We had the good fortune of connecting with Heather L. Tyler and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Heather L., why did you pursue a creative career?
Oooo, you know I don’t think creatives don’t have much of a choice, really. Denying ourselves of artistic pursuits is a formula for unnecessary misery and loneliness. Sure, we could enjoy our passions without trying to make a career of them, but for many of us, the drive to ply our craft surpasses thoughts of smoother paths. The work (and play) is the reward!

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Live performance has always been, and will continue to be, my passion. Bearing witness to others’ stories in real time is, for me, a spiritual experience. There is no separation of energy from performer to receiver, there is no screen. It is alive. Spoken word, movement, dance – by nature, it lives! I love that. I think we need more of these experiences, as a society, as a world. And now, ‘post-pandemic’ (a term I use loosely, as we all know it’s not over, though it has become more manageable) people are craving live interactions. Theatre has been on the cutting block – in our arts funding, on college campuses (including my alma mater, Rhodes College,) even in the California legislature. Arts organizations and individual artist-producers (myself included) were rolled into the AB5 bill targeting the gig economy and large organizations like the ride-share companies. While they had the funding to insulate themselves from the bill and its purpose of regulating employees vs. contractors, many – if not all – artists simply did and do not. So, I feel like I have been fighting to preserve my art on many fronts. Fighting for audiences, sure, but even fighting to have the right to do my work. Now, I feel more determined than I have in years to serve the next generation of artists, to ensure people, groups and theatres remain to share our passion, knowledge, skills and to tell our stories. There are so many stories to tell.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love this! Ok, so for me – a lot is all in the timing…some of this won’t be mind-blowing, but if you hit these spots at the right time of day…magical. Also, if you’re coming to visit me, bring those kicks ‘cuz we’re gonna be hitting the pavement/hikes. – Wattles Mansion Park – first the front lawn to watch the kids (at least mine!) and dogs romp and play, and then to the back gardens, where we visit the Ohm Spot, Buddha statue and say hello to Woody, one of the installations in the sculpture garden. Best time of day: Sunset or mid-morning weekday.
– Hard to find a better ocean/beach experience than El Matador on the north end of Malibu, followed by dinner at The Reel Inn. Sunset is magical…just watch out for the incoming tides.
– A must – but only in early morning, let’s say 7AM, is the hike up to the back of the Hollywood sign. As we get to the final climb, we’ll rise above the clouds and the larger than expected letters will reveal themselves. We’ll have clear views on the way back down and then we’ll pop over to see the Bat Cave and rock labyrinth in the back. If we’re *really* feeling energetic, then a stroll up Beachwood to the cafe.
– I love a morning jog up to The Hollywood Bowl, before ticket booths are open, run the bleachers, smell the air. Some summer months, we can even bring a picnic and watch the Philharmonic rehearse!
– I would be remiss not to include a stop at my favorite watering hole, The Broadwater Plunge at Sacred Fools Theatre complex in Hollywood on Theatre Row. Let’s grab a show while we’re at it, to make it a full night.
– Further south, Crystal Cove State Park in Laguna has everything from surfing, to snorkeling to tide pools. Followed by a trip to Hapi Sushi, and we’ll be happy, indeed!

Maritza Cabrera, Zero Gravity Management (left side)

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’m a believer in the adage, “It takes a village…” From the first theatre director I admired (Jon Crabbe in my hometown of Pocahontas, AR) to my mentor at Rhodes (Julia “Cookie” Ewing,) it’s those who give of themselves and share their wisdom – specifically in the craft of theatre and live performance – that have shaped me, and for that, I am extremely grateful. And I feel a responsibility to do the same, to keep a centuries old craft alive. Today, I have the immense support of a passionate and energetic Talent Manager, Maritza Cabrera, with Zero Gravity Management, who recognizes and champions those of us she represents who work in theatre, as well as film and television. It is because of her that I am currently working on a production that brings me great pride and a check off the old bucket list. (I wish I could say more…!)

Website: www.HeatherLTyler.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/heatherltyler/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/heatherltyler

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/heatherltyler

Other: http://imdb.me/heatherltyler https://vimeo.com/heatherltyler

Image Credits
Troy Blendell

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