A.R.T. Artists Real Talk

It's been a long time coming, and Think Tank Gallery is proud to announce the release of our first podcast series! We've teamed up with some of our favorite artists, producers, directors and more to catch a deep glimpse into what it takes to turn an artistic vision to reality. We have been honored to work and be friends with some of the most inspiring people in LA and across the country, and for the last few weeks we have been bringing a grip of them into our new podcast studio to have some chill conversations over a beer or three. Join us in our freshly built podcast studio as we get ready for some dope shit.
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A.R.T. Artists Real Talk



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Feb 22, 2018

The last big show that was thrown with the Think Tank was a confusing one, for many reasons. Firefly Productions tricked the Think Tank into producing it, the Think Tank tricked its audience into attending it (#District798), and the actors tricked guests in every way shape and form. By the end, people even thought the weed was fake while they hit it. This show was described as a "mindfuck" by the media, and it encapsulated that word in every way. Whether you caught or missed the show, or caught the show but missed huge chunks of it (we don't blame you), this interview with Steph and Steven of Firefly is a crash course on how to give a viciously original take on priorly used content. Producers will love this episode. Artists will too.


Steven Klein and Stephanie Barnes from Firefly



7:31- District 798


8:00- Jacob tells Steven and Steph to give an intro about the last show Firefly and Think Tank have done


More about ‘Caught’ at District 798


9:10- Steven goes into detail about what Caught is




Read about what people thought about Caught at La Mama


14:53- Director Ed Sylvanus Iskandar


16:20- Who did the rehearsal process?


16:48- Caught being an immersive show and not in a theater


19:43- Did you guys hire an immersive company? Was it Ed’s company?


20:10- More of Tommy Honton


Listen to the Artist Real Talk Episode 17 with Tommy Honton


20:33- A lot of immersive theater is associated with horror in LA


21:43- Building a world around theater that is Immersive


24:08-  Stephen Gifford the set designer of Caught/District 798


28:28- Staff and actors hiding to watch how the audience reacted to the show


29:08- Stephanie and Steve go over the order of the show


30:27- Reactions from theater crowd vs art crowd


30:50- At what point did you approach me in the ideation process; early or right at the end?


31:23- Who was involved in the early stages?


32:39- Had you already discussed whether the gallery would be in on the joke or not before meeting us?


36:00- Jacob talks about the challenges


36:20- Liquor sponsors backing out because they didn't want to compromise relationships from China even though the show wasn't real.




40:57- Stephanie talks about the post show lounge


46:37- “Is this a gallery or a theater?”


47:39- Full Length Play


58:38- Stephanie talks about how the ticketing process was the most challenging part of the entire show


59:20- Jacob tells Stephanie and Steven to share the difficulties within making the show


1:01:23- Generating group sales


1:02:28- How do you market Caught/District 798


1:02:48- Creating an element of exclusivity and an element of getting approved


1:05:08- Five words to describe yourself and five words people would use to describe you


1:07:21- Jacob, Stephanie and Steven talk about how there needs to be an Immersive ticketing service that is customizable.


1:09:51- The ability to text characters from the show


1:11:33- Making sure the whole audience feels like one unit


1:12:45- Then She Fell


1:15:20- Steven goes into detail about how instead of feeling betrayed the audience felt safe


1:17:22- Jacob asks Steven and Stephanie, “how many productions have you done in front of a live audience?


1:18:07- The audience had a different energy every night. How wide was the shift from one night to the next, from one week to the next in our show; compared to other live productions you guys have done?


1:22:50- Steven talks about how the people with an Asian background seemed more relaxed vs the white audience who wasn't sure if they could laugh or if it was offensive.


1:25:40- Jacob asks, “was there a difference between the Fridays and Saturdays since some nights were alcohol and some were weed?”


1:26:28- Noah Nelson:


Check out Artist Real Talk episode 11 with Noah Nelson:


1:27:23- The talk back


1:31:15- Jacob asks, “what did you learn about the audiences who were coming to the talk back based on them thinking the show was over?


1:36:53- Moving the audience in different environments to dictate how they are supposed to behave


1:38:34- Rafael Hayashi:


Teddy kelly:


1:40:53- Jacob describes Steven in one word


1:43:03- What’s next?


1:45:23- Stephen Gifford the set designer of Caught at District 798


Caught’ starred:

Louis Ozawa

Jackie Chung:

Jessica Kaye:

Steven Klein:

Eston Fung:

Chrstine Lin:

Stephanie Barnes:

Peter Wylie:


The immersive company included Alexis Colianni, Carlo Figlio, Gray Gall, Stacia Marcum, Katie May Porter, Rebecca Rufer, and Alice Victoria Winslow.


Lighting Designer Derrick McDaniel


Project Designer Jeffrey Teeter


Sound Designer Crickets Myers


Costume Designer Halei Parker


Assistant Director Garrett Baer


Stage managed by Amanda Bierbauer, and the Assistant Sound Designer was Kelly Aburto


In association with:

Vs Theatre


Steven Klein


Stephanie Barnes


Natalia Duncan Macker


Think Tank Gallery


1:46:36- Jacob asks Steven and Stephanie to close out by talking about the opening of the show

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