Reservoir Room Blasts Off.
A new digital performance space is launching this weekend (June 5-6). The Reservoir Room is the baby of cabaret performer Catherine Alcorn. Ahead of its launch. She spoke to David Spicer.
How much work have you lost due to COVID-19?
I have lost everything. Every booking, every pencil date, every proposed tour well into 2021 and 2022. Mine is, unfortunately, not an uncommon story.
Are you a JobKeeper and if not how are you making ends meet?
I am fortunate to be receiving JobKeeper through my company Tenacious C Presents, yes.
What about others involved in setting up The Reservoir Room – do they have similar stories to you?
They do. The incredible team we have gathered are some of the industry’s finest and come from every aspect of the business. Lighting directors, digital platform designers, publicists, costume designers, make-up artists, sound technicians, actors, musicians, producers - the list goes on, and to a person everyone has felt the impact of COVID-19.
How did the idea of the Reservoir Room come about?
Seven weeks ago, I approached Cobbstar Productions owner Brian Cobb suggesting he use his television studio and production house in the Paddington Town Hall in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs (formerly Metro Screen) to live stream performances. It started out that we’d shoot with a couple of iPhones and has evolved rapidly into a full-blown series and production with legendary TV director Ted Robinson at the helm.
What are the facilities and the quality of the broadcast like?
The space is a 95 square metre green screen television studio which we have flipped into The Reservoir Room. The facilities are world class, as is the broadcast quality, thanks to the generosity of our suppliers and supporting partners including VA Hire, RODE, Intense Lighting, Beaches Productions and our platform producer Jonny Peters from Dream Channel.
How will it operate during the Pandemic and how afterwards?
In the immediate instance we will be live-streaming our programs via our own website platform reservoirroom.com. Once the world begins to reopen, we will look forward to welcoming audiences into our Paddington venue whilst continuing to live-stream to the world.
Who is up first?
Our opening weekend is HUGE! So are our second and third - but more on that later.
On Friday June 5 we launch our brand new variety show FRIDAY NIGHT LIVE, hosted by Rodger Corser and me.
The following evening, on Saturday June 6, we have film and television star Tim Draxl performing his incredible show The Chet Baker Journey for our cabaret hour at 7.30pm. Headlining the first live music slot at 9.30pm will be Australian rock royalty, Phil Jamieson from Grinspoon.
Are audiences ready to pay when there is so much free stuff around?
For a program and production of this quality, yes they are. We have done extensive market research and believe audiences will support this ticketed initiative wholeheartedly.
What do you think might be the (unintended) benefits of COVID-19 in terms of making artists more digitally savvy?
Learning how to perform without audiences! Although that will never be our preference.