Friday, July 11, 2014

Shakes: Part XV (A Season in Pictures)

Building the set: Part 1

Building the set: Part 2

Building the set: Part 3

Building the set: Part 4

Jellyfish from our trip to the Omaha Zoo!

Building the set: Part 5

Building the set: Part 6

Building the set: Part 7

Set built!!

My view of the sky from backstage.

Taking down the set: Part 1

Taking down the set: Part 2

Taking down the set: Part 3

Taking down the set: Part 4

Taking down the set: Part 5

All of our set crew!
Fundraiser setup

Fundraiser actors

Backstage crew for Tempest

Vince and Paul reenacting the Titanic

The amazing sky.

Scholar's Forum with the Rabble

Tom's dog driving the cart.

Camp Shakespeare Jesters

Audience on a big night.

Brendan during CW

Me and Anna

Pub Quiz Forum

Camp Shakespeare Apprentices

Shakes: Part XIV

Saturday, June 28: I arrived at the park at 4 and did my normal routine. For CW they have a fight call in the building at 7 and the weapons have to come back down to the park. Two actors start the show at the top of the hill at the entrance to the park so ten minutes before the show starts I go to the building to cue them. 2000 people came to the show! There was lightning during the second act, but it didn't rain and the lightning was 20 minutes west of us.

Sunday, June 29: I arrived at the park at 5, taped bards names on their chairs, got the walkies and set up backstage. I got popcorn from a vendor and set up the Forum. Wes found a wood pole that was buried in the ground SR of the set with nails sticking up, presumably from a past set built there, and we spent awhile trying to dig it up. Tempest performance three and clean up after.

Monday, June 30: I arrived at Kenefick at 10am to take our company car to the rental place (they had loaned the car to us) because one of our company members accidentally dented the passenger side door and we needed to get an estimate on damages. After getting a pretty big number from the place, Wes and I went to the office and did payroll and expense reports. We attended a staff meeting at UNO at 3, had a late lunch, went through Wes's credit card statement at the office and attended On Tour auditions. Every fall NS takes a Shakespeare show on tour around to local high schools and middle schools and they do workshops to get kids interested in the Bard. This fall it's The Tempest.

Tuesday, July 1: I arrived at Creighton at 1 to do some office work and striked the rehearsal space since no more rehearsals would be held there. We went to the park and did our normal routine, except that a crew member didn't show up so I had to call in a replacement. In addition to that our sound engineer wasn't aware we had a Tuesday performance so I had to call him to come in late.

Wednesday, July 2: I arrived at Creighton at 1 to continue striking the rehearsal space. We pulled up all our spike tape and put the pianos we borrowed back where they came from. At the park we learned that Vince's car had been broken into and two rapiers we use in CW were stolen. He quickly called other people in the theater community and found another two we could use, and I was sent on the errand to retrieve them from a company member who was in Tempest.

Thursday, July 3: I arrived at the park at 4:30 to do ice/water, get the walkies and set up Forum. I also bought t-shirts for both shows and a purple one for Shakespeare's 450th birthday. I grabbed pizza from a vendor and we had a great Tempest performance. After the show Anna had a get together at her house.

CW shirt

450th shirt

Tempest shirt

Saturday, July 5: I arrived at the park at 4:30, set up the souvenir tent and did my normal stuff. Tonight we had the Forum at 6:00 instead of 6:30 because our Camp Shakespeare campers were performing their shows on our education stage. At 6:30 the youngest groups, the Jesters, performed their version of Compleat Works and at 7:00 the oldest group, the Players, performed Romeo & Juliet. I grabbed Mark's keys for Creighton since he didn't need them anymore and we performed CW.

Sunday, July 6: I arrived at the park at 4:30, did water/ice and set up the Forum for the First Annual Pub Quiz in the park. Instead of interviewing people Sarah and Vince came up with Shakespeare questions and we had 5 contestants battling it out with dry erase boards to get the prize - a t-shirt at our souvenir tent. After the Forum the middle schoolers of Camp Shakespeare, the Apprentices, performed Macbeth. We had our last show of the season, Tempest and after the show we started striking props and the backstage area as much as we could in the dark.

Monday, July 7: I arrived at the park at 10 for strike and Wes and I cleaned out the semi while Matt took his props away and the set guys took down the set. We had to get help to take down the army tent and we took down the equity tent as well. We cleaned out the coolers and filled them with backstage lights. We took down the shelved we put up for props and put all our supplies in my blue bin of everything we might ever need. A guy came to move both semi's from backstage to the middle of the park. We filled up our road boxes and put them in the back of the semi and cleaned out the rest of it. We cleaned out the mobile mini/pod we were storing site stuff in and put some of it in CEC storage and some in the semi. We set out the astroturf that was in the costume army tent to dry on the fence. After a long, hard day Wes and I went to the library to rent a UHAUL for the next day.

Tuesday, July 8: I arrived at the park at 9 to take Wes to the UHAUL place (and to pick up coffee). After we got to the park we helped the electrics crew clean the muddy cords we had borrowed from a place in town. We helped Tom take down gazebos and took a lunch break. Tom and I took down our sign that we had put up on a pedestrian overpass over our busiest street in Omaha. Wes and I went to Kenefick to help Suzanne with cleaning up housing stuff since everyone had moved out. After that we went back to the park and had a "Lumber Party" where high schools and colleges from the area took away the lumber that we weren't going to use again so we didn't have to trash it all in our two big dumpsters.

Wednesday, July 9: I arrived at the office at 10:30 and we did expense reports and sent out EMC forms to Equity in Chicago. Wes and I went to Sgt. Peffer's for our annual strike lunch, and we had a good turn out of the set crew and costume crew. After we got back to the office I gave all the Creighton keys we used to Michael, the building manager. I got the news that my great-grandfather had passed away, and since I needed to go to the funeral, I told Wes that today would be my last day (I was technically contracted until July 11) so we should get everything done that we could. I dropped Wes off at UNO to deal with things there and went to our accountant's office to pick up a check. I picked Wes up and we took the company car to the rental place, and Wes was nice and put gas in my car and bought me a soda. I took him back to UNO and we said our awkward end of the season "see you later".

