To know us better: Marie C. Wellman

Can you believe that only one week remains until the festival kicks off? ^^
We have more interviews to do though.
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Marie C. Wellman! ๐Ÿ˜€

1) Whatโ€™s the most interesting thing about you that we wouldnโ€™t learn from your resume alone?
I live a double life! Well, at least for half the year, when its warm enough. I am a cultural manager in Berlin, this big, creative, dirty, inspiring, crazy city – that’s the one side. But I also get out of town for half the time, spending my weekend time on the country side in a little green paradise, our garden; watching animals, growing my own fruit and vegetables and being outdoors all the time. Its a wonderful balance to my “other life”, where I mostly challenge my brain with organizational stuff on the computer, and Im really glad that I can live these parallel lives and get different kinds of input and inspiration!
2) Which is the biggest risk you’d ever taken conserning improv?
There’s that legendary story about me jumping into the water of a Berlin canal years ago, frightening all the artists around me as it was a festival after party and something around 5 am or so. They all thought their well-organized manager had suddenly gone insane. ๐Ÿ˜€ This was certainly me following my impulse without overthinking (or thinking at all ;)). Also, I didnt hurt myself or got sick, so really it wasn’t that terrible in the end. Just a nice refresher.
3) What is the most challenging thing in being a cultural manager?
Umm, artists? ๐Ÿ™‚ There are so many different kinds of people in this field, and many of them need their own way of communication, their own approach and their own management style. I’m trying to be very apprehensive and sensitive about how people communicate and how I can on the one hand get the results I need, but also let them be how they are and make the process easy for everyone.

Another thing is probably money. Or more precisely, getting money for projects. Fundraising has never been a big love of mine, but its certainly necessary to acquire money to realize projects. We’ve had some success with it in the last years, but still every new application is a big gamble. And unfortunately, improv projects usually have a harder time than other art projects.

4) How did improv discover you? Did it like you straight away, or did it initially think you are boring?
Improv probably thought I was just passing by and not too interested in it. Now improv is pretty surprised we’re in this together for more than a decade!
5) What do you think about when youโ€™re alone in your car?
I love to sing when I’m in the car. I turn on the radio and just sing along, sometimes I add some dance moves. Of course just safe ones, its hard to really dance and drive! But a little shoulder shrug or headbang is usually possible from time to time ๐Ÿ˜‰
6) Who’s your personal hero?
When I was young I was really fascinated by Frida Kahlo. The amount of pain and suffering she went through and her constant fight for realizing her dreams was inspiring to me, but also scary. I think I had a love-hate relationship with her in a sense, because I found some of her paintings really rather awful to look at, but at the same time very open and real. But I would not really call her a hero, that makes it sound so supernatural. I think she was a strong woman, who is very inspiring to me.

7) Any advice for an improviser that wants to get into management?
The first step in my opinion would be to look at your own self management, because you can only manage projects with other people when you’re on top of things and don’t forget/lose half of your tasks in your chaos. Effectively structuring your work day, projects and yourself is key to being able to manage larger scale projects. I will be giving some tipps on that topic from my own experiences at my seminar in Athens, but really, there’s many ways to productive self-management, because we’re all individuals with their own style. Its important to figure out how YOU work best.


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