleader with two years earlier at new, at musical theater festival brought Alex timbers and he introduced me to Alex timbers and this was before bloody bloody and all that stuff.
[00:14:03] And then two years later, Alex calls me to do a choreography audition for a big show that didn’t pan out, but I still got to work with them and talk with them more. And the day that we were doing that showing. He had just come back from opening Peewee in LA. I’m like, how’s that going? How was he chatted about that?
[00:14:23] And then like six months later, I see him play though that they’re like peanut Herman’s coming to Broadway. And I poked Alex and I said, Hey, that’s really great. Congratulations. I’m so jazzed for you. If you find you want a different choreographer or anything, I am. So your girl, you know, not trying to take someone else’s job, but I just want it to be on the plate and consider it and just say, Hey, I would love to do this.
[00:14:50] Cause this is my jam. Well, he wrote back, actually we do need a new crag for, and we’ve been talking about you and I want you to meet Paul. Oh, wow. We’re already on the table. Oh, damn. Around the table. I’m on the top. So, you know, I don’t know, I’m not sure if my email actually pushed them over yet or whatever, but you know, like you can never track that you just don’t track that you, you can’t make that happen.
[00:15:17] You can track it, but you can’t make that happen. So that was really nice. That was really satisfying to, not only get my first Broadway show, but have it be something that’s in my wheel house, have it be something that I was already being considered for that was really satisfying. No, that’s what you want.
[00:15:36] That’s what you want. You want, you won’t be like, Oh, Hey, I know somebody who’s awesome. Who can tell you, take care of you. Who’s really good at this. And it’s windy or, you know, Steven or all these analytical choreographers that we all have different styles. so that’s when I was like, Oh, it’s working.
[00:15:52] Dane Reis: [00:15:52] Yeah, absolutely. would you mind talking a little bit about your transition from being a dancer to. The choreography direction side of things.
[00:16:02] Wendy Seyb: [00:16:02] Sure, sure. Yeah. I was, I was heavily trained in ballet growing up. love it. I am like a ballerina. Through and through in the bottom, but I like to tell stories and like, to be funny, so that didn’t really match that much.
[00:16:16]I quit when I was 14, got back into it in college graduate college. And I was like, I gotta go be a dancer. I gotta try it. Let’s go to New York and figure this out. but I wasn’t, musical theater was never on the docket. So I was inside. So I was working in the modern dance world and was like, Oh, I think I want to quick graph and I’ve done it in college and I’d done it actually as a kid, just with friends and being fine.
[00:16:41] But I choreographed my first piece in 1996 and we’ll say it was, you know, concert dance piece, sort of jazzy modern. And that’s when I started to know now, Oh, this is using more of me then performing. And so I pushed that for a while and the comedy started to come. And I wanted to get into musical theater because of like, Oh, there’s story there, there’s comedy there.
[00:17:05] I need to hone those skills as a choreographer. Let me try that. But I knew I wasn’t going to make it up the regular ranks of being as dancer and assistant. Cause you know, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. It’s just not how I work. I’m terrible at that stuff. I’m a really awful assistant. That’s fine, Steven so much because he is amazing.
[00:17:26] I can never do it. He does. and so, I ended up doing, I got into, an observership at the state directors and choreographers union for a big Broadway show, which was the pajama game. And that was the Kathleen Marshall and Harry Connick. And so that kind of helped jump me to where my experience was already as a choreographer, if that makes sense, for sure.
[00:17:49] And then also coming from the concert dance world, the choreographer is what we would consider in film and TV and musical theater, the writer, the producer, the director, and the crowd first, sometimes you’re the lighting designer and sometimes you’re the passive.
[00:18:02] Dane Reis: [00:18:02] Yeah, for sure.
[00:18:04] Wendy Seyb: [00:18:04] I always came from that point of view of being the director and the choreographer or what we would call in theater.
[00:18:11] But I also was wise enough to know I didn’t, I didn’t have enough under my belt of directing in that world. So I stay with choreography for a while and was lucky enough to work with incredible directors that I could learn from and watch and stab at work and talk to, you know, it was a crash course that I got.