In the end, I worked 345.5 hours in 9 weeks from May 12-July 9. It's been a crazy whirlwind summer as usual, and I can't wait to see what Nebraska Shakespeare has in store for us next.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Shakes: Part XIII

Hello! It's been crazy here. Shakespeare On The Green is over, and while I'm glad I get my life back, I'm sad that the season is done. I made so many lasting memories and met so many interesting people.

Here's where I left off, day by day.

Tuesday, June 17: I arrived at the park at 11, stopped by Walgreens for water, and spent the rest of the morning painting the set. Mostly painting grey on the "boat" for Tempest. After class Wes and I got ice and water into the coolers. We put water into empty coolers and then take the coolers in the gator to the Student Center to get ice from their kitchen. After that we put up some more gazebos around the park. I set up backstage with bugspray, sunscreen, fans, and a mirror. We put two picnic tables backstage for the actors to hang out when they're not onstage. I watched the second dress rehearsal for The Tempest and then cleaned up backstage.

Wednesday, June 18: I arrived at the park at 10 with mail from Creighton. I got coffee for Wes from the library and then we had a staff meeting. After class Wes and I finalized our pre show schedule and we had Tempest third and final dress.

The pre show schedule before every performance.

Thursday, June 19: I arrived at the park at 2:30 and met Wes in the library to print out paperwork for on the green. We have two people go onstage every night before the show: one to read the sonnets, and one to welcome everyone to the green and ask for donations. Suzanne does the sonnets every day and the other announcer is usually someone from the community, on our local TV or radio stations. Therefore, we have to have a script printed for them every day with current information.
We also print out a parking list for the UNO parking people to have because some of our big donors get a reserved parking space. In addition to that list we print out names of Bards to put on reserved chairs we set up house right by the lighting tower. I set up backstage, set up the Scholar's Forum sound system, listened to the Forum, cued the greenshow Madrigals (they sing songs to people in the audience) and sat backstage for our first performance. We had a couple of power surges, but otherwise the show was a success! We all went to a house after the show for a party.

Friday, June 20: I arrived at the park at 3:30 and set up a blanket for a friend of mine and did ice for the coolers and set up backstage. I got walkies for Stage Management, and set up and listened to the Scholar's Forum. It started to rain slightly around 7:30 and we scrambled to figure out the forecast and if the rain would let up or get worse. In the end we cancelled our show, and I got to go onstage to tell the audience that the performance was unfortunately cancelled due to the weather and please come back for a different performance another night. We hurried to clean up and right as I got to the building to finished putting walkies away it started to pour.

Saturday, June 21: I arrived at the park at 12:30 and went to the library with Wes. I ran errands to Lowe's to pick up stakes, Target for wet wipes, and Kinko's for "Reserved" signs. I set up backstage, did walkies, ice, and the Forum. We had a great second performance.

Sunday, June 22: I arrived at the park at 4:30, did water/ice and the sound system. We had "Will's Best Friend" contest: we partner with PetCo and have prizes for dogs who come to the park dressed up. We had our third performance and I read backstage.

Monday, June 23: I arrived at the park at 5 for dry tech, ordered Chinese food for dinner, and Wes and  I did some computer/website work in the RV.

Tuesday, June 24: I arrived at the park at 9 to prepare for a Compleat Works rehearsal. Wes brought his dog Mara Jade and we looked after her while sitting in a golf cart during rehearsal. We went by Lowe's to get anti-rust spray for our set. We had first dress for CW. Suzanne brought a lamp for Mark, the SM so he could see his script when it got dark. We cleaned up.

Wednesday, June 25: I arrived in the park at 4. 2nd dress. (I didn't take many notes for this day!)

Thursday, June 26: I arrived at the park at 4 and did water/ice. I took Anna home to Kenefick from UNO. It started raining early and Vince, Wes, and Mary Ann all came to the park and decided to cancel the performance. We made a sign to put up at the entrance for patrons to see if they came to the park anyway. I hosted a get together at my house for the company members since they weren't doing a show.

Friday, June 27: I arrived at the park at 4pm and the gator was out of gas. We did ice/water and the Scholar's Forum. My parents came to the performance and we had a great opening night. After the show the actors gathered onstage for a talkback with some of the audience members because a concert had been going on in a nearby park so driving was terrible and we wanted to give our patrons another option. We all headed to a donor's house for our second opening party.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Shakes: Part XII

We've been busy at the park! Most of the work now has moved from Creighton to UNO.

Thursday, June 5: (according to my log) I arrived at Creighton at 9:45 for a production meeting. After class I was on the green and stopped by the CEC (Community Engagement Center). I also contacted our Storz vendor to finalize their menu for when they sell food during shows. I called a girl named Katie to see if she could potentially be our Set Crew Head for both shows.

Friday, June 6: I arrived at the CU office at 10 and did some expense reports and updated backstage papers. After I saw my older sister off to the airport and attended class I was at site for a bit and then Wes and I ran some errands, including HyVee to buy food for our light focus grill out and Ace Hardware for some scenic needs.

Monday, June 9: I had the morning off and after class went to the accountant's office to pick up reimbursement checks. I met Wes at site and we talked with our pizza vendor for a while and looked at the semi's. Wes and I went to the office and did expense reports, updated social media, and I scanned some things for Wes.

Tuesday, June 10: I arrived at CU at 10 and Wes and I updated the website, mostly with the vendor menus. We went to site and "faced" the stage. We have a big wave that is built on Stage Right and on the inside of it we started to staple planks of wood to make it look like a ship. I unloaded the blue semi event staff boxes with Elizabeth (an event staffer) and moved them to a "Mobile Mini" shed.

