Thursday, April 16, 2009

It's a Puzzling Life

You may remember that I've been job hunting. Mailing out resumes. Following up with companies. Networking. All of those things that I dread. And I'm starting to figure out just how cyclical it all is.

In the past week I've gotten two jobs. But each of them simply informs me what the parameters are for finding the next one.

The first one that I got is Stage Managing for a production of Diana Son's Stop Kiss which opens a week from tonight. They had a stage manager before, but she was overwhelmed by it all, so they were looking for someone to step in for the final week of rehearsal & to run the show. The cast is very generous and the show is coming together. Interestingly, it was on my "to see" list for April and now I'm working on it. But hopefully any of you in the Vancouver area will put it on your own version of the "to see" list. The play is about two friends' first kiss that leads to a life threatening attack.

This play is particularly timely in Vancouver at the moment with the recent attack on Rich Dowrey. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, Dowrey is a 62 year old man who was recently put into a coma by a suckerpunch. The man who hit him allegedly told bystanders, “He’s a faggot — he deserved it.” You can read local news coverage here.

If you're interested in seeing the show it runs APRIL 24 - MAY 2 at 8 PM. Tickets are $20 and you can call 604-630-9051 to reserve. There will be a preview performance on April 23rd at 8:30pm (please note the time difference). Tickets for the preview are $15. Partial proceeds from the performance of the show will go to the GLTB Centre. You can check out the facebook event for it here.

The interesting thing about taking on this show is that it overlaps with with rehearsals for my next show at Pacific Theatre. I'll be rehearsing by day and performing by night; something I'm comign to realize is a necessity of making a living doing this crazy theatre thing.

Before I move on to the second job that I got, I will say that it is a very unique situation to be coming into a show this close to opening and taking over from someone else who is still involved in the production. Everyone involved has been wonderful and making me feel like I am a part of the group, despite my more recent entry to the production.

The second job that I got is spending my summer in Kamloops with Project X stagemanaging Rozencrantz & Guildenstern are dead while ASMing Hamlet. The two shows will run in rep from July 23rd to August 8th. I'm sure I'll be talking more about those shows as they approach.

This second job is what started me thinking about life in the theatre as a giant puzzle. Once I got this job, I had to make some calls to a couple of co-ops that I had spoken with about the summer, informing them that I could not be involved in their shows, but that I hope to work with them in the future. It also meant that I got to call some other folks and let them know that yes, I could work on their productions. As this piece fit into place, the pieces that go beside it became clearer.

For example, I now know that I have the time in August to go to New Mexico and be a bridesmaid in a dear friend's wedding, something that I wouldn't have been able to do if I had gotten a job that was all the way through August. I also know that I have time to fill between August 17 - Sept 5 and again Sept. 20 - Oct. 12 and can begin looking for things to fill those slots.

So the job hunt continues, but it continues in a more informed manner. As I keep saying, the whole process impresses on me a whole new level of respect for the actors who keep on doing this while working another job to pay the bills. My puzzle looks like a 4-yr old's play toy compared to your 500 piece landscape.


On a somewhat related topic, my friend Sabrina, the Artistic Producer/Director of Twenty Something Theatre has just posted a great blog post about how to give a great audition. You should check it out.

1 comment:

Nick Keenan said...

Woah. That marketing image looks like a very interesting approach to Stop Kiss... that was one of my first designs right out of college! Freaking love that play.

Puzzle piece. No kidding. The hardest thing for me is the puzzle piece of personal time. I find that I need to bargain for time with all of my clients - storefront theaters and corporate types that hire freelance web designers both have this cognition block about time limits to projects, and so that time committment creep makes puzzle piecing VERY challenging indeed.

As I start to work in larger theaters, that's where I start to see relief... Not because they don't demand a large chunk of time, but because they're willing to compensate people for it. That's the fundamental reason why I'd like to see independant theater team up with larger theaters - eventually, you need a break from the hustle.