I attended the University of Southern California, where I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in stage management. The stage management classes at that time were taught by Jonathan Lee, production manager at Center Theatre Group and Mary Klinger, one of the production stage managers at Center Theatre Group. They taught us well in the classroom, but we also got ample opportunity for hands-on experience. We went as a class to tape out a rehearsal room floor at the Annex and we each got to observe tech rehearsal at the Mark Taper Forum for an hour as well as to hear Mary call a show from the booth. Amazing!
After graduation, I worked at many Equity waiver/99-seat theaters in the Greater Los Angeles area. In addition, I got to stage manage several readings for Center Theatre Group’s New Plays Initiative. This led to production assistant positions on Nickel and Dimed and Topdog/Underdog at the Taper. One day, I received a call from Anthony Byrnes and Luis Alfaro, co-producers for new play development at CTG. They were looking for a stage manager for both Taper Too productions of Sex Parasite and Slanguage that summer of 2004 at the Ivy Substation. I would get my Equity card!
I was ecstatic that they trusted me and believed in me. Sex Parasite director Chay Yew also hired me for my next two shows: M. Butterfly at East West Players and A Winter People at The Theatre @ Boston Court. That next year, I got to work on three of the six shows in the premiere season of the new Kirk Douglas Theatre.
I moved to New York City in 2005 and was blessed to work with producers, directors and companies that continued to believe in me and led me to stage manage my first Broadway show in 2012 – Venus in Fur at Manhattan Theatre Club.
It’s a journey. And I’m lucky to have so many who helped me along the way. I’ve tried to give back as much as I can so I, too, can help others grow and get their Equity cards.