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Life & Work with Natalie George

Today we’d like to introduce you to Natalie George.

Hi Natalie, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I came to Austin to study acting at St. Edward’s University. I have always loved art in its many forms, never turning down an opportunity to dabble in some new side of creativity, but I soon found a home in the world of lighting. I began honing my craft professionally, working as a freelance lighting designer in Austin and around the US with The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, Rude Mechanicals, Salvage Vanguard Theater, Refraction Arts, as well as various private and corporate clients.

From 2009 to 2014, I served as Producing Director of Fusebox Festival, aiding the company in its growth to a worldwide phenomenon that attracts both artists and audiences from all over the globe. I learned a lot during my time with Fusebox Festival, about production, about collaboration, and about myself.

Today, I am a designer, producer, dreamer, and director of my company, Natalie George Productions. At NGP, we focus on immersion and conceptualizing ideas. I love that my background is rooted in theatre and dance, and I’m incredibly grateful to have had the space to utilize those skills while expanding my creative interests and pursuits alongside an amazing team of artists.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
A smooth road? Definitely not. A worthy and rewarding one? Absolutely. When I decided I wanted to start my own production company, I knew there was a long and challenging journey ahead. But an exciting one too!

In those early years, I’d say one of my biggest struggles was teaching myself the business side of things. Being an artist has always come naturally to me, but being a business owner is, of course, a whole different venture. Creating an LLC, navigating taxes, creating invoices and bidding jobs was all new to me. It took me a while to really trust and believe in myself as an entrepreneur.

Although I have faced my share of challenges and know there are many yet to come, NGP has an extended network of thinkers, makers, artists and builders who I am happy to say, make me infinitely confident in our ability to continuously create. Adapting to the shifting priorities and creative visions that are unique to live event production is something I value about the work I do. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
One of our biggest projects to date is the immersive Tiki Tatsu-ya, which opened its doors in October 2021. I designed and installed the theatrical lighting system, with the ability to control nearly all of the lighting in the space. This provides an opportunity for light triggers with specific drink orders and other subtle lighting changes throughout the patron’s evening at this rad hidden gem. NGP collaborated with some incredible artists to bring this bar to life, including McCray & Co, Blue Genie Art Industries, and Thrown Light. If you haven’t been out to Tiki Tatsu-ya, do yourself a favor and go check it out – you’ll be glad you did!

So, before we go, how can our readers or others connect or collaborate with you? How can they support you?
Our biggest passion project is the NGPresents Cabaret – a quarterly pop-up musical/bar event that happens in unusual spaces all around Austin, featuring local talent and delicious cocktails. Past venues have included a furniture store, fitness studio, copper studio, and doggie daycare. We are always looking for new venues to partner with to create our one night only adventures!

I’m inclined to take this question and turn it back on the readers; how can I work with YOU? How can I support YOU? Austin is where I have met some of the coolest creatives. Many of the connections I made back in my freelance days are now close friends and regular co-creators who I’m proud to say helped pave the way for NGP to go from a dream to a reality. My mind is always on the move, listening for buzz about new, reimagined, or existing projects and events I might be able to dive into or collaborate on. One of my favorite emails, both to send and receive, is, “Hey, I have this crazy idea, can we talk?”

Contact Info:

Image Credits
My photo – Sarah Bork Tiki Tatsu-ya photos – Stephen Pruitt Cabaret photo — Kenny Gall All others – NGP team

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