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Mice Net : February 2009
Q&A “ String Diva his approach to SMA and we work way ahead on new product or development of existing product to ensure we are able to be at the forefront in what we do and what we’re about. David Malek - artistic director For both SMA Productions Australia and UK my job involves casting, scriptwriting, choreographing, directing, rehearsing and generally maintaining the standard of shows that SMA is renowned for. The role offers great diversity and creative challenges as clients often request new concepts, themes and ideas for their events, and it’s our job to make those requests “come to life”. My background in musical theatre, opera, and ballet has given me the opportunity to constantly draw on these experiences when working on the variety of shows that we offer – from classical to swing, strings and tap – we have every genre covered. I work to maintain the excellence and integrity of the original vision of each of our shows. An extension of this, and another important aspect of what I do, is client liaison. I’m constantly meeting new clients to discuss potential shows, and of course maintaining relationships with our existing clients, so I find myself travelling a lot. Whether it be performing, rehearsing new casts or meeting clients, I am away from home every week of the year. Dale has huge responsibilities within SMA and has to juggle many different aspects of the business wearing many different hats. It’s fortunate he looks so good in hats! I’m constantly bouncing ideas off him when it comes to pitches, costings and casting of our shows, as well as new “entertainment by design” concepts while Michael Charting a course with two business partners (highly successful in their own personal careers) is at times both fun and frenetic. ” oversees much of SMA’s branding, working closely with designers to always make sure that our image is first-class. His work in London casting violinists for String Diva saved me heaps of time upon my arrival in the UK as I was able to go straight into rehearsal with the new team – a great example of us working together from opposite sides of the world. Michael Falzon – director (at large) Being the “baby” of the three owners of SMA, and perhaps a little less settled, I still perform a lot outside the company in major musicals, plays, etcetera. So my role within the company has adapted over the years to work with my schedule as an actor. As such, I work largely behind the scenes meaning that as long as I have my laptop and my phone I can be pretty much anywhere working remotely for each of our offices – on our online presence, advertising and marketing, trade shows, IP and legal issues. Between my own career and as a director of SMA, 2008 saw me in London for several months launching String Diva in a new market before heading back to Oz to perform in a new production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. I often find myself working late after a show which works well for making calls to our UK office and clients but it can be frustrating for my fellow-directors as I’m a bit of a night-owl and our working hours are often out of kilter. Dale often finds himself organising a lot during the day and I’ll play catch-up at night. To be honest, I rarely know what is going on operationally (on a day-to- day basis) but we do “tag-team” a lot on various stages of a project. Over time we’ve found a good dynamic, the joy of Blackberrys, and I enjoy the flexibility of my role within the company. mice.net 25