How many of you like to watch plays and movies? Well today we are blessed to have our next big Writer, Producer, and Director, Dee Dee Hedgepeth! Dee Dee is a very talented young lady who owns her own business and was gracious enough to allow me to interview her. If you ever considered starting your own company in the entertainment industry, this is the Trailblazer interview just for you.
Q: Can you tell us a little about your company and what you do?
Dee Dee: My company is called Donnzella’s Pen to Pad Productions, an entertainment company that writes, produces, and directs stage plays in the Raleigh/Durham area. I am the CEO of my company and I do all of the writing, directing, and producing. I also wear the hat of Stage Manager as well as take care of the marketing for the business. You could say I am the “head and the tail” of the enterprise, lol.
Q: When did you write your first play?
Dee Dee: I wrote my first play called, “Perception”, in 2012 and was able to have it hit the stage in 2013.
Q: Was this something you always wanted to do?
Dee Dee: Actually, I never imagined myself being in the entertainment field; even though I have a great imagination and was a writer of poetry for quite a while. I happened to meet an up and coming playwright who challenged me to assist him with his production, and here I am 4 years later!
Q: What obstacles have you faced with your production company? How did you overcome them?
Dee Dee: The obstacles I faced with the company, were not having a team helping me to accomplish all of the different elements involved in running a business. I became a little run down in the process of it all. I have always been head strong and believed that I could do anything I set my mind to do. It was a bit hard for me to say that I really did need help to make everything a success.
Thankfully, once I realized that I really did need a helping hand, and through lots of prayer, I was blessed to have some magnificent people come into my life. They have been a blessing to me every step of the way.
Also, financing a business is a struggle. Finding people who are willing to invest in your dream can be very hard; especially when you are first starting out. Thankfully, I was blessed again with people who saw something in me and who were willing to take a chance that I would produce what I said I could produce. I also have had to use my own money to meet all of the financial costs required.
Q: How has owning a business changed your life?
Dee Dee: Having my business has really changed my life because now I know there isn’t anything that I can’t do as long as I have my faith to sustain me. Hard work truly does pay off. I have been challenged in a way I could never have imagined, but it has all been worth it.
Q: What are your future goals for your business?
Dee Dee: My goals are to continue to do plays and take them on the road. I would also like to develop a web series and within the next 3 years, write and direct a movie. Also, publish some fictional books written by me via the company.
Q: How can others, who want to see your plays or tryout in the future for your plays, find more information?
Q: Is there any advice you want to give to others who may be interested in developing their own production company?
Dee Dee: My advice to anyone who wants to start their own endeavors is to learn as much as you can and be willing to change your ideas and views. Get a mentor, realize that you definitely don’t have all of the answers, and that you can’t do it all alone. Lastly, realize that there are going to be times when you fail at something; however, it just means that you need to adjust and go at it again.
You set your own limits on your life, not others. Give 100% to whatever it is that you are doing because at the end of the day, it is your name on it.
I had the chance to see “The Open Door” and it was a great play! Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us! We look forward to seeing more of your work and wish you much success in your coming projects.