Credit where credit is due blog ::
Some things are changing at HUGE, many of which will be announced soon and most of them are a direct result of learning the reality of running a theater – putting things in motion and finding out that the way you planned things has many unexpected problems or doesn’t work the way you thought it would – and while myself, Jill and Nels tend to get credit for helming this big, meandering beast of a project I must point out to everyone that it is far easier to not know what you’re doing than it is to work for someone that doesn’t know what they’re doing.
And for that reason, in addition to all they do for us, we need to recognize our staff, techs and cast.
The Board signed on for this chaos and confusion and along the way we’re often painfully aware of what we don’t have figured out. The people that you see when you come to HUGE Theater didn’t make the same deal – they usually signed on with some expectation that we knew how things were going to run and what was going to happen – and have ended up teaching us a lot.
I’ve always been a big fan of giving people latitude in their positions, which depends entirely on having people you can trust to be independent and make decisions that the company will happily stand behind and reminding yourself that the people that work the counter know how the counter should work, the people that get onstage know what the performers need, etc. Not everyone takes to that kind of work environment. Some call it “empowerment” and some call it “my boss doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing and I end up picking up the slack” and they probably both have some truth to them.
While we play fast and loose with the specific points of how the evenings run, leaving a lot up to the talented people that get on stage, they get the experience of being sent in front of the audience to convey information and a tone that isn’t clearly explained to them at any point and we benefit from their experience. While I am comfortable winging it a bit with customer service (and happen to LOVE dealing with angry, confused or upset people), our Front Of House staff goes into any given evening not entirely sure what the answers are to the multitude of questions they will be asked or if we’ve changed things since the last time they came in to cover our asses.
The goal of this was not to point out how ill-equipped we are to supervise all the moving parts of this incredible machine – but to illustrate how awesome a job everyone is doing making this thing run. Many of them do it so well that you, the audience, would never know how much they actually have to contribute to make an evening of going to see fun, silly theater seem like a simple and easy thing to do. And since they aren’t always the ones on stage to get the applause they deserve or too busy working behind the curtain to take the bows – we have to make sure we give them thanks.
Keep in mind, they all work for nothing but the love of what we do. Many of them got keys to the building so they didn’t need to ask us to let them in because they were so incredibly eager to show up and help, only to find that we now ask them for much more…and with less warning. And they, as much as any individual performer or show – are the people that make HUGE the place that it is.
When you see them, say thanks. Many of them kick ass so easily they won’t even realize they’ve been kicking ass or what you’re thanking them for. Enjoy those confused stares.
from myself, Jill and Nels – thank you to:
Our techs, who are asked to do the absurd and thankless tasks and do them silently – Josh, Matt and Lipkin
Our staff, who gave up watching the shows they love to help us put them on – Christopher, Cody, Shelley, Tweet, Sally and more.
Our casts, who bring the life and energy and talent to the pile of lumber in the corner and make it into a stage – Eric, Hannah, Josh, Fred, Hetz, Michael, Lauren, Joe, Fotis, Doug, Josh A, Max, Kevin, Logan, Alex, Madde, Jackie, Mickey, Nate, Don, Hellendrung, Rita, Jen, James, Taj, Jake, Hannah, James, Andy, Katy and many many more.
In many ways, we created a building. Those are the people that make it a theater.