[00:18:29]I’m sure I made mistakes and, you know, made mistakes. but that was, I was lucky enough to be smart enough to not try and achieve that immediately. I had to earn my way into that and be to do
[00:18:43] Dane Reis: [00:18:43] that. For sure. Well, I’d love to piggyback on all of that and talk about your number one book moment. Walk us through that day, the auditions and call backs.
[00:18:57] If they happen to be a part of it and what was going on in your life. What about that moment? Makes it your favorite book moment.
[00:19:06]Wendy Seyb: [00:19:06] so the film line was, I’ve been honing my salad, dance comedy, in 2012, I was like, you know what, let me take a piece of mine and shoot it and just see what happens. And I got a friend of mine who worked on a music video with me.
[00:19:18] He’s like, I’ve never shot dance. I’m like, that’s good because it’s not like a dance film. And I say that with heavy quotes, cause that’s a whole specific niche since mine is more story-based, it’s more of a regular film shot that I looked at it and I was like, Oh, dang. I need to do more than that. There is where it lives.
[00:19:38] And so it took me a while to sort of get the piece, hone it, create it 2015, we like went whole hog. We got, we raised the money. We got, donations through Indiegogo. We got insurance. We had my casting director. We’ve got amazing dancers from the theater community. We got the wonderful, like guys, like in the intro and you went or Peter escalatory, who’s amazing to be in it.
[00:20:03] I worked with him before and his wife, Tracy, Shane. Who’s an incredible Broadway dancer. So we got everybody in the room and we made it happen. We figured out what festivals we wanted to apply. And we applied to like the top ones and we got no, no, no, no, no. But yeah. Yeah. I’m at this point, like I mentioned before, I was kind of already used to that and was like, no, no, no.
[00:20:27] And I’m like, trust me. I know, I know. Not like yet. I know it’s weird and it’s different. so you just gotta hang in there. And my film friends were like, just wait until you get that first one. And it will start to smell and being the first one needed some flexibility because my work is commercial, but there’s no words, but it’s still a lot of story, but it’s like a sound film, but it’s contemporary.
[00:20:51] So it kind of hits all these buttons, which people never expect them to all work together. so like all out of the big ones were like, no, like, all right, that’s fine. it’s also comedy and, Phil at that time tended to be very introspective. I guess that’s a good word for it. Yeah. So, no, no, no, no, no, no.
[00:21:12] And then finally after like two and a half months still pounding at it, we got our first. Yes.
[00:21:22] No, but, you know, I mean, that’s kind of how you start to feel. You’re like, Oh, am I wrong? Am I dumb? I like, what am I thinking? so the veil film festival, thank God lovely Belkin festival. They accepted us. And then that kind of literally anointed us in a way, cause we already had gotten the stamp of approval that we can be shown at festivals.
[00:21:44] And then it just, again, it did start to snowball and no, well then enough that people started reaching out to us. Independently to show at festivals, we didn’t apply for them. And I was like, Oh, is that something that happens apparently. So, you know, it was wonderful. It was such a great ride. And so to just get that first one, I mean, you don’t, you know, you don’t want to be like, well, I know I’m good and I know my stuff is good on anybody to tell me, but yeah, you do sometimes, you know, cause you need to have it up and you need to have it screen.
[00:22:16] So somebody has to say yes for sure. So the fact that they took a leap was wonderful. And, that kind of just shot us over the moon, which is really fantastic. And I had no idea we would be in so many elements, so many words and the top 10 from Brussels. No, but that’s okay. That’s okay. And people kept telling us, which is really nice.
[00:22:39] Like some of the jurors on the side, they say, just so you know, this is a wonderful film to have in the lineup because. You can open this. Cause when you do a short films, there’s like eight or 10 that you show at one setting. Yeah. They’re like, it’s a great, it’s a great film. Cause you can put in the beginning, you can put it in the middle or the end.
[00:22:57] It’s great. It’s great. You always want to have something like this in your lineup and yours is perfect. Okay, great.
