Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Trash or Treasure

What’s the old adage? One man’s trash is another man’s treasure? Well, we’ll soon find out won’t we?

This Saturday, June 26th Twenty-Something Theatre is holding a Garage & Bake Sale with all proceeds going to our upcoming production of Blue Surge.

Some of the lovely items up for sale include:

-clothes (and for those of you who know me, know I’m a bit of a clothes horse. I have four closets and they are all full, actually overflowing would be a better way of putting it. And I’m going to be cleaning them out for this event…)
-house wares
-a couple of snowboards
-and other junk (uh, I mean "treasure")

And, of course, so much baking you’ll wish you had a bigger stomach. My sister is a graduate of both the VCC Culinary Arts program as well as the Baking and Pastry Arts program. Currently she does the baking for a bakery (I forget the name) that supplies all the baked goods to all the Blenz locations across the lower mainland. She’s amazing and I’m not just saying that cause she’s my sister. Look for yourself at some of the cakes she’s made and decorated:

Yeah, and they are delicious too! Seriously, it’s dangerous to my waistline having her as my sister. They’ll be an assortment of cookies, muffins, loaves and tarts all for your eating pleasure. Like I said…DANGEROUS!! (Someone is going to have to remind me that it’s for selling, not for me to eat)

The sale begins at noon and goes until 5pm. You can find us outside of 1251 Cardero Street (just off Davie street in the West End).

So, come down and check out all the wonderful treasures on sale, or just hang and have a chat and a cookie!!

And, if you are one of the crazy people who like to plan out their garage sale routes and check out 3 or 4 sales on one Saturday our friends over at ITSAZOO (great minds think alike) are also holding a garage sale this coming Saturday at 765 Victoria Drive.

See you on Saturday (and please pray for sunshine)!!

~Sabrina Evertt
Artistic Producer

Monday, June 21, 2010

Lessons Learnt While Holding Auditions: Part Two

Continuing on from my last post, I’m happy to say that they were lots and lots of talented people who came out to the Blue Surge auditions. I didn’t get to see the initial auditions, but I was there for the callbacks and they absolutely delighted me! So I’m just going to share a few more things I noticed:

1. When giving sides to people to read before they’re called in, write down who has what. Sounds pretty simple, right? Well amateur-me didn’t at first. While I managed to give out the right sides to the right people, when it came time to call them in to the audition room I called out the wrong names. Actually I did this more than once and it led to a little confusion. Jeremy and Christopher, I’m so sorry I kept mixing your names in particular. I have no idea why! Anyways, the lesson was learnt pretty fast and I (hopefully) won’t be doing that ever again.

2. Blue Surge is even funnier than I’d first thought! I read the script before auditions but it was a totally different experience to see it come alive. As I saw scenes played out I was completely cracking up!

3. Following on from #2: Actors, the more you make the scene come alive the better. Try not to just read the words off the page. Do something with the words. Make them your own. Try to move around and use the space. It makes it so much more interesting to watch! We know that you’ve only just been given the scene and that it’s not possible to learn it all in the space of a few minutes. You’re not being judged on that. We want to see you and what you can bring to the table for a character.

4. You may feel you’re waiting around a lot during a call back. There’s always reason. In this instance, as usual, there were way more girls who auditioned than guys. So it makes sense that there were more girls than guys at the callbacks. In order to see everyone read, and often more than once for some characters, it meant a lot of waiting around for others. Unfortunately it can’t really be avoided so my advice is to bring a book or get friendly with those waiting with you.

Trying to be sensitive to everyone’s time (and maybe a little too nice), we split the callbacks into two groups. But by letting the first group go before seeing the second group we ended up putting ourselves into a bit of a predicament. There were a few occasions when we would have liked to have seen someone from the two groups read together but couldn’t. So in the future, definitely plan on being at the callbacks for the whole time. It may require a lot of patience but there’s a good reason behind it.

5. Having auditioned for shows in the past I’ve definitely felt disappointed when I haven’t been cast for something. Well holding auditions for Blue Surge really hammered home to me that often not being cast in a particular show doesn’t mean you weren’t talented enough.

I remember an acting teacher once telling our class that sometimes you just never know why you don’t get cast in something. You may have had the audition of your life but if you remind the director too much of their ex-spouse that might hurt your chances. And it had nothing at all to do with talent. In our case, there are only five roles, so it really came down to whether or not someone was truly right for the part and how they would fit among the others being cast. We saw lots and lots of talented people we could have cast, but maybe just not for this show.

It was a really interesting for me to see how things go “on that side of the table”. I had fun, got to be entertained, and hope I get to do more! Overall – a very positive experience.

~Sarah MacKay
Associate Producer

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lessons Learnt While Holding Auditions: Part One

Once upon a time, over the long weekend in May, Twenty-Something Theatre held auditions for the upcoming summer production of Blue Surge. Leading up to this I handled the incoming submissions of resumés, booked audition slots, and did my best to confirm the slots with everyone in advance. This was my first time at an audition as a non-auditionee (is that a word?) and I definitely took some experience away with me.

At 9:45 am, Day 1 of auditions, I met up with Sabrina at the Alliance for Arts and Culture to set up for the first audition at 10:10. Sabrina would audition everyone, and I would sign them in as they arrived. 10:10 came and went. Person 1 was a no-show. Same with Persons 2 and 3. Seriously, the first three people of the day were M.I.A. – 2 of whom had confirmed with me in advance. Really, Vancouver? I have to say I was pretty unimpressed by that.

