Thursday, 12 July 2012

Welcome to Suite 210, how can I help you?

By Cornelia Persich, Education Coordinator

As Education Coordinator, a title that has changed many times in the past 20 years I aim to prepare and coordinate some of the theatre training for our members.  While this includes the Summer Theatre Intensive and our recent Smart Marketing workshop, there are many other areas in which I serve.

Being the first person you see when you visit Suite 210, I respond to all walk-ins. Many a time visitors drop in to visit TAPA (The Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts, for one of their many meetings including the Dora Mavor Moore Awards), or Playwrights Guild of Canada (to pick up a Canadian script), or Arts Network for Children and Youth, (who have just organized a National Youth Arts week), all of whom share our offices.

Visitors to Theatre Ontario drop by to purchase a membership or publication, to find out how to get started in theatre, to search through our audition and job postings, to drop off a grant application or brochures for the rack, or just to speak to someone face-to-face.  Some afternoons we have a steady stream of visitors attending either the Getting Started Workshop for Actors or the Self Start: Basics of Producing workshops.

Telephone calls and emails come in from all over the province and beyond. Many a time individuals are looking to start training in the field of theatre.  They could be adults or youth and need direction when searching for classes. Thank goodness TAAS exists – The Toronto Association of Acting Studios (in which Theatre Ontario is a member).  TAAS is an association (founded in 1984) of independent studios offering a wide variety of high-quality approaches to the craft of acting and related theatrical skill. I attend their meetings on behalf of Theatre Ontario.

Many a time I receive questions about agents.  “Where do I find out about reputable agents?” and “How do you get one?”  This is where I promote the ideal tool, The Agents Book produced by AMIS.  It’s sold by us (and at TheatreBooks) and is a handbook with listings of the EIC and TAMAC agents, and includes information on photos, resumes, contacts, studios, and much more.

Today I received a telephone call from a man looking for someone or someplace to get a large prop for the stage for his dance show.  So I put on my thinking cap, and my rolodex of a mind flipped from theatre companies that might rent props to places that might sell props – to companies who build.  

Other questions that have come my way are: What is a monologue and where do I find one?  How do I get the rights to a play?  I need to do a specific accent, can you help me? I’d like to donate my theatre scripts, do you want them? We’re renovating our theatre, would you like our theatre seats? I have a dog, how can I get him into commercials? And that’s just a few!

Yes, I do receive a wide variety of requests every day, and I enjoy offering guidance to all our members – and soon-to-be members.

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