We had the good fortune of connecting with David Hock and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi David, what is the most important factor behind your success?
This is an interesting question for me because my “brand” is live theater, specifically musicals. Art and culture is obviously quite subjective for the end user, in my case that is an audience. With that brings two factors for success; first would be providing a high quality product, as would any business want to do. My goal with Scottsdale Musical Theater Company is to always strive to make our shows achieve a high level of quality from talent to the orchestra to the overall presentation. Every audience member may not like a particular show, or the artistic concept we went for, but I never want there to be a doubt about the integrity or quality of what they watched. My goal is to always have every audience member walk out thinking that the production values were first rate. Second, is a philosophy that is best summed up by a lyric from the Stephen Sondheim musical Sunday in the Park with George; “Stop worrying if your vision is new, let others make that decision they usually do, just keep moving on”. I can never know if an audience is going to like a show, all I strive to do is offer the best theater experience I can.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
‘Bringing Broadway’s Favorites Back to Life’ – This one phrase alone embodies the driving force behind Scottsdale Musical Theater Company. Musicals are America’s greatest contribution to the history of theater. The majority of theater audiences look forward to the familiarity of recognizable titles, stories and music. Now in its 10th year, SMTC prides itself on presenting fully-staged concert versions of famous Broadway musicals. All of our shows feature the best talent from around the valley and a full live 20+ piece orchestra so that these shows can be heard and appreciated by audiences of all ages. Coming from a professional theater background on both coasts, I created SMTC back in 2011. I had created a very successful model in San Francisco and I wanted to create the same model here in Phoenix; where it was more than just a social gathering with the end result being a bunch of people putting on a show. I could see the potential of creating high-quality productions here. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some wonderful local talent who believe in the same goal, some of whom have stuck with me show after show after show. The goal was – and is – to create an environment where everyone believes in putting on the best production possible and not feeding their own egos. Just like any other business product or service, it’s all about how good the final product is and maintaining customer satisfaction; the “widget” as I like to call it. And my goal is to make the best widget possible. My widget just happens to be live stage musicals. We’ve certainly found a niche in the theater market here in the Phoenix area. SMTC is known for large scale musicals. The biggest aspect that sets us apart is us having guest stars from TV/Film/Broadway in our shows. I’ve always enjoyed working with celebrities, something I’ve done my entire career. I truly enjoy working and collaborating with “stars” and my casts learn so much from watching these professional work on their craft. It brings a totally different energy to rehearsals and performances. And how many people can actually say they’ve performed on stage with an Emmy Award winner, or a Tony Award winner. Since 2018, SMTC has welcomed Bronson Pinchot, Katlin Hopkins, Charles Shaughnessy, Debby Boone, Eloise Kropp, Dawn Lewis and Peter Scolari. And local weather man Cory McCloskey has graced our stage as well. In fact, Charles Shaughnessy has done two shows for SMTC and he’ll be back for a third in 2021. SMTC is proud to now present our shows at the nationally recognized Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, right in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale. I am very excited that SMTC is part of their re-opening with our production of The Music Man, this upcoming November 10th-12th. As we finish 2020 and move into 2021, SMTC will continue to offer great live musical theater to the valley as we all get past the coronavirus pandemic.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’d certainly take a day trip up to Sedona, and the Grand Canyon time permitted. Here in the Phoenix area, Old Town Scottsdale is a great escape. I’m a baseball fan, so taking in a Dback game would be great if it was during the summertime.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The creative staff, casts, crews, orchestra members of all of my shows throughout the years.
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