Amber: Hi I’m Amber Ambrose and this is the BusinessMakers. I’m here with Kathryn Lott and Allison Lott and no they are not related except by a work marriage here at Lott Entertainment and Lott Entertainment Presents. Welcome to the show ladies.
Kathryn: Thanks, thanks for having us.
Allison: It’s much appreciated.
Amber: I am so excited to be here. First of all, what is Lott Entertainment?
Kathryn: Lott Entertainment is a special events and project management company that Allison and I started, like you said, like a year and a half, 2 years ago.
Amber: So you’re toddlers now.
Allison: That’s right.
Kathryn: We’re walking but we kind of still have that funny little sea legs.
Amber: And I know you have a non-profit element of what you do as well and that is Lott Entertainment Presents and why don’t you tell me what that is?
Allison: Kathryn and I both came from the performing arts background and so we started Lott Entertainment like Kathryn said almost 2 years ago and we just couldn’t shake the arts. We love it so much and so we decided to start a nonprofit performing arts presenting company where we find acts from all over the country and world and bring them here to Houston. And our motto is to fill the void in the Houston Arts scene, so anything that wouldn’t be here otherwise we look for and try to bring to Houston.
Amber: So what is the void that you’re filling?
Kathryn: So we found, having travelled all over the world looking for performing arts groups to bring to Houston on behalf the previous companies that we worked for that there was a small to midsize Off and Off – Off Broadway and Cabaret element that we felt was drastically missing from the Houston Arts scene, at least from outside of Houston.
Amber: So like travelling acts.
Kathryn: Yeah. So we have the very first partnership ever with Joe’s Pub out of New York. Do you know Joe’s Pub?
Amber: I don’t. I know of it because of you.
Kathryn: Right. So Joe’s Pub is attached to a Broadway house called The Public and Joe’s Pub is a cabaret house where unknowns and super-uber famous people like Adele go to perform.
Amber: Excellent. So tell me about who and what are coming through the program, I would love to hear more about that.
Allison: So this year we just started our second season at the Alley, we had Justin Vivian Bond who is just absolutely one of Joe’s Pub’s most famous artist, and we just, she’s just incredible. And we had Puddles Pity Party, so that is great fun and a great turn-out. And then coming up we have Martha Redbone’s Bonehill which is a story that is actually commissioned by Joe’s Pub. It was created there and it is a story of what it looks like to be American and all of the many many different nationalities and different colors and races and all of the things, you’re just a melting pot as this country is.
Kathryn: And then we have sex tips (Amber: of course)
Allison: Sex tips for straight women from a gay man. (Kathryn: I always get that confused) And that’s just a fun. That’s just a fun night out with the girls….ahh open bar. (Kathryn: yeah that’s just a good time).
Amber: All right, well on that note, let’s get into Lott Entertainment, the for profit business side of what you ladies are doing. So, first of all, tell me about your background in this industry.
Kathryn: Allison is a guru in the marketing world and was a marketing director for Broadway Across America and the Houston Symphony and Society for the Performing Arts; just a powerhouse. And then I have a vast array of production and operations knowledge and that’s where my skillset lies. And so together we kind of make this really balanced team and we always say that she’s the yin to my yang. So everything I don’t know how to do or don’t want to do she is really good at.
Amber: Don’t want to do.
Allison: We have mics on and they’re going to catch that.
Amber: Now we have it on record.
Kathryn: We can hear you – yeah, and vice versa.
Amber: The entertainment, obviously we understand what it is for Presents, so give me an example of things you do for Lott Entertainment.
Kathryn: We wanted to fill that void for the nonprofit sector and actually be specialty hands-on-the-ground fillers so that they can actually realize those projects and those events so that we can help all those arts organizations grow.
Now, what happened (Amber: right, as things evolve) – yeah, all of our plans of course, exactly the way that we planned – not at all. It turns out that same void is actually missing in the for-profit sector also. Everything from stage management, production, to hiring all of the acts and coming up with a strategy behind it and being the liaison for the branding and the signage and the themes; all of those things that comes through us and so that’s how we get paid.
Amber: By doing – putting together these massive – what sounds like very massive events.
Kathryn: Well it can be, it can be. So we actually – we’re there to fill the void, so if your void is small and you just need someone to come in and do your diagrams and your layouts and just actually make sure that all of the companies show up. And I don’t know that there’s another company out there that is willing to truly put that kind of broad stroke behind what it is that they’re willing to do.
Allison: Everything that we do is really customizable so we like to say that we can go from concept to fruition and everything in between.
Amber: So if you had someone right now that was like what is the perfect client and what is the perfect event to go after, if you could just spell it out, what would it be?
Kathryn: Okay, first of all no budget constraints, let’s just start there; just go big or go home. It would definitely be in Houston. Not that we wouldn’t take jobs outside of Houston, just Houston’s our home and it provides great comfort and we can see lots and lot of possibilities here. For me – and you’re going to have a totally different perspective I know it – for me it would involve lots of technology with regard to the production and whether it be the 3D, 4D 5D, 7D mapping, video projection mapping, and it would certainly involve probably a venue opening because I love to showcase landscape and venues in general. And obviously having a massive performing arts element; let’s bring Beyonce home.
Amber: Beyonce, if you’re listening please get in touch with Kathryn and Allison.
Kathryn: Yeah, but it would involve some really upper tier level of entertainment and entertainers. What is yours?
Allison: Mine is actually a similar answer. I mean we’re from the dramatic arts world so spectacle is truly what I love so I think that go big or go home, the bigger the better. Definitely entertainment elements whether it’s live music or a drag show – which we love doing – there are so many different ways that I can do it but I think spectacle, large, big groups of people and I think a big footprint I think is our dream job really; is to be able to reach as many people as possible for our client in Houston.
Amber: Well I’ll get to work on that, finding you guys…
Amber: Maybe The BusinessMakers will need you to through an event with Beyonce.
Kathryn: One of the things that we talked about in the very beginning that really we still dream about and we kind of revisit it every once in a while is actually having enough of an investment from a client in order to actually create a sit down, stay put show for a year or 2 that would eventually turn said client a major profit; that’s what we would love to do.
Amber: Understood. So any Hamilton writers – wannabe Hamilton writers – you might want to get in contact with these ladies.
Kathryn: Yes, please.
Amber: On that note thank you so much for joining me today, it was a pleasure having you on TheBusinessMakers.
Allison: Yeah, thank you.
Kathryn: And we want to give a shout out of course to our other associates that help make all this stuff happen (Amber: sure) so to Duke and Ryan, you’re our heroes. I know that they’re not on camera but they’re a huge part of making everything go well.
Amber: They’ve been listening in so that’s good, yeah. Well that concludes our interview with Kathryn Lott and Allison Lott, once again not related, of Lott Entertainment and Lott Entertainment Presents and this is The BusinessMakers and I am Amber Ambrose, thank you so much.
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