Wednesday, June 11: I arrived at the park at 9 for a staff meeting. I continued to plank the stage with Wes and put a gazebo up with Wes's brother Tim.

Thursday, June 12: I arrived at CU at 9:30 for a production meeting. On site I helped cut off the edges of the planks. I went to the office for a few minutes and then watched a run of Tempest.

Friday, June 13: I arrived at CU at 11 to help load the boat pieces into a set guy's truck and then met Suzanne in the park to help set up for the crew picnic, food provided by Jimmy John's. I helped build the set some more and helped the scenic intern Alex with the inside of our cave. I, along with 5 others, helped Wes put up an army tent to use as our costume tent and moved the road boxes in the semi. Wes and I went to storage to pick up our sound system and stopped by the office. I stopped by Walgreens and went to dry tech. During tech I went to storage, the office, and my dorm. I then helped Wes fix program errors.

Saturday, June 14: I arrived at the park at 9 with ice for the cooler and took a tour of UNO with all the Tempest actors. I cleaned the stage and helped with props to prepare for park rehearsal. I plugged in our walkies and put water and ice in the coolers. I watched rehearsal, helped set up backstage lights, and then we finished our space-out and we had wet tech with actors.

Monday, June 16: I arrived at the park at 9:30 to set up for rehearsal. I ran by Blick to get paint pens and Walgreens for water. Part of rehearsal got rained out, but we went back after it had passed. I set out water, bugspray and sunscreen. We had a break and then had our first dress, which we started early because we thought it might rain again. I watched the run and after the rehearsal we had notes and I put walkies away and went home.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Shakes: Part XI

I'm already getting behind on posts, go figure. I write down in my notebook a synopsis of what I do all day, so hopefully I can summarize adequately.

Last Friday I arrived at Creighton at 11 and set up shop in our office, when I got a knock at the door. Michael, the building manager, wanted to ask Wes something but settled for me as Wes wasn't there yet. Last night after rehearsal a mess was left in the Green Room (popcorn all over the floor and a crumb-y cake dish) and the janitor came in to find a mouse on the table with the cake remnants. Needless to say they closed off the room and had to dealt with their (I think ongoing) rodent problem.

I called Wes and told the Stage Manager that we couldn't use the green room for a few days as per Creighton's request, as well as that we had to clean up the mess. And by we, I meant Wes and I apparently. Because while rehearsal was going on, I was doing dishes (40 mugs, two coffeepots and a cake dish) and Wes was vacuuming.

The rest of the day, according to my notes, Wes and I delivered mail, checking in on costumes, and did expense reports.

On Sunday I arrived at Creighton around 12:30 and started to clean and organize the office while waiting for Wes. When he arrived I scanned and printed a lot of things. We continued doing expense reports. There was a brief power outtage because of a storm and we checked in on rehearsal.

Yesterday I arrived at Creighton at 10 and copied receipts for expense reports and helped Wes fill out vendor contracts. When we get to on the green we had food vendors set up shop on House Left and before the show and during intermission they sell food to our patrons. I called a few potential set building volunteers.

I went to class and afterwards met Wes in the park. Soon, city sirens started going off, indicating severe weather and that everyone should go inside. So what do we do? We quickly start making sure the park will be okay. We tie up electric cords, the set people clean up their stuff, we bag our lights and generally stay in the park for awhile after the sirens had started. Finally we took shelter in the Fine Arts Building and after we had an all clear I went home to my family.


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Shakes: Part X

Yesterday I arrived at UNO and wandered around campus until I found the newly renovated Community Engagement Center where our staff meeting was being held. I joined Wes, Mary Ann, Sarah, Vince, Patrick, nellie, and Suzanne. They all had a chance to talk about the part of Nebraska Shakespeare they are in charge of.

After the meeting Wes and I checked in on the costume shop and scene shop, and then made a trip to Lowe's to buy more tools for the set crew. After my class Wes and I worked on the "Thank You" page in the program, which is basically just a huge list in small font of all the people we have to thank for their support throughout the year.

After the Thank You's we did the Costume and Company expense reports. Lindsay and Suzanne provided receipts and a list of what they bought when at what store. Wes inputs it in this huge document and I make sure all his numbers are correct.

Today I met Wes at UNO at 8am so I could drive him to the U-HAUL place. Travis, our electrician, needed a U-HAUL to transport rented lights, but wasn't old enough to rent, so Wes had to do it. I dropped him off and then headed back to Creighton. I stopped by the dorm to grab my computer charger so my laptop wouldn't die during the production meeting while I was sky ping Craig in.

Wes got back and we prepared for the meeting at 10, he printed out the agenda and we gathered parking passes and things like that. The meeting started with Compleat Works, and I was the only girl there. Then crossover between the shows, and we end with Tempest. It was a pretty uneventful meeting, and this time we got out in an hour and a half instead of two and a half hours like last week.

Wes and I puttered around in the office and I went to class while he met with Brent, the TD, to go over what was said and decided in the meeting. After class I met Wes in the office and he had to take a phone call and oversee photo call, so I copied all the expense report receipts from yesterday and scanned them to Wes's email. I met up with Tempest photo call in the Jesuit gardens at Creighton and once we got back to the building Wes let me go early because he had a meeting.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Shakes: Part IX

Sunday was our Memorial Day Potluck, at Vince and Sarah's house. I arrived a little after 4:30 and helped Sarah and Suzanne (Vince was at rehearsal) set up tables and chairs outside, complete with tablecloths. We then put up strings of lights on the fence and cute little lanterns, along with torches filled with citronella to ward off bugs. Vince brought four more tables and we set those up too. Vince's neighbor, a chef, came to grill for us.

We set up the table inside for people to put the food they brought, and then sat around in the living room waiting for people to start showing up. Sarah put in Star Wars V and as soon as people arrived I went to work setting up food and directing people through the house to the outside tables. Nate, the chef, started cooking and there were a fair amount of people congregating inside and outside. Soon, everyone had a plate of food and started mingling and staying outside. It was a pretty night, sort of overcast, so the sun wasn't blazing on the sunburn I was trying to hide.

