Carol Forrest, President and CEO, Stop Tyme Productions Inc.
Carol is a creative entrepreneur whose roles include creative director, entertainment producer, choreographer and costume designer. Her award-winning entertainment production and costume company Stop Tyme Productions has garnered a dazzling list of credits for events of all types including high profile galas like the recent ROM 100 Centennial Ball and Toronto Public Library Foundation’s Book Lovers Ball. Carol was interviewed by Pat Hope for TSEvents People.
PH: What led you to working in the event industry?
CF: I went to Ryerson Theatre School for Dance and started my career as a professional dancer, performing as a company member and soloist around the world in different shows. I started my own dance company (originally with a partner – a couple of young dancers going into business) and took it from there. I learned the business end of things, and the company evolved and grew into my current entertainment production and costume business, and into the corporate events area.
Describe what you do on a typical day.
I may start out with a costume contract for a show or dance crew – it could be a one-off superhero for a party or product launch. Or it could be designing an entire production based on creative conceptual (written) direction, complete with choreography and costume design.
What is your favourite part of the job?
Creative conceptual. Working from a creative concept – words – and deciding how to make it happen. I usually come up with three options of how to make the concept come to life and have the client choose the one they like best; we build from there.
Is there a recent event experience that stands out for you?
I had a great time working on the Book Lovers Ball for the 4th year as entertainment producer, working for Hala Events & Communications. We took five books and brought them to life through song, dance and acting. The dining tables were set up among the stacks at the Toronto Reference Library, which turned out to be a cool performance space. The three dining zones were themed by literary genres: Mystery, Romance and Fantasy. For Mystery we worked a Sherlock and Watson theme; for Romance, Rhett and Scarlett and Romeo and Juliet; and for Fantasy, a scenario scripted by a Second City writer. We worked in the Sir John Franklin arctic expedition, a Captain Hook vs. Peter Pan sword fight, and Harry Potter, with a young sleight-of-hand magician performing close-up magic during dinner. It was a fun, memorable event.
What would you like people to know about you professionally?
I love to work. I love challenges. I love the challenge of working in non-traditional venues, entertaining in different ways, and bringing the entertainment off the stage and into the event. I like working with kids and giving them their first experiences performing live in front of an audience.
Do you have any surprising talents or exciting pursuits outside of work?
I’m involved in the fitness industry. I love teaching dance and fitness and I’m currently working toward Can Fit Pro Personal Training certification. There’s always something to learn!
TSEvents People: where we meet key Toronto event professionals.
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