[00:23:05] Dane Reis: [00:23:05] That’s fantastic. Well, let’s take a moment to talk about the present. What projects are you working on now? What are you looking forward to? And of course we are amidst this global pandemic.
[00:23:20] How do you see the industry moving forward in the next couple of years?
[00:23:24]Wendy Seyb: [00:23:24] I think, you know, film and TV is, have already started. Obviously theater is just, you know, Out of luck for the next year, which, because everything is in person, like literally in prison, especially dance. I’m like, Oh my God, you’re touching each other all the time to do lifts and whatever.
[00:23:41] So film and TV have already started to create sort of like a production. I’m trying to say, production rules that deal with Kobe, which is great. I think that’s, and they’re kind of passionate around the industry so everybody can kind of input, which I think is really lovely. We don’t know. And I was hoping to shoot my first feature the summer, but I have to let that go, which was really hard because I’ve been trying to do that for two years.
[00:24:06] So it’s just a little, but you know, that’s how it works. That’s how it works, you know? and I learned about our five years, like, you know what I need to, I need to generate other projects. I need to have a bunch going on. Let’s let’s do that. Let’s make sure we do that instead of just cleaning to one.
[00:24:25] Yeah. So I started working with, and I just started to get into directing a couple of digital series that we did well, we’ve got some great call outs for some of them, and we’ve got some awards for some of them. And so I was like, Oh, I’m, I’m, I’m really good with story. I don’t want to write dialogue.
[00:24:39] That’s not really how my brain works, but if I can work with a writer that is good at that, and they have an idea, we can create that. So right now I’m actually in the midst of writing four different series. And they’re all at different sort of stages of development, which is helpful. And being in quarantine, I’ve been able to listen to a million seminars on pitch decks and pitching and look books and pilots.
[00:25:02] And it’s great. So when I immerse myself in something and I fully immersed myself in which I think is great. and then I also have the feature I was talking about, and that is called school dance. And it was actually a piece I did for the 2006 musical theater festival called I called the school days.
[00:25:22] But we can’t do that as a film cause there’s, you know, spike Lee has one called that. So, and actually that was funny too. How I got that? This is a little side note. How I got into the New York musical theater festival that, you know, moving out had been out Swan Lake and contact. And I turned to the guys who used to run the New York musical theater festival, Isaac and Chris, like, Hey, you guys want to dance this narrative?
[00:25:44] And I say, yeah, you got one. I’m like, yeah, I do. And then we just made it happen.
[00:25:50] Dane Reis: [00:25:50] That’s so great.
[00:25:51] Wendy Seyb: [00:25:51] You know, I mean, you don’t want to be arrogant or an idiot about it, but you know, sometimes
[00:25:57] Dane Reis: [00:25:57] you gotta put it up.
[00:25:59] Wendy Seyb: [00:25:59] Exactly. Exactly. Especially if people don’t even know what you’re doing or understanding aspirate out there.
[00:26:05] Absolutely so that we did very well. It was about an hour long, and that was terrifying because it was the first time I’d ever put up a full, like an evening length piece of dance, comedy, continuous narrative. So that was really terrifying and Baryshnikov happened to be there, whatever.
[00:26:24]and I, my friend was sitting next to him. Like I can’t look at him, but tell me if he laughs and he did and he did great. And then I kind of didn’t know what to do with that because it was a one act. Ballet companies are nowhere ready for that level of, I think, it’s not enough for a theater piece.
[00:26:44] It wasn’t long enough. And my theater career took off, which I’m grateful. So just out on the shelf, but I always wanted to come back to it. So the past few years I’ve been creating it, moving it into a feature length, film, expanding script, trying to figure out how to write it script with no words, no dialogue.
[00:26:59] So I’ve been sort of figuring that out. Yeah. And it’s fun because there’s competitions, you can apply to, to get feedback on your screenplay or have people look at it, cause put it to your manager. You know, there’s, that’s a whole other world I’m discovering, but they’re always like, it has to be 70 pages.