I had a plate of food and sat down with Wes, Anna, and Brendan to eat. I then sort of floated around making sure everything was going smoothly and checking in with the hosts to make sure we weren't running out of anything. It was this point at parties that I usually started to feel out of it. I sat in on some conversations and didn't feel like I had anything to add, so I ended up just sitting there. After getting some ice cream and sitting with a new group, it started to sprinkle. 

It was like magic, in a few seconds everyone, synchronized, got up and started cleaning everything up. All the food and tablecloths thrown away, lights and lanterns taken inside, chairs and tables folded. Everyone got inside and it really started to rain. I was glad that everyone had helped clean up; if it hadn't rained people would have gone home on their own time and it would have been the four of us tearing down.

I joined Wes on the front porch and we were swinging on their porch swing when a water beetle landed on my foot and another on his leg, and I decided to go inside and start watching Star Wars VI with everyone else. People lingered for awhile and then slowly went on their way. The four of us cleaned up and I dashed out in the rain to go home.

I had Memorial Day off and went to work again today. I met Wes at UNO due to the scheduled power outage at Creighton. We soon realized that since we use electronic means (sliding a card) to access our office, there would literally be no way to get in the office until Thursday. We worked in the library at UNO, and I scanned a few things and ran some tax forms to people on campus to get them signed so they could be paid in a couple of days.

I went to class (got 100% on a quiz!) and met Wes at the park afterwards. We went to the first floor of the Fine Arts Building to locate an outlet for Wes to plug in his computer and we worked on getting the bios of the program ready for nellie. In our program we list every other job or role they've done On The Green, so we spent a lot of time looking up what people have done for us in the past. I formatted it with the right sizes and fonts, alphabetized it and had Wes look over everything. After a weird rainstorm while it was sunny out, I went home around 7.


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Shakes: Part VIII

On Thursday, I arrived at Creighton at 9:30 for our Production Meeting starting at 10. Wes again used my computer to Skype with our lighting designer, Craig. This left me with hardy anything to do, as I do not participate much in the meetings unless Wes needs something. If my computer had been free, I could have gotten things done, but instead it almost ran out of battery to keep Craig on the line. I was off of work for the whole day after the meeting.

Thursday evening Colleen, one of the company, held an unofficial party at her house. I drove Anna, Brendan, and Gregg there and back. The party was fun: good conversations held, and many marshmallows roasted over a backyard fire.

On Friday I arrived at Storz on the Riverfront, the place where the fundraiser was being held. I met Wes on Lewis & Clark landing and he set me to work stringing out a cord from the building all the way down to the fence overlooking the water. We had people arrive with a pontoon boat that was being used for our stage, and we needed power for the people performing later in the evening. We had some company members performing some scenes and a few musical groups.

After stringing out the cords I set to work in the blazing sun taping them down to the ground so no one would trip, which turned out to be a time-consuming task. I looked around for Wes and found him at the front of Storz putting up a gazebo to be the registration tent. He sent a guy with me back down to the landing to put up three newly bought gazebos that would be for food. We got two more people to help and by the third gazebo had our time down to 15 minutes. After the hard work, I had a small lunch with nellie.

Wes sent me to storage to grab a couple of stage weights he needed to weigh down one of his games. I got back and delivered the weights to him, then helped a couple ladies set up the merchandise and ticket tent, where I would be working for the event itself. I went to registration and got two wristbands (blue for volunteer, purple for underage) and a clipboard of information to run the tent. I then had to stay with the tent at all times because we didn't want people stealing merchandise.

I was selling t-shirts, pint glass, growlers, game tickets, raffle tickets, and wheel of meat tickets. The wheel of meat tickets were for a raffle to win Omaha Steaks gift cards. I was given a "square" for my iPhone so people could pay using a credit card, and that turned out to be surprisingly easy to manage. The booth wasn't very popular at first, but I soon got swamped being by myself with a crowd waiting to purchase items.

Also at my table was a Prize Wheel. I sold game tickets, and people would go play games, and if they won the game they received the prize ticket and would come back to spin the Prize Wheel. It consisted of different slices of prizes, such as: playing cards, a t-shirt, grab bag (which just held wax lips), gift selection (this was only one slice and rare to win), $5 off a $25 purchase at Storz, etc. You could spin the wheel one time for each prize ticket. As people started coming to the tent with 15 prize tickets, giving out prizes got less and less enjoyable.

About an hour into the event I got a partner to man the table, but I mostly handled merchandise purchases and she manned the prize wheel after a while. I couldn't leave the tent to grab dinner or water or really even enjoy the event. I could see the entertainment on the pontoon boat but I couldn't partake in the activities. I didn't even know what games Wes had set up. As the night drew to a close, I found myself worn-out and very sunburned.

We finally started packing up around 8:30, and I got to sit for a minute with Vince, nellie, Mary Ann, and Wes. Vince, Sarah, and I then took down the devil of the registration gazebo as it turned dark. It took forever, but while working on taking every single screw out we bypassed the rest of the work down on the landing. I was tired and radiating heat from being outside so long (I put on sunscreen, but not enough) and I was getting close to the point where I wouldn't be of any use at all. Wes let me go at 10, and I went to my dorm and fell asleep.

I had the day off yesterday, and the only thing today is a potluck that might or might not get rained out.

The Prize Wheel

The NE Shakes actors who performed scenes

My view of the event from my tent


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Shakes: Part VII

Yesterday after stopping by my mom's office, I met Wes at the office at 11:30. His goal of the day was to continue organizing items for our fundraiser on Friday. Instead of sitting in on the CW read through he had me organize actor bios for the program, and we delivered packages to the costume shop.

