Spotlight: Orlando Workshop Prepares Performers For On Camera Action
Isis Masoud is a producer/choreographer and actress based out of Orlando. She moved here a few years ago after spending 7 years in New York City. She just produced & choreographed a video called “Empire Vampire.” It’s dark, edgy and features Cirque du Soleil performers, Orlando Ballet dancers, acrobats, contortionists, pole dancers, magicians, fire jugglers, and even a sword swallower.
The video is a product of Masoud’s new, on-camera workshop designed for performance artists. It’s called, Close Up Experience. She spoke to 90.7’s Crystal Chavez.
Chavez: How does the artistic talent here compare to what you found in New York?
Masoud: “Orlando is the only city outside of Las Vegas that’s got a sit down Cirque du Soleil show in the U.S. which is really exciting. There’s amazing circus artists, performers, like magicians for example, can get full time work at Disney. Typically magicians are freelance performers or they’ll do gig to gig project to project. Actors can get their equity cards here… An equity card is the stage union which you join when you become a Broadway performer. It gives you an opportunity to get into certain auditions, get audition times. It allows you to be more competitive in that particular field and can take a lot of time to get and having an opportunity to get your equity card in Orlando working for Disney is in some ways a shortcut. ”
Chavez: What advice do you give to performers who are used to dancing on stage but not in front of a camera?
Masoud: “They have to know how to ration their energy for a 12 to 16 hour day, which is completely different than working on a stage. When you’re performing for a stage, you go two hours, you give 150 percent in two hours and when you’re doing a 12 to 16 hour day if you give 150 percent in the first two hours then you’re going to be injured or exhausted and you won’t be able to deliver the job for the rest of the day.”
Chavez: Let’s talk about “Empire Vampire.” This is a high production five- minute music video, although that label doesn’t seem to fit because of the film-like quality. You choreographed people with such a wide variety of talents from ballet to pole dancing. Tell us about the production.
Masoud: “The production was absolutely magical. I mean it looks magical but the way that everything really fell into place was really exciting because I had an opportunity to work with some of the best of the best…It was really exciting because there was so much positive energy and on any type of a film set when you’re juggling so many different people with so many different elements, you’ve got your camera crew, your hair and makeup crew, you’ve got the dancers and choreographers and everybody in these sort of like little cocoons of things that have to happen have to know how to work and problem solve and think positively and really cooperate in a fast-paced environment.”
Behind the scenes video for Spotlight: