So I live in Seattle Now…

If you had asked me just a short 53 days ago what I will be doing in 2 months the answer would have been simple…I would be working at “Pret A Manager” as Shop Team leader with a possibility of training to become Assistant Floor Manager.  The answer would have probably been the same if you had asked me what I’ll be doing in a year.

I’ve lived in Chicago for 1 year.  I came to work in theater, which is what I started doing.  I got a day job at Pret and then I worked in theater at night and on the weekends.  I worked 2 gigs back to back as soon as I came to Chicago and then I had this sort of crisis where I needed to take a break from theater.  I was ok with it at the time…I was only going to do that for a few months.  But then Pret happened.  I’m not really sure how, but it sucked me in.  I got stuck.  They were offering me raises and promotions (which ended up not being such a great experience but that’s not what this post is about).  I kept saying to myself, “I’ll see how this goes” and I kind of forgot why I came to Chicago.  I was turning down gigs and as time went on I became more depressed about it, but as I said, I felt stuck and didn’t really know what to do about it.

Then, out of nowhere, just 52 days ago, I get an email asking me to apply for the production stage manager position at the Taproot Theatre Company in Seattle, Washington.  WHAT?!!!  I researched the job and the theater.  This was a full time, salary plus benefits job.  Again I say WHAT???!!!!!!  I didn’t even think those existed in the non-union world.  In fact, this is one of the very few non-union theater companies that has this kind of job.  I never in a million years thought I would ever have a salary job.  CRAZY!!!  Two weeks later they fly me out for an interview (which with the time difference and the plane flights, I was up for a total of 23 hours that day…it was a long and tiring day) and I loved it there.  And then…just two days later…they offered me the job.  One more time I have to say WHAT??!!!!!!!!!  I couldn’t believe it.  I found the job I was always hoping to get.  I think it’s a rare thing when your passion and your career are the same thing…and I can’t believe  that I was given this opportunity.

The job started in exactly one month.  I had ONE MONTH to uproot my whole life…again…to a strange new city where I know practically no one.  Although I was kind of freaking out about how fast this came along…I had never been more excited for anything in my life.  It reminded me of the feeling I had when I was finally accepted into grad school.  I feel so blessed to have had these amazing opportunities just find me.

I packed up a truck and drove across the country (a three and a half day trip).  I LOVED IT!  On a side note…Montana may be one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.

I have now been in Seattle for a grand total of 48 hours.  I started my job yesterday.  I can’t believe I’m here.

I’m so excited to begin this new adventure in my life.

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Job Hunting

Well I have been back in Chicago for about a week and half now. I am in the major job hunt mode. I came here with a theater gig for the summer, but I have to find a day job because that pays practically no money. I hate looking for jobs. So far I have been unsuccessful, but hopefully things will turn up soon. Why does finding a job have to be so hard and stressful??!!!

My Graduation experience

So after 3 long years, I finally graduated from Grad School. I now have my MFA in Stage Management! I am mainly creating this post for my family because they were not able to come. They have been to many graduations throughout the year, but a CalArts graduation is like none other. There is absolutely nothing traditional about our graduation (although you can say that about anything related to CalArts). I guess you could say it’s like one big party (and an even bigger one to follow).

A lot of graduates stay in the LA area because of the amount of connections they make here and they are able to get so many jobs because of it. I, however, am moving to Chicago. Therefore, I was feeling rather sad because I was saying goodbye to many people that night. I went kind of picture crazy with all of my friends.

These are the 2 other stage managers that graduated with me, Hope and Jules.

Here I am with Barb Edwards. She’s been with the theater school for many years and is now leaving. I’m glad I don’t have to go here without her.

This is me and Cameron. A really good friend I made while I was here. I was lucky enough to work with him on a show in our second year.

This is Hope and Aaron, the 2 office managers. I’ll miss them both.

This is probably one of the crazier friends I made while I was here. I’m pretty sure he is already drunk in this picture and it was only 5pm :-).

This is me and Erik. He’s a lighting designer I worked with several times.

