Miley, Moon Unit & Me – An Interview with Tegan Jones

Boutique Theatrecabaret, melbourne, season 2017

Eleanor Boydell, Associate Producer for Prayers to Broken Stone sat down with Tegan Jones to chat about her relationship with her father, what it is like to create a brand new work and what audiences can expect to get out of this heartfelt show.

Miley, Moon Unit & Me is obviously very inspired by your musical relationship with your own Dad. What did music mean for you growing up?
Music was a huge part of my life growing up. There are stories of me making up songs while sitting on the back porch at age 2 eating food, to belting out alone A Whole New World at the Caulfield Library toilets at age 10 to find out that sound travels through air vents and the whole library could hear me. Dad shared a lot of music with me, he collected vinyl and CDs of all sorts of music and I would go and search through them to find songs I would like. He introduced music theatre, jazz and other eclectic musicians to me. Even now has given me a USB with some new songs for me to listen to! 🙂

What’s the dorkiest thing your Dad’s ever done? Have there been any real stand out moments when he made you cringe with embarrassment?
Ooh I’d have to break to you that my dad is not dorky. Haha he is the strong silent type, thoughtful and analytical. I don’t think I have ever seen him be “silly” haha, I probably cater to that more than he would. BUT stand out moments where me has made me cringe in embarrassment? Yes! It’s a story involving Cruel Intentions, and gets some play time in the show so you will just have to come along and see to hear more about it.

How long have you been thinking about this show, and what’s the process of creating it looked like?
I have been thinking about this show on and off for 3 years, it has evolved a bit since then but the current concept I had a brainwave July last year. I was trying to find my connection to the artists that I admired and realised that the one thing we had in common was our fathers and their influences on our music. And then boom! This show was seeded. The more I explored the concept the more I grew passionate about it. The process of creating it has been a real joy, I have been able to reconnect with my Dad about old stories (some of which I remembered wrong!), really look into what this father/daughter relationship could look like.

Tell us a little about your performance background – what other kind of work are you currently doing or have you done in the past?
It’s been a bit of a mix bag, I started singing when I was 10, got heavily involved in musical theatre for 15 years, than focused on acting solely for the last five, even to travel to NYC to train, and now here is a show that combines all of this experience and training. It’s really exciting.

You’ve got a lot of background in performing art production, as Co-Founder and Producer at Boutique Theatre and other companies previously. What’s the experience of producing your own show like compared with producing the work of other people?
Producing a one woman piece is a lot simpler to say the least. Also teaming up with the Butterfly Club helps a lot. They provide a great support structure for individual artists to come in and produce/perform work there. I do have to change hats from producer mind to being a performer but for this show, those transitions have been pretty straight forward. I also have a fabulous team behind me supporting me with Hana Zreikat as my Musical Director and accompanist, Nick Casey fronting all the marketing and Emma Caldwell to assist with publicity. Even my sister is my techie for the show!

What can audiences expect from Miley, Moon Unit & Me?
Audiences can expect to see some quirky fun performances, heartfelt performances and get an insight into the father/daughter relationship. It’s no coincidence that I chose to perform this show over Father’s Day week. I really hope that anyone that sees this show feels an urge to connect with other people through music. Be it their dad, or some other father figure or just anyone really.

7pm, 30 Aug – 3 Sept 2017
The Butterfly Club