Thursday, 22 September 2016

Stories from the Professional Theatre Training Program: Deborah Lim

Our Professional Theatre Training Program (PTTP) offers financial support for unique and flexible training with a chosen mentor in any theatrical discipline (except performance.)

Deborah Lim trained in production management with sandra Henderson at the Toronto Fringe Festival.

(August 9, 2016) I have been thinking about this last blog post for a while now because I knew it was coming and that it would be inevitable, but I have also been dreading it because it means that things are really over. I have had such a good time that I am sad to let it go.

I believe I made a difference in supporting sandra and a few of the other departments get the Festival up on its feet. I was surprised to discover when the festival came around how our job as the production manager slowed down; as long as all the venues and shows were running smoothly, there was not that much to do. I ended up spending a good amount of the Festival proper with the operations manager to help with the Fringe Club and updating old paperwork. While I picked up and improved on some necessary skills (I am so much better at using Excel now), I was surprised to discover how much soft skills are involved in navigating through various interactions and negotiations.

There was one day during the festival when we lost power at one of our main venues. There were so many people we had to talk to ranging from the public to the companies to Toronto Hydro, and there was a lot of stress in the air and we ended up canceling all the shows in that venue for the day. The Festival had been running so smoothly up until that point so it was a real curve ball, but a really educational day for me to deal with some of those interactions and see when those soft skills really count.

I also did not expect to improve upon my public speaking skills, but I got plenty of time to practice that during our venue walkthrough speeches and providing accessibility training to our technicians.
I am so grateful for the experience because I am already implementing the skills I have picked up on my upcoming projects and sandra is still open to answering my questions and providing support to my career even after the training period is over. sandra and I did not really know each other before this mentorship so I am glad she took this chance on me because one the most valuable things I have come out of this experience with is getting to know her.

Related Reading:

The next application deadline for the Professional Theatre Training Program is October 3, 2016.

Learn more about Theatre Ontario's Professional Theatre Training Program

Theatre Ontario’s Professional Theatre Training Program is funded by the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.

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