Rogelio is one of my favorite actors here. Always so much fun and a great guy.

This is Hope and Lupe, the 2 showcase stage managers. Lupe is the only BFA stage manager graduating this year.

I’ve been friends with Erin since my first year here. She was also my teacher for the voice class that I took. I love her so much and I’ll miss her!!

This is one of my friends, Ashley, and a producer I was able to work with in my second year.

This is Ashley and Michael. They are two producers that have been attached at the hip since they arrived here. They ended up graduating right next to each other. Talk about meant to be.

These are all the graduates starting to line up. This was not an easy task :-).

Some of the outfits that people to wear to graduation are slightly unconventional. This is Tiana.

The next thing that happened was the processional. Here are some videos I took of my experience with the processional (sorry…the video quality is not really that good. I took it with my phone). You do get to experience just how crazy this kind of graduation is though. The music you are hearing is the african drum group. They are awesome!

Here are some photos I took while outside waiting for the ceremony to begin.

Here is my friend Christian and his crazy hat.

She was kind of far away, but I wanted to get a picture of Becky stage managing the graduation.

These are 3 friends I made: Mireya, Zoe, and Merkel.

Finally the ceremony begins. This is Yvonne Guy, the dean of students, giving her speech.

The Theme for this years graduation was “Metamorphosis”. Therefore, there were butterfly designs throughout the entire courtyard. One cool thing they did was release 140 butterflies for the ceremony. Here is a video I took of them. If you look hard, you can see them flying around.

One person I had the privilege of meeting this year was Alfred Ladzekpo. He has been working at CalArts for 41 years. He is one of the founding faculty members of the world music program. This was his retirement year and they made special mention of him at the ceremony.

Probably one of the best parts of graduation, was that Annette Bening was there to receive an honorary doctorate degree. She was so cool and gave a speech from “Romeo and Juliet”. In this video I have the man who introduced her as well as her speech. The introduction is not as exciting, so you may want to skip ahead to when she begins speaking. It starts at 3:40.

After all of that, we finally starting to walk across the stage and graduate. The picture of me walking is not available yet, but will be at sometime in the future. I had a great time. There is truly no other graduation like the one at CalArts.

My Trip to Texas

So I have been driving non stop for the last two days from LA to West Texas. It was a long trip but I like traveling by myself. However, usually when I take long trips there are things to keep me a wake such as scenery and changing roads and things like that. This time, however, I mainly drove through the middle of the desert on one road for 943 miles. I wish I could say more exciting things about this trip…but that’s pretty much all it was. It was probably the most boring drive I have ever been on. The most exciting part of the was me probably running over a bunny (as sad as that was it was nice to have something happen). I spent most of the time singing really loud to music. Yesterday I stopped in Midland, Texas to visit my some of my extended family and tomorrow I am off to Kennard, TX to visit my grandparents (another 10 hour drive). On Thursday I head off to Kilgore, TX for my summer job at the Texas Shakespeare Festival.

This Year and Looking Forward

Today is a new day. I have officially finished all my projects for the school year. I am moving on to thinking about this summer and my work for next year.

CalArts is a different kind of world. It took getting use to. Now that I hve been here for a year I know this is the best place for me to be right now. I have met some wonderful people here and I’m very proud of the work we do here…as strange as it may be sometimes. I appreciate what my teachers push me to do.

For the first time I feel as though I’m in a place that encourages me to be sustainable. I never felt like I was in an enviornment that thought about that sort of thing and so I didn’t really know how to be sustainable. Since being here I have met several people who are also interested in being sustainble and I have learned so much from them. I found ways to include this into my own ife and work.

I just recently finished stage managing “The Next Dance Company” – the graduating BFA4 class dance concert. Dance was new to me. I was eager to take on a new experience and I loved it. I was lucky enough that this concert went on to the RedCat theater in LA.

The next thing for me is my summer job. I will be the Assistant Stage Manager for three of the productions at the “Texas Shakespeare Festival”. I worked there two summers ago as one of the box office interns and am happy to back.

In this last week of school I will be packing and getting ready for what’s next.