Faith Verill has been organizing the RAW arts programs for quite some time and now it has expanded to several cities. Her success with the program has demonstrated that a platform for showcasing artist is well received by fans and art lovers alike.
Faith, Tell us a little about yourself,
I am a producer and I started out producing a lot of theater productions. Managing musicians in LA and Portland OR. I moved back to Boston about 6 years ago to pursue producing theatrical event and such. I worked with Boston Ballet and BalletRox, and was producing The 24’s (24 Hour Plays! I started my own company FV Productions. I started with RAW 4 years ago, and Boston was the 23rd city to become involved with RAW. I produced the Boston shows and it became an instant success. Bostonians really loved what we were doing. I ended up after three shows taking over the Manhattan division. I owe a lot of that success to my team. We have this family and have done about 30 shows together. The organization is now international, 60+ cities in the US Canada, Australia, London, Tokyo. Its been really fun watching this company grow and expand. We started off with small shows and since have moved to bigger venues. We have over 40 artists showcasing fashion, music, visual arts and we even have a drag queen show in the RAW Boston COMMUNIQUE Showcase tonight. Tonight’s show has a cast of 50-60 people including all the models. It has really evolved from being a bunch of visual artists to 4 bands 5 fashion shows… it’s a huge event that 500 – 600 people come to see. It’s been great for us, and great for our artists to have a platform to showcase their work.
You are a creative yourself.. tell us about your work.
I used to be an actress and a dancer and got a scholarship to a college to act and dance. I also taught acting and dancing for a while. I really loved that. I found my heart was in producing. I felt it was more of my niche. I love being the center of attention and I always get to on stage to introduce my shows and I love that. Being the creator of an amazing show and the “painter” of the scene I was producing is very gratifying to me. My twin sister is an actress in LA and I let her do all the acting. I really love surrounding myself with artists. If I could spend my life surrounding myself with artists all the time that would be amazing.
How do you keep yourself inspired?
My team inspires me. They constantly remind me to keep going. It’s hard to balance everything, we’ve worked with over a thousand artists and I have 10,000 contacts so my team is integral for me to balance everything out. They also remind me to be humble too. Just because were doing real well doesn’t mean my ego should be inflated as well! My artists also inspire me. Whether it is in Boston or NY, working with these talented people, watching them grow and encouraging them has been a huge inspiration for me.
What have been some of the challenges for you?
There is always challenges with live performances. People late… Dropping out… we had two RAW babies in Boston. One girls water broke during the set up and we had another man whose wife went into labor while he was setting up. I’ve had Megabus break-down on me, snow storms, sickness, exhaustion, homeless for the night because there was no hotel and you know… the show must go on regardless! I kind of laugh about it because in the end were not doctors, were not saving lives here were just putting together a cool show. I have to always remember that every hurdle is not the end of the world. We always have to remember to just have a really good time and not to let all these things stress us out.
Whats a typical RAW show like??
RAW is an amazing show. It can be whatever you want it to be. It is a way for many different types of creatives to show their work, to be creative and be inspired. And not just limiting ourselves with just one genre. It’s many different things…dance , music, visual, audio, video, and performance. Every show is always going to be different. It will always be a collaboration. Our host Cousin John who used to have a blue mohawk and tattoos everywhere, and Shannon our other host introduces all of our artists who get to go on stage and tell people about themselves and there work. We have bands who play 20 min to half hour of original music. We try to stay away from cover groups to keep the theme of originality. We have dance pieces, a fashion show runway, a makeup show, and we also had amazing body-painter do a show kind of like a walking canvas. We have short films and then it changes to another band. Every hour there is something different. We usually end it with a finally fashion show. This year we are working with a couple of different companies, Project Mix which is a DJ group. We work with Boston Blend, Future Boston, September we are working with Art Week in Boston.
What is something unique that inspires you other than RAW?
My passion and my enthusiasm to work with artists. I love traveling. Getting out there and being in the public and seeing other events.
Who are your heroes?
My sister, Tori Amos, Gary Cole with COHO Productions is a mentor to me, he taught me the ins and outs of being a good producer. He’s the one who started letting me produce my own 24hr plays and really took me under his wing. I really wouldn’t be here without Gary.
For more info and to see more work with RAW arts see the web below.
email – Faith@RAWartists.org