Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Emma Supica. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Emma, appreciate you joining us today. Can you talk to us about a project that’s meant a lot to you?
I have worked on a lot of meaningful projects in my life, but the one that comes to the top is the one woman show I wrote this summer called “Scar Tissue.” I had been dreaming about the concept of this show for a long time, but wasn’t until I met Daniel Jones of the Kindling Arts Festival that I considered actually writing and performing it. I had always considered myself a real “ensemble” player on a stage (in bands, choirs) or as a director. For this project, I wrote and directed the whole thing on my own – mostly on an airplane and in my basement recovering from/isolating with COVID.
It is particularly meaningful to me because I discuss my childhood as well as what it was like to give birth and become a mother – all topics full of emotion and energy. I am in my underwear for most of the show – something I waited 35 years to be brave enough to try on stage.
This project is also a meaningful moment in my artistic career because it was the most money I’ve ever made from a creative endeavor. This has everything to do with the work that Daniel and Kindling Arts are doing to support independent and new artistic works. The opportunity to be a part of that specific festival and connecting with other artists creating new and progressive art is so deeply meaningful.
I don’t know if it was the “best” piece of art I’ve ever created or performed (in fact, I’m pretty sure it was not) – but I’m very proud of myself for doing it. I really loved (and continue to love) the process of writing, editing, considering, iterating, and performing the piece. The next performance of Scar Tissue will be on Dec 30 2022 at Third Coast Comedy Club
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
I’m a music teacher and an improviser. I knew I wanted to be a music teacher from a very early age – I started teaching private piano lessons to younger kids in my small town in Kansas while I was still in high school. I’ve always loved music – playing, teaching, learning. I taught K-12 music and band in Oklahoma and then was a high school band director in Kansas before moving to Nashville to work in a nonprofit music school. I started my career with dreams of being the head of competitive band programs – and while I did get to do a bit of that, I realized that what I really loved was building community through music. I wanted to help create great people – not win high ratings at contest.
I also realized that I just loved playing. I loved being a part of a responsive and playful learning space. I wasn’t very interested in sticking with strict schedules of concert prep or adhering to rules and standards laid out for public school. The nonprofit music education space has been a really good fit for me to create and teach within these values.
I began my improv journey around 8 years ago. I’d performed in many scripted theater productions – mostly children’s theater and musicals – but had always been pretty terrified of improv. When a close family member passed away, I took some time to reflect on the things I would like to do with my life, and “try improv” was high on the list. I began taking classes right away and fell in love with it – even though I really wasn’t very good at the beginning. I founded Unscripted, a nonprofit organization focused on providing improv programs for the community focused on healing, connection, and empowerment. I leverage my improv skills to create playful music education curricula, and I use my music skills to perform in improvised musicals.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of being a creative in your experience?
The creative community is the most rewarding part about being an artist. I’m so proud to be surrounded by other creative artists, entrepreneurs, and patrons of the arts. The Nashville creative community is full of talent and great people – I’m so glad to call many of them friends.
In your view, what can society to do to best support artists, creatives and a thriving creative ecosystem?
Pay them. Don’t ask artists to work for free or for exposure.
- Website: emmasupica.com
- Instagram: @emmasupica
- Facebook: /emmacwsupica
- Linkedin: /emmasupica
- Twitter: @emmasupica
- Other: unscriptedimprov.org
Tiffany Bessire and John Yates