Jordan has worked on the likes of Dr Zhivago and Matilda as well as currently being resident director of Mary Poppins at the Prince Edward Theatre. Jordan loves to connect with other creatives, and no one can truly foster an inspiring atmospheres in any way he can.
Frequently taking part in #OVConnect, he strives to open the doors and answer questions about the theatre industry that notoriously operates behind closed doors.
How are you coping with all that is going on in the world right now?
I’m really stressed about money and where my next pay-check will come from. The producers of my show were nice and cut me a check, but that won’t last forever, and money needs to come from somewhere. So, having to live stringently is big right now.
I'm having to cut unnecessary expenses, because we really don’t know when the next pay-check is going to come through. We are very lucky that our producers and team have been great at communicating with us about what is happening, but things tend to go silent at the weekends and that can be really stressful because it’s just a whole waiting game.
How are you keeping busy?
I’m very lucky to live in a flat with my dog and a back garden. So, we can go on walks, throw a ball around - having the entertainment from the dog helps, I’ve also been drinking lots of wine. We have the basics like Netflix etc.
Any advice to actors and other creatives in this time, specifically those who are just starting out navigating this industry in this time?
I mean no one was really there to help me when, I was starting out. So, I’d say network as much as you can, even if that’s just reaching out to people and offering to help in any way they need. Because people remember that. Make yourself known for being kind, hardworking, good at your job, easy to work with, helpful. Make a name for yourself within the industry as being good to work with and reliable. Get to know producers and offer to help with get-ins and get-outs if you can, that’s what I started out doing.
Really just offer as much help as you can, not just to gain recognition from the help but just to be kind. As much as we all hate to admit, this industry is about who you know. We can all do our best to change that, but it’s going to take time.
What Creative outlet are you using to stay sane?
I’ve been getting back to writing more, spending some time with projects that I had to push to the back burner when I started working full time. I do still have to keep up to date on Poppins though, because if we go back anytime soon, I need to be prepared to jump right back into rehearsals. So, I do spend some time looking over my archival footage. I can’t get too distracted and completely forget all of Poppins, in case we do end up going back anytime soon.
Actors are a bit luckier in that sense, that they get to go over their work every night of the performance and know their journey through the show. Whereas I have to make to keep it in my I’m also very lucky to have a whole network of friends who are also creative, so they will send me songs and stuff to look over and so that is quite a good way of staying engaged, and collaborate on projects.
Do you think theatre will be the same after this, how do you think the industry will be affected?
Yeah, I don’t know it’s hard to say. Because there is just so much up in the air right now. We don’t know when exactly shows are going to reopen, and how quick will people be to want to go to the theatre. And after this will theatre be viewed as a luxury, will ticket prices stay the same, will they go up, or down. Because right now theatre is a luxury, but will it go back to the point of people having to save up to go the theatre again. We just don’t know; this whole situation is kind of unprecedented for the theatre industry.
Any new hobbies you have picked up in this time of quarantine?
I’ve actually started meditating. I started using this app Waking Up with Sam Harris, and it’s really great. I’ve really enjoyed using it, and I’ve found it really helpful. So basically, he just walks you through the whole process of meditation. It does cost £100 a year, but wait hear me out, if you just email them and explain your situation, they will set you up with a free account. Which is fantastic!
Any passion projects you have been working on? You mentioned writing?
I’ve wanted to adapt movies into musicals for a while. I find myself thinking of how films could be adapted into song as I watch them. Some obviously work much better than others. But I really love the idea of bringing classics from my childhood and shining a new light on them for a new generation. I started working on a couple shows that I was really looking forward to adapting, but they came to a halt rather quickly when someone at the top decided they didn’t like it. But I’m also working on a couple other concepts that I really am looking forward to growing.
How do you think, from your end you will approach theatre and going back to work after this is all over?
Like I said, it really just depends on if Poppins decides to reopen. If it does, I will be helping facilitate that, getting the whole rehearsal process up and organised etc. This came right around as we were preparing for the kids in the cast to change, so whether we have to extend the current kid’s contracts or hire new kids, just a matter of figuring that out. On the off-chance Poppins doesn’t reopen I’ll have to think about finding other jobs. Whether it be another show or not. Potentially even having to return to more freelance work.
I mean I really love working and collaborating with younger creatives, whether it be hosting or helping with workshops, or forming companies with other creatives and making a project we are all really passionate about. I am very lucky that I made a goal of working a West End show before I was 30 and managed to achieve it. So, I really love to try and help younger creatives in any way I can.
Many are like Jordan, with the uncertainty of the future bringing anxiety and stress. It is important to take a step back and look after yourself right now. We're all in this together 🖤