Now who knows, maybe there were extenuating circumstances. I’d be willing to try and give them the benefit of the doubt but unfortunately they weren’t the only ones who didn’t show. Over the 2 days of auditions other people followed suit – and most of them confirmed with me that they would be coming.

Okay, I know it was a long weekend and maybe a getaway was spontaneously planned. That’s great, but at least drop a quick e-mail to say you’re no longer able to come. I mean that’s the least you could do, right?

Remember, it’s not just your time we’re talking about here. It’s Sabrina’s time. She was expecting you (and sitting by herself in a windowless room, poor thing!). It was my time. I spent a decent chunk of time going through all the submissions and accommodating specific requests. I also spent time trying to touch base with everyone and verify whether they were still coming. It was also the time of someone else who could have had that spot in your place. Frankly, deciding to blow off an audition like that is rude and wasted our time.

We remember your names too, and honestly it’s not the best impression to give people before they even meet you. How do you expect to be taken seriously?

I hate to sound so scolding but I really expected more professionalism from actors in Vancouver. Step up because I know you can do better! I got to sit in on the call backs (more on that in my next post) so I know there’s lots of talent in this city. Don’t ruin it for yourselves by getting a bad reputation. If you’ve changed your mind about going to an audition, really that’s fine. Please just have the courtesy to let the people who are expecting you know. It’s a small gesture that can go a long way.

Before I end, just a couple of other things I noticed leading up to the auditions:

- When you submit your resumé online try to send it as a PDF if you can. If you’ve done some fancy formatting to condense it on one page it may not look the same when it’s opened on another computer. Sending a PDF ensures that the version you’ve worked so hard to make neat and tidy is what gets seen. I saw several resumés that looked all over the place and I doubt they were intended to look that way.

- If there’s a specific audition date or time you’d like, try to say it in your original e-mail. I’m happy to oblige, but it’s a lot easier to arrange as the schedule’s being created rather than after it’s done. The earlier you can let someone know what time you need, the better.

- That said, please don’t e-mail me at 9 pm the night before your audition to change your time, and then get frustrated with me when I don’t respond that night. I happened to be at work and didn’t get your e-mail until the 9 am the next day, at which time I re-booked your audition.

Many, many thanks and well done to all those who auditioned! We had an excellent turnout. Further lessons were learnt during the callbacks and casting, but more on that in my next post.

~Sarah MacKay
Associate Producer

Friday, June 11, 2010

Team BS

Back from Vegas. Kind of wish I was still there what with all this wonderful sun and hot weather we've been having since I got back. Um, yeah...

(That's me on the right Vegas-style waiting for our table at Tao for my Birthday dinner.)

But now it's on with the show. So this post is to introduce you to Team BS (and by that, I don't mean Bulls@#t, I mean Blue Surge). So, without further ado, this year’s production team (cast intro another day...once the entire cast has been assembled...long story...need lots of wine to tell story).

This year, underneath the mentorship of Heather Lamb (Production Manager extraordinaire who is also the Manager of Production and Technical Services at the new SFU Woodwards) we’ve brought a Technical Director on board. This awesome new member to our team is Francisco Tapia, he’s a recent transplant to Vancouver all the way from Chile, and brings with him a wealth of experience and is looking to get to know the Vancouver theatre community. We are thrilled to have him on board this year!

Sarah Mackay, who recently introduced herself in a blog post (and who you’ll be hearing a lot more from) is this year’s Associate Producer. And, after last year’s firing debacle I am more than grateful to have her on the team. She’s planning our first fundraising event as we speak.

Also, new to Twenty-Something is this year’s Stage Manager. A recent graduate from the theatre program at UBC, Breanne Jackson, has already gathered quite a bit of stage managing experience already. She was the intern Stage Manager for the current Arts Club’s production of Buddy Holly as well as the Stage Manager for Blackbird Theatre’s production of Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf? (which is transferring to the Arts Club as part of their 2010-2011 season). There is nothing more important than working with a good SM so I’m really looking forward to working with Breanne this summer.

Next up is our awesome team of designers!!! Jonathan Tsang, who received rave reviews for his Set Design for Prodigals, will be doing the Set again this summer and two-time Jessie nominated designer Jergus Oprsal, who designed the Set and Lights for Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love, is back again this summer to do the Lighting Design. Costume Designer is Jane Sanden, who also designed the costumes for Prodigals and, last but certainly not least, is Sound Designer, Kevin McLardy. Kevin has designed the Sound for Twenty-Something a few times for both Surburbia (for which he also did original composition) and Prodigals.

You’ll be able to catch the exciting work from all these young artists August 24th – September 5th at Studio 16.

~Sabrina Evertt
Artistic Producer

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sneak Peek

Ok, before I jet off to Vegas for my birthday festivities I thought I would give all my faithful blog readers a little sneak peek into Blue Surge. Here are some of the publicity photos from our shoot last week with Emily Cooper:

Okay, I promise to have more info for you regarding this production when I get back.

Tomorrow I am off to Vegas unplugged style so don't expect to find me on the internet, blog, twitter, facebook, etc. If it's an emergency you can find me poolside at the Bellagio otherwise see you when I get back.

At which time I will no longer be a "20-something" (no, that does not mean I am changing the name of the theatre company) so bring on the 30's...

~Sabrina Evertt
Artistic Producer