Tag Archive: Twitter

Last Night’s #PuShFest Gala in Tweets

The Push Festival "Bat Signal"

We lost our wifi at club 560 mid-way through the event last night, so instead of returning to blogging, I kept up with things from twitter. Below, in chronological order (starting from the beginning of the night) is what I had to say about the party in tweet form:

Executive director Norman Armour is giving a speech, but I can’t hear any of it over the party. #push2011

They’re talking about the necessity of having an @Vancouver125pin to get back in, but I never got one. Boo. #PuShFest

Lots of fun meeting twitter folks IRL here at the #PuShFest Gala: Am sitting beside @niftynotcool and @don4n

So many people to talk with at #PuShFest is making blogging hard. I promise I will write more than one sentence by the end of the night

RT: @chriswaltsPretty cool blogger area at #push2011 love the initiative http://twitpic.com/3r2ayn

RT: @PuShFestival Cool! #vancouver‘s own Zapato Negro takes to the stage#pushfestival I like it :-)))

Let’s get this party started! The #PuShFest gala is going strong – here’s what you’re missing: http://bit.ly/dSHI2F

Time to go join the party for a bit, but I’ve got my iPhone, so I’ll still be tweeting #PuShFest

Curious what @niftynotcool and I have been up to? Here’s the photo evidence: http://yfrog.com/h7f66tj #pushfest

Sadly our wifi connection has gone down here at #pushfest. Not sure what we will do now.

Check out the dancers taking the floor at #pushfest:http://yfrog.com/h04bmmgj

Adrienne Wong from @NeworldTheatre Is about to play a ukelele ditty for us: http://yfrog.com/h8ebjcj

They’re performing Poker Face on ukelele. It’s fantastic.http://yfrog.com/h8he6mnj #pushfest

Seeing @THTRreplacement‘s WeeTube in the lounge at #pushfest

Quote from @thezolas: “This song is about sexual frustration. I hope none of you can relate to it.” #pushfest

I am wiped. Time to call it a night and head home from #pushfestgala. Tomorrow I will be seeing one of the shows.

Job Hunting: Networking

Inspired by Sabrina Evertt’s post “Do You Really Want a Job?“, this post is the second in a series on job hunting in theatre.  The first post talked about resumes, cover letters & references.

Networking tends to be a bit of a bad word in my circle of friends.  I frequently hear friends who can confidently strut their stuff on stage say things like, “I can’t go to that, it will just be a giant schmooze fest and I’m terrible at networking.”  While this is true of my actor friends, I find it to be an even more common refrain of my tech & design friends, for whom putting yourself out there seems to be an even more frightening thing.

In their eyes, networking involves going up to people you don’t know, or don’t know well and introducing yourself.  As Trisha Mead wrote over at 2amtheatre.com:

“I’m terrified of strangers with name badges.

I go to conferences and “networking events” scanning eyeballs and job titles desperate for something, anything, to latch onto that might be an excuse to start a conversation. But, what’s the right tone? The right opening line? How do I know I’ve found a useful connection? How do I know the nametag-attached-to-a-bundle-of-flesh I am currently talking to is not just standing there waiting for the next, more relevant person to talk to them?”

Sometimes these terrible events includes giving out a business card. Most of the time they are painful, even for the people who you think have it all together. Recently I have had friends comment on how “good” I am at networking and I wanted to laugh. I’m still as terrified as they are, I just have a little bit more practice and a new outlook on it all.

According to dictionary.com, networking is “a supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest.”

Let me highlight two words for you from that sentence: common interest.

I am never going to go into a room of investment bankers where I don’t know people and and try to network. First of all, I’d have no reason to, but secondly, finding common interests would take substantially more time. In my experience, theatre people LIKE to share their knowledge and information, especially with people who are just starting their careers.

That said, I have still been known (you can ask Brittney about this) to get too scared of a party of people I don’t know and insist on leaving before we go inside. I’m still shy. Still scared.

