I was certainly scared this summer. After my freshman year I had the great opportunity to be an electrician intern at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Company. It was a great experience that made me realize how much in love I am with theatre. As the last few days of the summer are now rolling by, I know we’re getting close to Fred when we get the welcome back letter. And in a couple weeks I will be reunited with all my old friends asking them how their summer was and what they did.
This summer I made the choice of not doing summer stock because of a family wedding and other engagements. I figured I could get a job at a hardware store, or maybe be a cashier. I wasn’t that worried. And as the wedding came and passed, and no calls from the hardware store I then became worried. It wasn’t until a few weeks later I got a call from a friend of mine. Jim Pritchard (class of ’99). Jim is the Technical Director of the Riviera Theatre in North Tonawanda. He called me in to help with a few concerts that were coming through. And from that moment on I knew I would have a fun summer.
I was able to work on such events like, “The Trailer Park Boys”, Louis Prima Jr., Puscifer, Enter The Haggis, and even was the Master Electrician and Deckhand for “La Boheme”. Now every Thursday at the Riv, they hold a movie and you can see me there as the projectionist. It’s been a lot of fun working for Jim, and I look forward to working with him at the Riv in the future.
You hear a lot about how important it is to make connections in the industry here because its what could get you your next job. And I agree to that. I also had the chance to work with APG, the production group located in Dunkirk. Jim was the guy who got me the job (thanks Jim!). I worked along with fellow classmate Devin Erdmann setting up stage and roofs for Josh Turner, and the Dunkirk Beach Bash. Needless to say, I have had an enjoyable and busy summer.
No matter where you live, there is theatre close by. You can always find something to do, even if it is volunteering or maybe even seeing the show. But the first thing to do is to look. Take every opportunity you can to work so you can learn and make those ever so important connections. So now, when my friends ask me how my summer was, I’ll be sure to have some excellent stories to share.