TST 10 Minute Play Festival 2013

8 Feb

Near the end of my junior year of high school I decided to become a theatre major. That fall the husband of my drama teacher (who was our unofficial technical director and made a few cameos onstage) gave me advice that I have never forgotten: learn tech. “It will pay your bills while you’re trying to make it as an actor,” he said. At first I laughed a little, but he was serious and he said if I was serious about becoming an actor, I should learn to do tech. That winter I asked to be the stage manager for our play and I loved it. So when I went away to college at Hofstra University the following fall I volunteered to be the ASM on the student produced musical. I continued working on the stage management teams of productions. I learned a lot and was having a lot of fun. When I transferred to UC Riverside I continued working on my stage management skills. I also had the opportunity to take their year-long directing course. I learned a lot about the theatre world while I was there and I knew that when I graduated I had a skill that could be put to good use in the “real world”.

One of the first theatre companies I worked with after moving to Los Angeles was Towne Street Theatre and I haven’t stopped. I’ve been their resident stage manager since the spring of 2010. In February 2011 I worked on my first ten minute play festival with them (as an actor and as the stage manager). As the company has evolved, so has the running of the festival, making it a much more collaborative process for all company members. This year I had the pleasure of directing one of the pieces and I’ve had a blast! But back to stage managing. The week before a show has its first performance is called Tech Week, aka, Hell Week. This is the time that all of the tech elements (lights, sounds, costumes, etc) are added to the show. We have what’s called a dry tech with only the designers, director and stage manager going through the script and all the cues that have to be called to make sure they are in the right place. Then there’s a Cue to Cue with the actors onstage. We literally jump from cue to cue to make sure they happen the way they are supposed to. If lights need to be refocused its noted, or if a cue needs to happen differently it’s changed and rehearsed again. These are long days and nights, especially since I hold down two day jobs and then go to the theatre till late. The stage manager is also responsible for locking up and making the space is clean and ready for the following day. Suffice it say, there was little time last week that allowed for blogging. (I was lucky if I had the energy to brush my teeth! LOL)

Lights ready to be hung!

Lights ready to be hung!

When deciding to go the acting route as a career you have to make sure you have other skills that can pay the rent. I’m so thankful for the advice I received from my drama teacher and her husband back in high school. I enjoy being a stage manager as it keeps me in the industry and I meet so many amazing people. I had a great time directing again and I look forward to doing it again. So if you are in the Los Angeles area in the next two weekends, I’d like to invite you to come see Towne Street Theatre’s 6th Annual 10 Minute Play Festival.

The set of the 10 Minute Play Festival.

The set of the 10 Minute Play Festival.

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11 Responses to “TST 10 Minute Play Festival 2013”

  1. tchistorygal February 8, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

    What fun! That sounds like a lot of work! You have the energy, Sarah! πŸ™‚

  2. Elizabeth February 10, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

    Sarah – you are an amazing young lady with enormous talent and I am so proud of you! I love you girlie!
    πŸ™‚ Elizabeth

    • actinglikeachef February 10, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

      Thanks Elizabeth!!! I couldn’t have done it without your guidance back in high school πŸ™‚ Love you back!

  3. Mark February 10, 2013 at 10:05 pm #

    Very nice article Sarah. And even thought stage managers are often the people actors “love to hate” you’ve done and fine job … I WOULDN’T WANT IT … but you do a fine job. God bless you and may you continue to grow to reach your goals and dreams.

    Be well love …

  4. Mark V. Jones February 10, 2013 at 10:10 pm #

    Nice article Sarah. You’ve done a fine job stage managing, I WOULDN’T WANT IT … but you do a fine job. May you continue to grow and learn in your craft as the person actors “love to hate”. It’s not an easy task, so I’m tipping my hat to you Sarah. God bless you love.

    Be well …

    • actinglikeachef February 11, 2013 at 11:21 pm #

      Thank you very much Mark! I couldn’t do it without fabulous help backstage which you have taken on this year so wonderfully! Merci beaucoup!

      • Kim Harrington February 12, 2013 at 8:35 pm #

        Sarah, I’ve always had great admiration for stage mangers…It’s a lot of work! Keep smiling, stay pleasant and walk the walk…You are awesome…Kim Harrington (TST) member

        • actinglikeachef February 12, 2013 at 8:58 pm #

          Thanks Kim!!! I’ve had a lot of fun working with you on this festival!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Fried Chicken | Acting Like A Chef - March 4, 2013

    […] (My mouth is watering just thinking of their biscuits…) But last February I directed a 10 minute play that needed fried chicken as a prop. I knew I wanted to make my own for at least one of the […]

  2. Chocolate Chip Cookies by Nestle | Acting Like A Chef - March 13, 2013

    […] Toll House. Ghiradelli was second, then store brand and, sadly, Hershey’s was last. So when Towne Street’s 10 Minute Play Festival had its closing party I decided to make chocolate chip cookies, using Nestle’s recipe on the […]

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