So for those of you who are as shy & scared of networking as I am, here are three ways to begin building your network without the scary name-tags:

#1 – Volunteer with local theatre groups.

The easiest way to do this is to volunteer as an usher. All of the smaller theatre companies are using volunteer ushers, and some of the larger companies do too. It’s just about knowing who to contact. Do you have a friend in the cast? Ask them who is running front of house. In Vancouver you can check www.vancouverplays.com and they often list companies that are looking for volunteers and provide contact info. Other companies advertise their search for ushers through their facebook pages, blogs or mailing lists.

The great thing about volunteering as an usher is that you have a purpose. So you are meeting the people who work at the theatre, but you don’t have to come up with any sort of introduction or questions. If you have them, then that’s great, but you have a job to do. And people talk about people who do good jobs….not as much as they talk about people who do bad jobs, but trust me, if you do a good job you will be remembered.

#2 – Use Social Media

Once more I’m going to point you to the writing of Trisha Mead over at www.2amtheatre.com. She wrote recently about building relationships through social media, and you need to go RTWT because she says it a lot better than I was going to. She gives some really great advice on how to manage your online presence and although her focus is on relationship building for playwrights it applies across the board.

Through social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, & LinkedIn I have gotten to know another whole group of theatre professionals both local to Vancouver and internationally. Sure, the first “off line” meeting still has that hint of “Are we really going to hit it off as well as we did online?!” but in my experience it tends to work out well. And heck, I’ve flown across the country to meet up with people I met online. I’ve also gotten job offers because someone I met online gave my name to someone.

The most important thing about each of these online media is that you use them to engage. Ask questions. Answer questions. Dialogue. Sure, there is room for self promotion, but if all you do is self-promote it is likely that you will be blocked out as noise. (If you are considering using Twitter, I highly recommend Dave Charest‘s FREE e-book called “The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter”. He has all the details you could possibly need to know about using Twitter effectively and he’s a hilarious, great, artistic type.)

But when you have the chance, take those online relationships offline.  I’ve been privileged to get to know such folks as Rebecca ColemanSimon OgdenKenji MaedaAmanda Ballard.  Do these relationships equal jobs? Not directly. However, I know that some of them have recommended me for positions that have come up and that their friendship has pushed me to step out of my comfort zones and try new things.  What more can you ask of friends?

#3 – Go See Theatre

When I defined networking above, I highlighted the phrase “common interest” from it. One of the best ways to ensure common interests with the theatre folks you are about to meet at various events is to actually attend theatre. It always amazes me the number of theatre artists who don’t go and see anything that anyone else is doing.  Last calendar year I saw about 70 shows. In the first six months of 2010 I have seen about 40.  These excursions to the theatre do not always include an opportunity to make a connection there, but they provide the groundwork for future connections.  They give you a chance to say, “Oh yeah, I saw you in XYZ and thought you were great” or “I thought your work in XYZ really took a new direction from ABC”.  It also gives you a chance to meet the others in the audience. I don’t know how many times I have run into an acquaintance at a show and had a fantastic conversation about our shared experience there.

These networking opportunities do not lead directly to jobs. That is not the point. They lead to relationships, and in an industry as small as the theatre industry is, relationships matter.

2009 In Review: Top 10 Tweets

On twitter this afternoon @tinarasmussen asked:

“Has anyone done a top 10 best tweets list of 2009?”  And so I put one together based on the tweets I have added to my “favourites” page over the course of 2009.  In chronological order, I present to you my top 10 tweets of 2009.

1. SarahMclellan: Took my to-do list, grabbed it by the ankles, turned it upside down and shook out its lunch money. Then I gave it a swirlie.

2. IanAMartin: @SMLois You have to be careful when complimenting an actress on her dipthongs, if one is a male. Tricky to be clear about your meaning.

