Because their companies already existed before they met and they each wanted to build their respective projects and engage with each other, if necessary, on specific actions, Fred Mudry and Pauline Epiney don’t want to make a company specific in their history. A collaboration for peace at home? No, rather because everyone can bring their skills to another while leaving them at the forefront of their creation. They mean it.
Why didn’t you form “your company”?
Fred Mudry: If we leave a school and we have things to say or the desire to develop projects, we will build a company. When we met, I had on my own a number of my shows and Pauline had hers. We are already involved in our respective companies. Pauline focuses on themes, topics that are very close to her heart. And I, perhaps, have something more polymorphic. I worked on the project. So we didn’t leave our companies. But we always work together.
Pauline Epiney: We love to work together and depending on the project, others can bring their skills or be the equivalent of a role.
How do you operate?
Pauline Epiney: If you’re leading a project, you have a global vision of what you want to do. You have to work tall, make form and content choices, choose the team people, the costume designer, the scenographer, the lighting designer … Sometimes I ask Fred to play with my creations, because it was very clear to me that he was.
Fred Mudry: … And inevitably when I enter a project I will replace my part, the actor, the interpretation, I will make suggestions at stake.
Pauline Epiney: We work well together because we listen to each other, we respect each other and we can talk.
Fred Mudry: Without chef.fe it will not work. Someone has to decide and take the lead, if it’s Pauline’s project, she’ll do it. And if I lead my project, I have the final cut.
Does being a couple bring a difference in the way you work?
Pauline Epiney: We dare to say things to each other, super important, what I like because I’m confident in him. I didn’t feel comfortable, because I still had doubts, fears… but I felt he supported and encouraged me, as I always told him things sincerely.
Fred Mudry: With Pauline, I felt our relationship was really healthy, romantic and professional. At work, we respond to employees in the same way as we do ourselves. We are polite and considerate. We’re never a couple to argue, we have to do it twice in 8 years, to make it fun at work.
Gaspard and Push up work great, but you don’t want to find a joint company? Gaspar up?
Pauline Epiney: For me it is important to keep my identity, my independence, work too and to propose projects that are close to my heart and having my own company allows me to do it.
Do you define yourself as independent fusion people?
Pauline Epiney: I don’t completely agree with the term “fusional”, I don’t like that, but I feel good with Fred and at work as well. Since the job of making a show is challenging, it’s really nice to have a reliable and competent person by your side. However, I was able to do projects without him and others to come without his involvement.
Fred Mudry: Pauline will be involved for the second time on a Gaspard company project, “7 dreams”, with Paola Pagani and Pierre Misfud, next season. It’s a writing stage, lots of ideas coming together during rehearsal. He will occupy an important position, that of the dramaturge, which involves ordering it all in order to create meaning and unity.
And so everyone accepted each other’s suggestions …
Fred Mudry: Everyone has heard of them! And that’s a lot. Afterwards, the one leading the project will choose what will interest him or her or not what others will bring to the project. As far as dramaturgy is concerned, it’s a little destructive, it has to ask questions that question your work. Lisod gyud. If we didn’t go there, we wouldn’t be found.
No misplaced ego in your story?
Pauline Epiney: If you work for someone else, you are in the service of his project. One takes what he wants, what he needs and what is equivalent to what he wants.
Go on! Tell me, is there a place of conflict?
Fred Mudry: Pauline is super hardworking, her projects are super well prepared. This avoids conflicts. The paradox is that everything is working but he is still skeptical! I asked myself little questions, I kept it up! I am more instinctive. We work well together.
Pauline Epiney: Sometimes we don’t get along, but it’s okay. It pushes the validation of choices, also questioning them, it makes things go on.
So you say you’re complementary?
Pauline Epiney: Yes, we have complementary qualities and we work well together. Plus, Fred listened to me and supported me. We can also talk “at home” about our doubts even if we are not collaborating on a project. Making and performing a show strong, it tightens the bonds even more and makes them stronger. It’s nice to share it all with the person you love
Fred Mudry: With Pauline, I felt a calmer way to move about work and life. I think we work with each other. We give to each other.
This article can be read for free in our magazine “Culture” from May 21 by clicking here.