Monday, September 12, 2011

Passion, People and Impact - Day 1

Posted by Annie Hulcher
“Passion, People, and Impact – that is why I love my job,” Bruce Miller, Artistic Director of Barksdale and Theatre IV, told me last Thursday over the large wooden conference table. “I get the opportunity every day to do what I enjoy, work with people I love, and positively impact peoples’ lives."

Although this was the beginning of the conversation, I was already enthralled and excited to listen to someone I admire tell me how awesome theatre is.

Passion: “No one in theatre makes much money. Those who do are few and far between, but if you are doing what you're passionate about, the trade off is worth it.”

He continued, “It’s absolutely a 24/7 job. Some people have their work, but are passionate only about their personal lives." Bruce is able to intertwine his work and his family life and have passion for both. With a wife (Terrie Powers) who designs all the shows at Hanover Tavern and most of the shows for Theatre IV on Tour, his work and his personal life are connected at nearly every turn, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.

I was already hooked.

People: “To put it simply, I love the people I work with. We all have a bit of crazy in us, but that’s what makes us interesting." As he was telling me this, I sat there thinking about my own friends. Crazy? Yes. Interesting? Absolutely. Passionate? You bet. It’s not often you get to work with people who care and commit as much as people in theatre do.

Impact: For me, this was the point that really made me feel that I knew this is what I wanted to be involved in the rest of my life. “I have seen the impact theatre has on people," Bruce said. "I have seen Hugs and Kisses (Theatre IV's long-running child sexual abuse prevention program) literally save kids’ lives. I've seen other shows inspire both children and adults to think differently, to follow their hearts, to open their minds.” He didn’t have to say much more. I could hear in his voice and see in his eyes how much that meant to him. In all honesty, what more could you possibly want out of a job?

So, at this point, you may be asking yourself who I am and why I am writing this. My name is Annie Hulcher and I am a senior at Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School. I have the opportunity to mentor under Bruce Miller this school year.

I will be documenting my experience here on the Barksdale Buzz. I, myself, am a performer. I got to know Bruce when I worked with him on Annie Get Your Gun (summer 2003) and I have been involved with SPARC and school theatre ever since.

I remember going to shows at Theatre IV when I was 4 and 5 years old, kick-starting my love for theatre. It is all too thrilling to be able to work with the man who was a large player in establishing my own passion.

Throughout the year, I will be working with different departments doing a myriad of activities and projects. (Last Thursday included hanging up pictures, posters and paintings around the office – a few from the set of Boeing-Boeing, which just closed.)

Although I am a performer now, 85% of people in the theatre world start as a performer but then move on to another theatre-related field (Bruce’s made-up statistic). As I obtain a little first hand experience in marketing, development, set construction, production management, facilities, box office, costuming and wardrobe, house management, event planning, props, electrics, accounting, tour management, etc. etc. etc., who knows what will spark my interest and possibly lead me down a career path?

As an avid reader of the Barksdale Buzz, I am very excited to be able to publish an entry here. I am eager to work hard and get to know everyone on the staff of Barksdale/Theatre IV, and hopefully getting to know theatre like I never have before.

--Annie Hulcher

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