[00:27:15] So I emailed them, I say, Hey, I’d like to do this. It is 82 minutes because I know because I have the whole film score already. Cause that’s what we’re creating too. But it’s only 25 pages because there’s no dialogue. May I still apply? And they go, Oh, can you send us the script? Let me take a look. I’m like, sure.
[00:27:32] And about they’re like, yeah, totally apply.
[00:27:35] Dane Reis: [00:27:35] Fantastic.
[00:27:35] Wendy Seyb: [00:27:35] I guess you just gotta beat, not a rule breaker, but you see the rules and you’re like, I don’t fit in those. Here’s where I do fit. What do you think everybody? And then they go
[00:27:45] Dane Reis: [00:27:45] very much your own advocate, aren’t you? Because what you’re creating is it’s unique to you.
[00:27:51] It’s it’s your creation and it really, like you’ve said it doesn’t exist anywhere else.
[00:27:55] Wendy Seyb: [00:27:55] Exactly. Exactly. And that sort of learning how to embrace that without being, arrogant or angry or dismissive or, you know, bullish. I mean, you can be all those things, but that’s not fun. That’s just a waste of energy.
[00:28:12] Dane Reis: [00:28:12] Yeah, for sure. Well, let’s move on to this next section here and. It is called the grease lightning round. I am going to ask you a handful of questions. I want you to answer them as quickly and concisely as possible one after another. Are you ready?
[00:28:31] Wendy Seyb: [00:28:31] Yeah, I think so. I’ll try.
[00:28:33] Dane Reis: [00:28:33] First question. What was the one thing holding you back from committing to a career as an entertainer?
[00:28:40] Wendy Seyb: [00:28:40] fear that I was creating a brand new genre and who do I think I am. Love
[00:28:45] Dane Reis: [00:28:45] it. Second question. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
[00:28:52] Wendy Seyb: [00:28:52] It’s not really a piece of advice, but it’s how everyone says you have to be tough skin and you’re going to hear a lot of nos and that’s about 1% of how much it is actually going to be.
[00:29:03] And that’s your test. That’s your test. That’s the real test is to move to those no’s and keep going for sure.
[00:29:10] Dane Reis: [00:29:10] Third question. What is something that is working for you right now? Or if you’d like to go pre COVID, what was working for you before our industry went on pause?
[00:29:22] Wendy Seyb: [00:29:22] Oh, well right now, one of the series I’m working on, actually they all in all three involved puppets in a different way, which is something I never imagined I’d be doing, but here we are.
[00:29:32]which I love. one of them is, it’s all puppets. So the we’re realizing that the puppet tears can be completely masked, completely closed off from each other because we don’t see them. So that makes it extremely valuable right now because everyone wants more content cause they had to shut down.
[00:29:50] So they really only have content. I’m talking about networks and film and TV and streamers up to the end of the year. They’re looking for something they can easily shoot. That’s safe for everybody as safe as they can be, so they can have more content. So we’re sort of pushing that one, which I didn’t think would be so valuable.
[00:30:09] Dane Reis: [00:30:09] Yeah, of course. Wow. That’s great. And the fourth question, what is the best resource, whether that is a book, a movie, a YouTube video podcast, or maybe a piece of technology that you found is helping your career right now? It’s
[00:30:25] Wendy Seyb: [00:30:25] the idea that it’s a long journey. You know, I’ve heard career artists who I admire say that.
[00:30:31] And as I’m getting deeper into my career, now, it really is. There’s never really a moment where you’re like, I’ve made it and everything’s okay. you’re going to have highs and lows, but you have to be willing to sign on a long journey, a long journey, and you’re going to make a lot of stuff. That’s great.
[00:30:48] And then make a lot of stuff. That’s crap. So for me, listening to artists who I admire talk about their career. in all different genres, all different mediums, just people whose work. I love who I connect with and who have the career that I would like to have. I don’t mean their career, but it’s varied and they’re challenged and they’re humble and they love what they do.
[00:31:12] And it’s about the craft and they like working with other people and helping them along too.
[00:31:16] Dane Reis: [00:31:16] I love that. And I think that’s incredible advice for anyone listening that it, it really is about the long haul. This is not some kind of to do one gig and you’re all set.