I had my class (traffic was terrible, a road had been closed) and then arrived back at the office at 3:30. Wes and I printed some papers and then headed to Storz on the Riverfront, our location for the fundraiser, for a meeting. It was two hours of discussion of last minute details and where to put things between the seven or so ladies on the committee and Wes. I called Ephriam, ASM, during the meeting to make sure that the set guys dropping off part of the broken ship to rehearsal would be greeted at the load in door. After dropping Wes back off at the office, my day was done.

Today I arrived right on the dot at 10, after having missed my alarm and taking a fast shower. On Wednesdays there are staff meetings, starting at 9am with the 5 people who have year-round jobs at Nebraska Shakespeare (Vince: Artistic Director, Wes: Director of Production, Sarah: Director of Education, nellie: Marketing Director, Mary Ann: Executive Director). Then at 10 we add me, Company Manager (Suzanne), and Site Manager (Tom).

After the meeting was over around 11, Wes and I went to a place hosting non-profit organizations for the annual "Omaha Gives" day. Omaha Gives is a 24-hour event where you can donate a minimum of $10 to a company in town, and then the amount raised gets matched. Wes and I met nellie and saw our booth and wandered around and had free food.

I had lunch with my mom at noon, her work is two minutes away from my work, and then went to class at 1. I met Wes at the UNO Fine Arts Building after class where he was talking budgeting with our Technical Director Brent. I then went over to Creighton to open our office for someone at Creighton who needed something in it. You can't get into our office with a key, you have to slide a programmed card. Only Wes, Suzanne, and I can get in at this point I think. nellie had one but I think she lost it.

Wes met me at Creighton and had me update some Company info and then had me drive over to Film Streams to get a gift basket for the fundraiser. I drive over and, while trying to find parking, accidentally turn onto the interstate, which freaked me out, and by the time I exited it was 5 and I figured Film Streams was closed so I just went back to the office.

I started working on bios for the program, Wes went to Film Streams to finish what I couldn't, and then I went home to a lovely dinner with my family.


Monday, May 19, 2014

Shakes: Part VI

On Sunday I had most of the day off, until I had the adventure of picking up Ricardo from the bus station. I had never been to the station before and the only parking available was parallel parking, which is a skill I do not possess. Many people before have tried and failed to teach me, including my dad, Wes, and Mark. Suzanne offered me lessons but I declined due to my recent failure with Mark.

I parked in a "no parking unless you're authorized" parking lot for ten minutes and succeeded in picking up Ricardo and bringing him to Kenefick, our dorm. I then got dressed up and Anna and I stopped by the office to get a bin of napkins, cups, utensils and other miscellaneous items to bring to our Welcome Party.

The party was generously hosted at an art gallery/apartment of a friend of Nebraska Shakespeare, the same place we had it last year. Suzanne, nellie, and a couple of other people were there when Anna and I arrived and we finished setting out the food and soon enough the people started rolling in. It was an optional event, but a lot of our company came to be social and start getting to know everyone. Vince did introductions, and then we were left to our own devices to mingle.

I chatted with a lot of people, mostly actors, in addition to making sure all the food and everything was well stocked and taken care of. The party officially started at 5:30 and most everyone was gone by 8:30. We cleaned up, loaded most of the extra drinks and food into Suzanne's car, and went back to Kenefick.

Today I arrived at Creighton at 9am and met Wes in our office. He had me scan some tax forms and then we set to work putting orange slips into the Company folders we had stuffed on Friday. The orange slips were for things the person was missing that we needed from them, such as Company info, a headshot, or a tax form. Wes went up to the mainstage to help with tape out and I copied some documents to put in people's folders if they were missing something.

I brought the bin of folders up to the lobby area and started checking people in as they arrived for the meeting. Suzanne put out popcorn and lemonade for them to snack on and after they checked in with me and got their folder most of them mingled with each other. I also had them check to make sure all their information was correct on our contact sheets.

The meeting started at noon, and after Vince's introduction Wes had me "Vana White" all of the papers in the company folder, as he explained what each of them was for. Rob and Vince talked about their shows a little bit and then we had a break where the new people could take tours of Creighton. Around 12:50 I dashed off to UNO to have the first session of a summer class I'm taking there.

I went back to Creighton around 6 to sit in on the Tempest read through and met Wes in our office. He packed up all his stuff and we sat in the back of the theater while Rob was talking about the design of the costumes and the set. I was set to work making labels for all the mugs the company uses in the green room, and after I listened to the read through I rinsed out all the mugs and put the labels on them for people to use from now on. It was 9:30 at this point, and I managed to score a good parking spot at Kenefick. Next on the agenda is the Compleat Works read through tomorrow at noon.


Friday, May 16, 2014

Shakes: Part V

This morning I tried to park in the lot right outside the Lied Center where the office is and was told that I needed to park in the adjacent parking lot because of an awards event that was going on. I met Wes and unloaded office supplies to our SM office and then was sent across town to get reimbursement checks from our accountant.

After I got back (the roads had heavy traffic) I printed out labels for the folders we give our company at the Company meeting. Wes and I set up a printer for the SM's and realized we were out of black ink, which sent me on another run into town to OfficeMax. There I bought a binder for Rob, a ruler, and the ink. I also dropped by UNO to pick up the set model from Brent, our Technical Director.

I got back just in time for tape-out, which is where the SM's, Wes and I use spike tape on one of our rehearsal spaces to tape out where the set will be in the park. We're going to tape out our MainStage at Creighton on Monday morning before the meeting. During some down time during today's tape out I typed up our set building supplies inventory.

After tape out was all said and done, we reloaded the ink cartridge in the SM printer and I took a short break while Wes went to get cigarettes and a drink. When he got back we were focused on our biggest task of the day: Company folders. For the meeting on Monday we give everyone employed by Nebraska Shakespeare a folder containing important documents: contact sheets, campus maps, FAQ's, etc.

Which means that Wes and I have to put it together. We spent time making sure all the documents we had to print were all up to date with the right information. Then we printed off an original copy of everything. We compiled all the colored sheets of paper we wanted to print on, and went to the main office of Creighton, across from our office.

