Interview with Hubert Lemire and François Bernier
8 irreverent questions to the NoShow Vancouver co-authors, Hubert Lemire and François Bernier
- Before the NoShow, what were you up to ?
Hubert Lemire: “We built a company which we still own. We used to create prods while working as freelance actors. We were at the beginning of our acting careers and had had some success but, mostly, we were full of disappointments.”
Francois Bernier: “We didn’t have enough success to be famous, but just enough skills for disillusionment. The idea was to show the world you couldn’t do a show without money. Eventually, we made a lot of money with no money show (laughs).”
- What is the most interesting unknown fact in the history of the NoShow
F.B.: “It’s out there already, but we actually camped out at the theatre. We slept inside and had a sanitation block brought in for us to go to the bathroom outside. Hot dogs appeared, because, while we were camping at the theater, we cooked on a BBQ before the show.”
- What does rebellion look like for you?
H.L: “Going the wrong way; you need to dare to against the tide.”
- The NoShow was successful because?
F.B.: “It looks like nothing else, and because it speaks directly to the public.”
H.L: “Because night after night, no performance is the same. In Mexico City, one spectator attended the show 21 times. There are people who actually come 3 or 4 times when they find out that, from one night to another, the performance is very different.”
F.B.: “Also because there is a genuine interaction between spectators and actors. Strangely enough, this is unusual in theatre even though it is one of the only art forms where artists may encounter their contemporaries.”
- Describe your journey as an artist in a few sentences.
H.L.: “I was destined to be an actor and over the years, out of survival, I became a producer. More recently, out of interest and survival, I started to write.”
F.B.: “Well, I’d say I’m a very big DIY-handyman and a great tinkerer. Whether it’s making a sauna for the cottage or sketches for TV, the theatre or the movies, I like to touch the materials. I am better at my job when I have experienced everything from start to finish.
- Without art in your life, would you have gone bad?
H.L: “Absolutely! I believe art softens you up. As the saying goes “music soothes the soul”; I think art softens a heart. I would be somewhat less empathetic, less accepting and more self-conscious.”
F.B.: “Without art, I believe I’d die dumber.”
- If you were very rich, how would you help your artist friends?
F.B.: “I would develop a venue outside of the city where we could showcase labs year-round.”
- The NoShow makes you proud because…?
H.L.: “Because it started from a simple idea, from the glimpse of an idea. For three years, we didn’t let go of it and it literally made us work in four different countries since its inception. It made us see the world. But we did it all ourselves: we developed it, wrote it, enacted it, produced it, and we’ve rewritten it several times.”
F.B.: “It makes me realize how sometimes you hit the bull’s-eye. Apart from the international success, we dreamed of a show and it now resonates worldwide.