[00:31:27] Wendy Seyb: [00:31:27] I mean, you might do that. You may be like, Oh, done.
[00:31:30] Buh-bye I’m gonna go work in the corporate world and make money and have health insurance.
[00:31:34] Dane Reis: [00:31:34] That’s cool. But if you want to continue having a professional career in this industry, you gotta, you gotta stick it out.
[00:31:40] Wendy Seyb: [00:31:40] Yeah. And there is, there is a price to pay. There’s a price to pay for whatever choice you make.
[00:31:44] You know, if you want to have. You know, children, or if you want to have a successful career that, you know, you kind of have to sacrifice things, but like, there’s always like give and take. but to me it’s been worth it. I made that choice with my eyes open and as we’re going down and like, Ooh, good. I made the right choice.
[00:32:02] Dane Reis: [00:32:02] Totally. Well, the fifth question, if you had to start your career from scratch, but you still had all the knowledge and experience you’ve collected from your career in this industry. What would you do or not do, would you do anything differently or would you keep it the same?
[00:32:20] Wendy Seyb: [00:32:20] I kind of actually feel like I already, I just recently did that by moving into film.
[00:32:27] So it was sort of interesting. Cause I had to kind of start all over there cause nobody knows me in the film world. They’re like what I guess inside out choreographer in film and TV is a very different animal than a credit for in musical theater. The expectations are different. The contributions are different.
[00:32:47] I don’t mean it’s bad or good. It’s just very different. So when you’re going into the film world, Oh, you just come in and do a couple of steps, you know, as a musical theater crowd for I’m part of the story, I’m in the room with everybody I’m talking about, you know, shifting pieces around, obviously making a song or, you know, like I’m part of the whole process where I’m filming you kind of, depending on how big the dance section is, you come in that morning, you rehearse, you shoot you’re out.
[00:33:16] That’s weird. So coming into the film world, I kind of had to like start all over again. Cause some of my credits transferred, but not really, but yeah, it’s it. luckily I had enough confidence at that time to like I am now that I understood that and I was like, Oh, what do I need to figure out to explain to you what I do in a lingo that you understand?
[00:33:41] So you understand, I have the experience, you understand that. So it’s, it’s also, you know, it’s just kind of reading the room and understanding that you may have the experience that they might not believe you understand you yet. And you have to figure out how you, how you get there and you gotta pay your dues.
[00:33:57] You know, like I came in and I would do, like, I think my first major TV thing was Craycraft anymore law and order SVU. Yeah, which is, sounds random. It was a, these women who were violinists and they were at a club and it was like just having them kind of stomp around and look pretty. Yeah. And came in, taught it, shot, it left, you know, musical theater.
[00:34:22] That’s like the opening number. So, you know, it’s understanding that, and that I’m kind of on the, you know, the low, low man on the totem pole again, which is fine. Cause then I got to hang out on set. And see what people did and see how it works. And then I met the director who was a really lovely and kind, and he’d worked with choreographers before.
[00:34:40] So there was a little bit more of an understanding and now I can call them and chat with him. And we’re trying to get me to shadow with him on another series. So it’s also making sure that you understand where you are and trying to soak in as much as you can instead of being, you know, Oh, I have to start all over again.
[00:34:58] We’ll forget it, but you’re not really. Of course.
[00:35:01] Dane Reis: [00:35:01] And you know, I love that throughout this entire interview, you have consistently said, you know, you have to figure out how to communicate and speak with whoever it is that you’re working with, whether that’s the film side of things, whether that’s the theater side of things, but it’s always about you also trying to communicate to your audience.
[00:35:21] And not only the end audience, who’s going to see the finished product, but the people that you’re working with, part of the creative team, and I think that’s. Credible for everyone to take away from this, because it’s all about those relationships. And if you can meet people where they’re at, you are only helping yourself.
[00:35:39] Wendy Seyb: [00:35:39] Oh, we have happened in both of you. I think it is very kind of you to say thank you. I wasn’t always like that. We all have to learn our lessons, but, you know, coming in from the concert dance world into new school theater world, I never really had like a big chorus of dancers. I’m a very pedestrian choreographers.