For our first job we made 73 copies of the master schedule, which was 3 pages long and we wanted on 2 pages (the first page front and back) and stapled. However, Wes accidentally didn't press the button to collate them or staple them, so we had to do all of that by hand after the printing was done. On one of the contact sheets he accidentally didn't print it double-sided so we had to fix that as well. Otherwise, all the copying went well.

Suzanne stopped by for a bit to pick up the Company car key and a few forms I had for her and to talk to Wes about anything she needed to put in the company folders. She decided on just the campus maps. After the long time that was printing everything, Wes and I sat up camp in the conference room and had an assembly line to put all the documents into the 73 red, blue and black folders. We worked fast, packed everything up, and went home after a long day.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Shakes: Part IV

Yesterday I met Wes in the conference room at 10 o'clock at Creighton to take part in a conference call with several other people regarding our ShakesBEER fundraiser on May 23rd. After taking up a little over an hour of our time, we went back to our office for a brief few minutes.

Around noon we drove to Ace Hardware to pick up hand tools for our set builders and brought them to the park. After realizing we needed a few more items we went to Lowe's and back to the site.

We met with Suzanne in our office and chatted about things we all had to get done, when Rob, the director for the Tempest, texted me that his plane had just landed. I quickly went out to my car and drove to the airport to pick him up. Rob is from New York, but he's lived in Omaha before and visits frequently. Last time he was here he left some of his belongings at a friends house, so we stopped by there before heading to the dorms. After getting him settled I drove him to Creighton to pick up the Company Car so he could run errands.

Today I went into the office around 11 and helped Wes set up for the Production Meeting at 12. He printed our agendas which I took to every seat and we set up my Skype to call our lighting designer because he wasn't in town. Once everyone arrived we did introductions and launched into the two hour discussion of the shows and the schedule.

During Production Meetings I sit by Wes, who writes notes, and I do anything he asks me to. This time around I discreetly passed out paychecks and had everyone sign a sheet that said they received their paychecks while the meeting was going on. Suzanne stopped by to give me the keys to the Company car and the passes for our cars for Creighton's campus.

I printed out a couple of props and weapons lists for people who needed them and generally just listened to the conversations happening. We break up each discussion into the two shows, and then subcategories like: "Costumes", "Props/Furniture", "Fights/Weapons, "Lights", "Set", etc. Every department head takes a turn saying their piece and having a conversation with the respective director on whatever topic they excel in.

After the [long] meeting, the Stage Managers stayed behind to put together a list of items they need for rehearsals starting next week. We went through the supplies we already had, including first aid, and wrote down the things we were missing.

I took a couple hours off and met Wes back at the office around 7, where he was making measurements on the ground plan to do tape out, which was rescheduled for tomorrow afternoon. We made a run to storage for tables, which we didn't find, and Walgreens for first aid supplies. Wes and I parted ways and he was going to go to Office Max to get the rest of the SM needs.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Shakes: Part III

Today I went into the office at 10:30 and met with Wes for general "office hours" duties. We received keys from the building manager to give out to people (mainly the two of us, Suzanne, and the two Stage Managers). After getting informed about a music director issue and set design crisis, I set to work checking everyone's names in the program.

Wes, the Director of Production and my boss, had typed up a tentative program outline and wanted me to check on the spelling of all the actors, crew, and production people's names. We have them fill out a company info/bio google doc, so I spent a little while cross checking and marking the people who haven't filled out the google doc yet.

At noon we had lunch at the Old Chicago restaurant downtown. It was a Stage Management meet and greet, so we had the Stage Manager for Compleat Works (CW) Mark, the SM for Tempest (Tmp.) Danielle, the ASM for both shows Ephriam, the CW SM intern Ankita, the Tmp. SM intern Maryssa, Suzanne, myself, Wes, Vince, and Patrick. We all did quick introductions, and then chatted and got to know each other for the remainder of lunch.

When we got back to the office, at Creighton's Lied Center, we had an SM meeting, where we took a tour of the Lied, and then Wes went over some documents and answered questions. I had the two SM's fill out a key form to get their keys to the building.

After the meeting ended, Wes set me up with the project of scanning all the costume renderings that Lindsay had given him. I sent them all to my email (I think there were about 40 of them) and checked to make sure all of them had come through. Then I individually named each document and put them in a shared folder.

By this time, 4:30, Wes had to go to a board meeting and it was time for me to come back to the dorm. I'm meeting Wes to talk about the Fundraiser tomorrow morning at 10am.


Monday, May 12, 2014

Courting Prometheus: Part III

Our second dress rehearsal run! Hope you enjoy it.


Courting Prometheus: Part II

Midterm Break ended, and we had decided our rehearsal schedule would be on Tuesdays from 8-9 and Thursdays from 8:30-10. Since it was only a 10 minute play, we didn't need to rehearse every day.

We rehearsed in the big auditorium in Baldwin Hall. The actual show was going to be in a smaller theater in the Ophelia Parrish building, called the Severns Theater.

Daniel, who was cast as Lou, is 6'3" and graduate student at Truman. He wants to teach art, and soon after rehearsals started he turned 22. He's a goofball and we share a love of Star Wars, instantly clicking. Liz, our director, must have known this would happen because our first run through of the show went very well; Daniel and I had good chemistry.

The show calls for a wall to be in between us, so eventually we wouldn't be able to see each other's faces but at first we just sat in chairs across from each other. For the first few rehearsals we had our scripts, but soon we were supposed to be off book. We blocked most of the show in the first few weeks.

As the three of us (plus our Stage Manager, Ann Acklen who showed up occasionally) became closer, we planned a get together of making pizza and Star Wars to hang out outside of rehearsal, which was a great time.

Soon, Liz built our partition that was going to be between us during the show and we started rehearsing not being able to see each other. At the end of the show we both get up on our desks and can see each other then, but for the first five minutes or so we're separate. Rita is mostly trying to balance an account while Lou is trying to win her over. In true romantic comedy fashion, he does win her in the end.

