“Teamwork makes the dream work”.
This mantra is the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of David Wally. He’s the kind of man who wears several hats, simultaneously, while juggling hundreds of actors, performers, investors, and clients all before having his morning coffee. He’s the man that brings people together, in order to bring enjoyment and entertainment to the masses. A director, producer, writer, executive and “Field General in the treacherous battlefield of Entertainment”; the term busy doesn’t begin to sum up a man like Wally. He actualizes real life, tactile, fantasy lands… or nightmares and brings adventurous entertainment to the City of Angels.
It’s hard to explain what his day to day looks like and what exactly David does for a living; so, I thought it best to let him explain in his own words. “My job is invariable to lead large groups of people in myriad entertainment adventures. In the process, I am endeavoring to share my passion and instill a “One Team, One Dream” ethos within everybody I collaborate with while leading the execution of these entertainment projects, ensuring the successful realization of each project’s vision, while creating a memorable creative experience for both the artists and their audiences alike.”
The ins and outs of what goes into successfully achieving the large-scale projects that David works on are baffling. However, through all the hustle and bustle of his many endeavors, he remains calm, cool and collected while keeping the cogs of a beastly machine well oiled. It’s a huge task and one that he doesn’t attack alone. He’s devised a team of amazing people, allowing him to accomplish incredible goals. There’s something that sets him apart from other people in the entertainment business in similar roles. You see, David genuinely cares. “The secret is caring. Caring about the work, and the people you work for, and the people you work with, and the people you are working to entertain. And if you truly do care – and if you can manage to inspire your colleagues and collaborators to likewise care – you stand a pretty good chance of succeeding in your goals.”
David’s worked in the entertainment business in one facet or another his whole life. His father used to say that he knew at the age of 5 that David was destined for a life of entertainment. Like many, he started his career pursuing acting but was quick to realize that it wasn’t his strong suit. So, he moved into writing, producing and directing across multiple disciplines including theatre, film, live events and location-based entertainment. He’s worked on some big projects, and his bio is impressive, to say the least. However, most impressive to this writer is the compassion he holds for those around him and the lengths he’s willing to go for them. He’s always good for words of encouragement, especially when giving advice to other’s trying to make it in the business of entertainment. “There is no ONE path. The entertainment business is a hopelessly impenetrable fort that has zero entrances – and yet people DO find a way in an each-and-every day. But it takes more than talent and good looks to succeed – you must be tenacious and tireless and patient.”
How does a man who’s worked extensively in an industry that takes so much patience and has the reputation for chewing people up and spitting them out, keep on keeping on? There’s a multitude of factors that go into the perseverance of David Wally. He’s had his share of hardships and been knocked down more than once. Rather than choosing to hide under the covers and spend the rest of his life in the shadow of the greatness he was meant to achieve, he got up and tried again, and again, and again. He’s simply not happy unless he’s working his fingers to the bone on a project… or five projects as it may be. His secret is not giving up, no matter what… and coffee, lots and lots of coffee. “The first time I really got knocked on my ass hard is when a particularly beloved project got thoroughly savaged by the reviewers. My mentor told me to climb back up out of the dirt and dust myself off and put on my steel jock strap and just keep on going. And his advice served me well. More than a few people have suggested that I am never truly happy unless I am working my ass off on a project and I suppose that is probably exactly right. One of my great skills, I think, is the ability to bring order to chaos. To bring some measure of resonance. To create something beautiful that delivers a moment of catharsis to those who enjoy my work – whether that moment evokes tears, or fears, or anger, or laughter. At the end of the day, I guess – like most people – I want to be heard and I am determined to share what I have to say with the world.”
What’s up and coming for David Wally? You can visit his latest project at The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor if you dare. There are more mazes, more monsters, more sliders and more specialty performances! An exciting new production of Chill, also held at the Queen Mary is in the works as well and can be visited in Long Beach late November through early January. His company, Mycotoo, also has a number of exciting projects in development that are scheduled to be released within the next year or so. Wherever you catch David know you will catch a remarkable, hardworking, unique individual who will be hard at work to bring entertainment to you, Los Angeles. Adventure awaits!
To find out more about David and his productions:
Photo credit courtesy of David Wally.