’ve worked at MainStreet Theatre Company since May 2015, I have officially turned in my two weeks notice because I will be studying abroad next semester in London. This job is one of the things I cherish most about my college education, and it wasn’t even part of my curriculum.
1) I learned theatre jobs can have stability
I had worked as a freelance stage manager for my first two years of college, and it was exhausting and terrifying. I knew I couldn’t sustain the life I wanted that way, but I figured I had no other choice than to be a poor, unstable theatre artist for the rest of my life.
Then I got this job and realized I could still participate in theatre and have a stable income, and there were jobs like this everywhere. I had hope again of being able to work in my dream field and also have a living wage.
2) I learned office skills
This isn’t exactly theatre related, but it is skills that most of my generation lacks. Things that people should know how to do: write an email, comfortably be able to talk on the phone with a stranger, use a copy machine, use a fax machine (I myself only learned this week), ect.
3) I learned to have a higher standard for theatre
At this point in my career I had only really worked for college productions or 99 Seat Los Angeles Theatre. They weren’t good productions, but I didn’t know any better.
Then I saw my first show at MainStreet, “Elephant and Piggie’s We Are In A Play!” and I actually almost cried. This show is written for 4 year olds, but it was so beautifully executed. It is now nominated for an Ovation award and in my own small way I got to help, which brings me to my next point.
4) I learned that every detail matters and every person matters
While for the most part I was making copies and sending emails, someone had to do it and it was important to helping the theatre company run smoothly. It had it’s glamorous moments, like working the Ovation Awards at the Ahmanson Theatre, but a lot of times it was just like any job, except I knew what I was doing was in some way helping thousands of children experience theatre.
5) I learned why I love theatre
I loved theatre since I was 14 and started high school, but I never really knew why. Working here helped me realize that theatre is meant to educate and change the world. The number one thing theatre teaches is empathy, and with empathy the world can be a better place. Exposing children to these lessons helps cultivate a new generation that focuses on empathy and understanding.
This has helped me discover my true passion, producing and community engagement with theatre. Every child needs to be exposed to theatre and now I plan on doing whatever I can to help make that happen.