We did a preview of the first five minutes of the show during Liz's directing class, and the other directors gave constructive criticism and complements. While Liz identified with my character a lot, most of the other students said they had more emotion towards Lou.

We changed up the blocking and the characters a little bit, and performed the whole show for Liz's professor a week before the actual performance. The last rehearsal we had we finalized blocking and both Daniel and I were confident in our lines.

Dress Rehearsal was interesting. Since their were eight one acts, the performances were on two nights, four per night. Courting Prometheus was the second performance of the second night. Therefore, we had to help with the transition of the show before us to our show, moving set pieces around in a quick and orderly fashion.

After we solidified the transition we performed (and recorded) our show twice, practicing projection and acting in front of an audience. It was weird how the lines came to me now. I had practiced so much that they came naturally, it didn't feel like I was reciting memorization.

We practiced the transition for the next show and were released for the evening. I went to the four shows on Thursday and thoroughly enjoyed them, nervous and excited for my turn.

Friday, the big day, came and Daniel and I were called at 7 in the makeup room. We ran through curtain call, practiced our lines, and waited backstage during the first show. Transitioning didn't go super smoothly, and in the end my desk was about a foot away from the partition and Daniel's desk was really shaky (we both had to stand up on our desks and kiss). We performed in front of the audience, and it was wonderful. In the five seconds I had to myself before I walked on stage I was nervous, but once I got going it melted away.

We finished, transitioned, talked about how great it went during the third show, and watched the fourth. Curtain call happened, and we got to meet our friends in the lobby after the show.

I picked Daniel up for the Cast Party and was the Designated Driver for a couple people that night. I'm not usually a party person but everyone was so nice and the party was fun.

Daniel, Liz and I all got really close during our time together and I made sure to both see them again before we all went our separate ways. Liz graduated last weekend and Daniel only has one semester left. That's what happens when you have older friends!

I'm so glad I started my acting career with this wonderful show, and look forward to opportunities in the future.


Courting Prometheus: Part I

Way back on March 3rd of this year, a Monday, I tried out for the Directing class one-acts at Truman. I was in Acting 1 class all semester and was urged to try out, just to get the feel for things. Having never been on the audition side of things, it was a little nervewracking.

They told us to prepare something to say for one minute: it could be a monologue, it could be reading ingredients off a soda can, as long as it showed the 8 female directors something about you. I planned on doing a dramatic monologue I had memorized for acting class.

I got there, filled out my contact info sheet, and was given a number. I went into the Black Box where the 8 directors and their Stage Manager's were sitting on one side and the rest of the people trying out were in the rest of the chairs. I didn't know I was trying out in front of so many strangers, and this immediately stressed me out. I calmed down as I watched a few other people audition. One girl read from 50 Shades of Grey, another named different dog breeds, a few did regular monologues. 

Since most people made the directors laugh, I quickly decided that instead of the dramatic monologue, I would perform an absurdist monologue I memorized a couple years back from Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. They called my number and I walked up in front of them.

I was nervous, but I gave the title of the play and a few of the ladies nodded their head as if they were familiar with it. I started and finished the monologue (which is featured behind the text of the title of this blog) within the minute time frame, said thank you, and walked out. 

The next morning I received an email from a Stage Manager, telling me that I was called back for one of the eight shows! Then in the afternoon I received another callback email, that told me to look at the door of the Scene Shop to initial my name next to my callback time. I went to the Scene Shop and found out that I was called back for six shows!

I did five of my callbacks Tuesday night, and one on Wednesday. The part I really wanted was Rita in Courting Prometheus. I sort of knew the director because she had come into my acting class occasionally to do warms ups with us. I felt confident during my three callbacks for that show (I did the same side for each callback, each with a different guy actor).

The show, I was told, was about two office workers, a male and female, who shared a cubicle wall. They had slept together the night before the show takes place, and the ten-minute one act was them figuring out their place in the aftermath. Rita thinks it was just a one night stand and wants to forget about it, while Lou wants a relationship.

On Thursday I finally checked the Scene Shop wall and saw that I was cast as Rita! I didn't know the actor playing my counterpart, Lou, but saw his name and added him on Facebook. The next week was Midterm Break and while I was in Omaha I started memorizing my lines, eager for the rehearsals ahead.


Shakes: Part II

Today was my first day of work! I got into Omaha last Friday and after a weekend of two graduations and Mother's Day, work today was a nice change.

I met up with Suzanne, our Company Manager, at 9am on UNO's campus. We chatted about the day's schedule, and then she left to pick up the Company rental car with Sarah. While she was gone I met with Kyle. He was supposed to move into an apartment, but it wasn't going to be ready until 4pm.

In the meantime, I took both Kyle and another carpenter, Jessica, to Walmart to stock up on food and toiletries. I dropped them off at UNO and met a Starbucks-wielding Suzanne at the office at Creighton, and said a quick hello to Wes, Vince and Sarah. Suzanne and I checked out the Creighton dorms and stocked three rooms with sheets and dishes, including MY ROOM.

This summer, Anna and I are sharing a dorm room at Creighton to more easily access the office and not commute around town from my parent's house. After just moving out of a dorm at Truman, I can say with confidence that this one is much nicer. It has a living area, kitchenette, bathroom, walk in closet, and bedroom.

Suzanne went to move Elizabeth in to UNO and left me at Creighton to unpack my things for room 701. Anna will move in later this week.

My bin of stuff
Our living area and door to the bedroom
After unpacking and relaxing, Suzanne met me and we finished unpacking another room. She let me go around 3, and I've been hanging in my dorm. Tomorrow I'm scheduled to be with Wes for the day.


Monday, May 5, 2014

Shakes: Part I

Hello everyone, it's been awhile. I am happy to inform you that my first year of college has gone very well, and that I have again been hired to work for Nebraska Shakespeare and Shakespeare on the Green in Omaha.

