A Glimpse of the Creative Process

West+Hyler+Panda!+Headshot

Director and Writer West Hyler

Friends, family and fans alike, we introduce to you, West Hyler. He’s a creative, humble and bright eyed director of live entertainment and we are so glad he chose to work on this iteration of iLuminate’s Live New York Show as a directing consultant and writer.

In graduate school at the University of California San Diego he primarily worked with text by Shakespeare and other writers of Greek and Scandinavian origin. He was the recipient of the Drama League’s Fall Directing Fellowship which brought him to New York City.

Recent credits include Cirque du Soleil’s Paramount (director, writer), How The Grinch Stole Christmas (associate), Jersey Boys (associate), Panda at the Palazzo Las Vegas (staged), as well as the Big Apple Circus’ Legendary and Metamorphosis.

While West’s resume speaks for itself, we can say from experience that his presence in the room is thoroughly first-rate. As he contributed ideas to expand the narrative his delivery was unequivocally clear and genuine.

He detailed each scene, making sure to bring focus to the most important action as it related to the story. For example, calling into question the motivation of a character’s action was not only helpful from the viewer’s perspective but helpful to the dancer’s acting and choreography beats.

“The entrances you’re able to create from a directorial standpoint feel more like in film where you can instantly have someone pop right into it. [The darkness] creates an exciting rhythm, urgency and a pace, that’s very sort of scrappy, you know? The tech side was very surprising in that way.”

IMG_5130

Lisa Bauford, Bryan Longchamp and Mateo        Dobbins recording voice-overs in the studio

West expected that the coding and choreography components would be two separate processes. But to his surprise, the two genres streamline. “Miral really straddles both and it’s surprising and wonderful. I’m more surprised by the company and the creatives on the show everyday that I’ve been in rehearsal. There’s a real mutual collaboration between artists.”

In addition to stage direction, West wrote the script for the show’s new audio recordings. There are a few scenes where Cop, Househead and Starlight have conversation as well as the Cop’s opening and closing monologues.

“The characters who speak in the show are characters who don’t have mouths in their costume design. The lines we’ve prerecorded for them really make it seem like they’re real. You invest in with the personality of these voices and you think about them differently when they start to dance.

Strengthening and clarifying of the story makes the whole show more emotional. It takes the audience on an emotional journey and that’s very satisfying.

I think story is like salt; put it into every meal you make and it’s going to make it better,” said West.