Author Topic: Gosh I've missed theatre!  (Read 224 times)

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dksilvia

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Gosh I've missed theatre!
« on: May 01, 2022, 12:42 am »
I recently had the pleasure, at the ripe old age of 40, to ASM a community production of Godspell. Not my favorite musical, but one that I had done almost 22 years earlier just entering my college years (for technical theatre at a state school here in MA). I was thrown into it right at the last minute (after load-in, but before the stumble-through), and I ended up backstage left mostly catching and passing out props as well as (for some reason) calling follow-spot cues that I couldn't see very well. It was hectic, disorganized, exhilarating, and just a wonderful mental reset in my happy place.

As I mentioned, I went to college for, and earned a BS in technical theatre. Admittedly in high school and college I spent more time with lighting and construction than stage management per-se; I dabbled here and there, but it was never my focus. After college (and a bit during) I worked in and around Boston at various regional theatres as a contractor, and eventually as a resident carpenter/electrician/run crew for one in particular. When the drama left the stage and started to spill over into the staff, and the owner and the artistic director had a falling out, I decided that it was time for some more steady employment elsewhere.

Overlapping/following this, I also returned to my former high school and worked with the theatre group there for about 4-6 years as the TD (making a whopping $1600/year! (It was really meant as a stipend for a teacher already making a full salary...which I was not) From there I moved on to my second love which is TV engineering. I worked for an integrator installing studio equipment throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire, then moved into the manufacturing side of things, getting more into the computers than the cables, and finally ended up back at my high school working for the tv studio there for almost 10 years.

The trouble with that was, I was so close to the theatre, making sure to get really good HD video of each performance (instead of the grainy, sound-distorted VHS of my own senior year production), but I worked so many nights filming other things that I couldn't really do as much as I wanted with the theatre kids (though my TV kids were amazing and I miss them every day).

Well now I'm out of that position and working IT for a company in downtown Boston... Not a super difficult transition since most tv and theatre is now networking to some degree anyway, and I find myself with more nights free and this community theatre group asked if I might want to stage manage a bit more for their future productions and help organize some of the chaos and I realized that yes...yes I do want to do just that!

I grabbed my old copy of the Stage Managers Handbook by Thomas A. Kelly...realized it was 20 years out of date, and got the most recent edition and read through it cover to cover (if my Kindle had covers) to refresh myself on what the heck I used to know. I started updating all the paperwork templates that I still had from college (which wasn't a TON, but some) and found a link to this forum in that very book and here I am!

Not sure where this might lead me in the long run, but I'm excited to find out, and very excited to spend some more time in a theatre again!
-Dan

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Re: Gosh I've missed theatre!
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2022, 10:41 am »
It seems that, once again, you have found your JOY!
Ordo ab chao