I am reprising my role as the Assistant to the Director of Production and Company Manager and I am excited about this summer's season. The shows this year will be The Tempest and The Compleat Works of William Shakespeare: Abridged.

This summer I hope to update this blog more often to keep you in the loop about what exactly it's like to work for a professional non-profit theatre company on the production side. It's different from high school and college theatre, and it's a truly unique experience. I get back to Omaha this Friday, and immediately on Monday I start working.

It's busy, tiring, sometimes stressful, and completely worth it. I get to work with Anna Jordan, a very good friend of mine and of course Vince and his wife Sarah.

I hope this post finds you happy and healthy, and I look forward to continuing my theatre journey with you.

In other news, very recently I have become the very thing I have complained about before: a prop with dialogue, an actor. I was cast in a one act, Courting Prometheus, for the directing class at my college, Truman State University. It was student-directed by Liz Tuxbury, Stage Managed by Ann Acklen Brown, and I had one scene-partner, Daniel Riekena. There was one showing of it and it was about ten minutes long. I'll try to post more about the process in the next few weeks.

Much love,

Monday, July 15, 2013

SotG: Part II

I know, I haven't been posting SotG updates at all. I'm sorry. It sort of took up all of my time. So, I shall summarize it for you (in no particular order).

Things I Learned While Working For Shakespeare On The Green:

  1. I cannot parallel park.
  2. It's more fun to talk on the phone when you don't know what you're talking about.
  3. I can now [sort of] read music.
  4. Bruises, mud, bugs and generally being outside is actually okay.
  5. It doesn't matter what age your friends are.
  6. Someone can wear pink in one show and armor in another.
  7. Lines should be memorized.
  8. It's nerve-wracking and exhilarating to talk in front of over 4,000 people.
  9. Parks get hot.
  10. Offices get messy.
  11. There is always too many things to do, and a To-Do List only sort of helps.
  12. Expense reports should be done weekly.
  13. Getting home is easier and faster when I take the interstate.
  14. Road trips are more fun in pouring rain/jamming out.
  15. You don't know long hours until you work for Nebraska Shakespeare.
  16. Staff meetings are quite interesting.
  17. Packing up bins of housing materials isn't as easy as it might seem.
  18. Dumpster Central's phone number is 877-573-8233 (I memorized it).
  19. Doing push-ups on stage while it's hot and you're in front of an audience aren't that fun.
  20. Performing on stage is fun.
  21. Being backstage is the best part of the job.
  22. Dancing backstage at the end of Twelfth Night when everyone is on stage is the highlight of the show.
  23. Even if things go wrong, it's not the end of the world.
  24. Scholar's Forums are really interesting.
  25. I can drive a Kubota.
  26. Walgreens people are really nice, especially when you frequent their store.
  27. FedEx copy machines don't like me.
  28. Doing laundry every night is not something I enjoy, but at least there are clean clothes.
  29. Friends you make on the job can last a lifetime (hopefully).
  30. Nebraska Shakespeare: That's good enough.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of working for Nebraska Shakespeare for Shakespeare on the Green. It had some ups and downs but I learned more about myself and being in the real world than I could have imagined. I think I am prepared for the rest of my life, especially with college right around the corner. I thank everyone who helped me along the way. I hope I get the opportunity to come back someday.

Much love,

Saturday, June 1, 2013

SotG: Part I

It's been a crazy couple of weeks.

I have graduated high school, am no longer a part of WHS theater, and started my job with Nebraska Shakespeare. So much has happened, I'll just give you a synopsis.

My official job titles: Assistant to Director of Production and Stage Manager of Two-Minute Shakespeare.

For my Assis. DoP job I work with Wes Houston, the Director of Production, and I also work with Patrick Kilcoyne, the Company Manager.

In the beginning we had to make sure all of the housing for the out of town actors and techies were supplied (such as: bedding, kitchen items, towels, etc.). We had a Welcome Party at a cool place downtown, then a full Company Meeting the next day in which we had an overview of all the basic doings of Nebraska Shakespeare.

I work with Wes mostly 10am-4pm every day and Two-Minute 6pm-8pm every weeknight.

Two-Minute consists of 6 actors, me, and the director. We have 15 Shakespeare scripts that can be done in 2 minutes or less. For every second the actors go after 2 minutes, they have to do pushups. As of this point, we have staged Titus Andronicus, Twelfth Night, Hamlet, Tempest, King John, Romeo & Juliet, Julius Caesar. We went to Lincoln this past week to do a preview of 3 of our shows, and it was a great success. Two-Minute is the preshow entertainment that will happen before the show.

With Wes I do everything. We do expense reports, handle problems, check in with the costume shop and the scene shop, check in on the Green (in Elmwood Park), go shopping. We figure out a lot and deal with a lot and it's been really fun to be an assistant. I call people frequently.

This is going to be a fun, crazy, busy, lovely, stressful summer. I look forward to it.


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Theater Banquet 2013

It's really over.

On Thursday I had my last theater banquet.


I don't know if I like this.

Anyway, before the banquet Jenna, Michael, Annie and I wrote our senior skit. Yes, I can act. Not very well, but I can.

Banquet is for thespians and parents and all around theater people in general. We got name tags, sat down at round tables, ate food, watched videos and pictures montages, performed our skit (I was even memorized. Be surprised), had awards, watched an end video, cried and hugged.

My award was the "Kind of a Big Deal" award, since that's what Stoll calls me all the time.

I also received the Joseph & Majorie Moore Performing Arts Award, which comes with a $500 scholarship. Which was surreal and wonderful.

Before I get emotional while writing this post, here's a bunch of pictures from the night.

Me and my "Kind of a Big Deal" Award

All of our theater seniors: I'll miss you!

Stage Managers: Future, Present and Past.

Theater Seniors!

Me and Matt

Stoll: thank you for such an incredible year.

Annie and me

Michael. You're the best.

Stage Manager's forever!

Daniel and me

yep, we're weird.

Good luck with everything.

Thank you, theater family. For everything. I don't know what my life would be like without you.