[00:35:57] So I’m also really good with actors and. But then I get 11 actors and they’re all different levels of dance and comfortability and their movement and bodies, but they all have to look the same. So instead of me being like yelling at one of them, cause they’re not doing it, my I’m finding, you know, some people aren’t a fan of it.
[00:36:15] Some people are, but the sooner I can get to how they organically move. And give them a comfortability factor, then we can move further. And my slavery, the thing is, is that sometimes they learn, they had a tool in their toolbox that they didn’t know about, but we discovered it because they weren’t getting them their own.
[00:36:35] My, I wasn’t getting in their way. And so to me, then we can go further. I mean, that was a hard lesson to learn, but it was important to learn that. And because choreography and dance is still sort of like. This kind of mysterious thing to a lot of people and if you’re not deeply embedded in it, so you kind of have to cross the bridge to them and understand how they view it.
[00:36:57] So you can then find that common ground and also explain it’s also not a mystery. It’s just dance. It’s fine.
[00:37:04] Dane Reis: [00:37:04] Yeah, for sure. And it’s fun. Cause it’s dancing.
[00:37:07] Wendy Seyb: [00:37:07] I agree. And
[00:37:09] Dane Reis: [00:37:09] the last question, what is the golden nugget knowledge drop you’ve learned from your successful career in this industry that you’d like to leave with our listeners,
[00:37:19] Wendy Seyb: [00:37:19] be kind to everybody.
[00:37:21] It doesn’t matter who it doesn’t matter if they’re a PA, it doesn’t matter if they’re the lead. Just be, treat others as you want to be treated. Like it’s really that, you know, cause you never know. And I hate to say just because, but you should in general, but you also never know what they’re going to be.
[00:37:39] Like, the PA might be writing a script, that’s gonna go somewhere and they’re like, Hey, let me drop this. So I don’t mean to sound like it’s always a hustle or it’s always, you know, just be nice to people. Cause he’s amazing. Give you a job, but you should really just be nice to people and they also might give you a job.
[00:37:55] But it’s hard enough life. Like this is a hard life. Why, why make it harder by just, you know, being mean and ordinary and not being nice to people?
[00:38:07] Dane Reis: [00:38:07] I agree. I agree. And it is time to wrap up this interview and Wendy, that means it’s time for you to give yourself a plug. Where can we find you? How do our listeners connect with you?
[00:38:20] Is there anything you’d want to promote?
[00:38:23] Wendy Seyb: [00:38:23] I can’t right now, cause we have nothing happening. I I’m really bad. I’m kind of old at this. I do have a website and it’s my name? Wendy’s side.com. That’s S as in Sam, E Y B as in boy. You can tell, I’ve had to say that a lot. My whole life I am on Instagram and I think I cyber one.
[00:38:45] Dane Reis: [00:38:45] I’ll find you. I’ll make sure I put it in there.
[00:38:47] Wendy Seyb: [00:38:47] Oh, okay. Okay. That’s good. I’m also on Venmo, Venmo.
[00:38:52] Dane Reis: [00:38:52] Absolutely.
[00:38:54] Wendy Seyb: [00:38:54] I mean, Vimeo, I always mix it up. you can find my work on there. You can find my work on my website too. but yeah.
[00:39:02] Dane Reis: [00:39:02] All right. Fantastic, Wendy. It has been such a pleasure to have you on today.
[00:39:07] Thank you for joining me.
[00:39:08] Wendy Seyb: [00:39:08] Well, thank you for having me. I’m so excited to be on it.
[00:39:12] Dane Reis: [00:39:12] Thank you so much for joining us today. My one call to action for you is to go to youbookeditpodcast.com and join our free email community. Where we dig deep into a continually growing resource of truly actionable things you can be doing right now to help you advance your entertainment career.
[00:39:33] Don’t miss an episode. We have a new guest, seven days a week search for you, booked it on Apple podcast or your favorite podcast app and subscribe today. All the best to you. We’ll see you tomorrow.