Keeping Busy and Trying New Things
Updated: Apr 4, 2020
Well, it's been a hot minute. I’ve been running pretty much non-stop since Halloween, and I’ve done a lot. This year, I did more auditions, and had more callbacks than I ever have before. However, none of those auditions turned into paid work. It’s all part of the job, and I’m happy to have gotten the experience, but it’s meant that I have spent a lot of time looking for other ways to be involved with theatre.
At the beginning of November, I played in the volunteer orchestra for my community theatre’s production of Into the Woods. That was a super fun and challenging learning experience! I really wanted an excuse to play my violin more regularly, and so this was perfect. Community theatre is amazing because everyone has such an awesome attitude. Everyone wants to help out as much as they can, however they can, which is really refreshing. It’s nice when everyone is there for the love of the project. I ended up playing the viola part, and I can confidently say that my alto-clef-reading skills are 200% better than before I did the show. It was also great to get the opportunity to be a part of a Sondheim musical. It’s not the kind of content that gets programmed a lot in Saskatoon.
So while I was preparing and performing in the Into the Woods orchestra, I was also attending rehearsals for my first job ever as an assistant director on Girl In the Box. The show was part of our city’s independent theatre series, and the story was a true-crime thriller about the first woman on the FBI’s Most Wanted list. The script was written by two of my extremely talented friends: S. E. Grummet, and Danielle Spilchen, and it was an amazing experience to get to work with such an awesome team on a show that really thought outside the box (pun intended). We spent a lot of time trimming the script, and making sure that everything was streamlined and effective. I got to attend every show as a stage-hand, and a live bug wrangler (a story for another day), and I loved getting to see the subtle changes from performance to performance, and appreciate the impressive product of the hard work everybody poured into the show.
Then, immediately after the end of Girl In the Box, I agreed to stage-manage for a local sketch-comedy group: The Sketchy Bandits. It was their second ever show, and all of the bits were extremely funny. It was also my first time stage-managing outside of school so it was great to brush up on those skills and put them to use in an applied way. I also got to operate sound so it was a bit of an adjustment getting used to cuing someone else and operating at the same time. Luckily the shows went pretty well! My experience stage-managing in university was really stressful, but this experience has made me re-evaluate whether I am as adverse to the work as I had previously thought.
That brings us pretty much to the present. I’m still busy, just with restaurant work and re-starting the audition grind for another season. After not booking any jobs for the year, it was really important to me to feel like I was still contributing to the theatre community in some way; keeping my skills fresh, and fulfilling my passions. I’m really happy with the experiences I’ve gained over the last few months, and it’s made me excited to keep learning and trying new things. Persisting in this business requires a lot of self-motivation. Pursuing other projects, and performing in other roles that still allow me to fulfill a creative outlet, really help me to keep the drive alive.