3. feliciaday: Today’s motto: “Felicia Day. Putting her email foot in it since 1999.”

4. krisjoseph: RT @treykblackburn: I disenjoy drama. I’m an #actor so I can have drama in the #theatre not in #reallife.

5. thenextstagemag: Buffy geek porn! Once More With Feeling behind the scenes video! http://tinyurl.com/yzm8e3m

6. lekogirl: Abusing my twitter list privileges! Making a favorites list & a favourites list; one for real people, the other for Canadians like @smlois.

7. a_mandolin: As an artist, I always get asked “So what are you working on.” Attempting to stay above the poverty line seems to be a good answer.

8. batfishlighting: @jimonlight My ass is important. End of sentence

9. nickkeenan: Quote of eve from Don Hall: “Chicago Cancer Society raises tons of money: not by selling cancer. WHY DO WE SELL THEATRE AT FUNDRAISERS?”

10. dloehr: Thanks to Facebook event pages, “maybe” is the new “no.”

Previously: 2009 In Review: Blogging

2009 In Review: Blogging

Six months ago I took the plunge into self-hosted  WordPress.   I  had spent six months with a blogspot.com account which began as “Lois in La La Land”  and evolved into Lois Backstage.

At times my blogging has been frequent – there were periods in the past year where I wrote on almost a daily basis, but more often it has been sporadic, as thoughts hit me or shows inspired me or I ran across other people’s posts that I needed to share or I had a show of my own up that I wanted to make sure you all knew about.

In the past year I have written 113 posts.  My most popular post by far has been “You’ve Got Everything In There!” :: The SM Kit, followed by the Who Is Lois? page & the Upcoming Productions page.  Most people who are on search engines and click through to my blog are looking for info on stage manager’s kits, quotes from Slings & Arrows, or are actors I have worked with searching their own names (there are 6 or 7 of you and I know who you are!).  Mostly my traffic comes from twitter & facebook when I post links to new posts.  The other source of site traffic has been The Blue Room – a UK technical forum where one of the moderators happens to be a designer I’ve worked with who posted the link to my SM Kit post.  Thanks Matt!

Blogging has opened a lot of doors for me this past year.  It has connected me to some wonderful people through the World Theatre Day efforts (I’m thinking of you Simon, Rebecca, Jess, Nick, Travis & Kate!) and has got me interacting both nationally & internationally with theatre makers and engaging ideas.

Looking forward to 2010 I want to do a lot more with my blog.  I will no doubt still put together lists of recommended shows to see, but I will be focusing more on the technical side of theatre & specifically stage management whenever possible.  I also intend to be more frequent/consistent in my blogging.  My initial goal is to be posting approximately twice per week, but that those posts will be of a higher quality than a lot of what I posted this past year.  The numbers will be similar, but if the quality is improved, the blog is improved.  And I will be involved again with World Theatre Day 2010, so be watching the blog for more info about how you can get involved!

Previously: 2009 In Review: Shows I Saw

Fringe Buzz

I’ve been tweeting my thoughts on the shows I’ve been seeing, so rather than take the time to write reviews of Fringe shows (which I couldn’t do better than Plank Magazine anyways), I’m just going to post my tweet reviews here. I’ll update this post as I have more to add.

SMLois: If you like musicals or sex see Cableresque at #vanfringe. Not any plot but great singing, dancing, and stripping! 4.5 *s

SMLois: Just out of Afterlife: 5*s. Smart, funny 1 woman show. 3 more performances, do not miss it. #vanfringe

SMLois: Just saw Lavigna at #vanfringe. Super cute story with lots of laughs for kids and adults. 4*s

SMLois: Yesterday at #vanfringe: Nggrfg 4*s – took a bit to warm up then great & Circus (not really fringe) 5*s Great work from Sebastian Kroon.

SMLois: Drinks With Friends at #vanfringe: 3*s. The performance is strong but the script needs some work. Lots of funny moments.