A Moment With Erika Morey
By Erika Morey
TheatreArtLife was created by the live entertainment and theatre industry for the industry. Our contributors are industry professionals working about the globe on shows and productions. In our “A Moment With” series, we give the opportunity to our contributors to tell their story and share their personal journey working in the entertainment industry.
How did you get started in your career?
My career in stage management began mostly by accident. While I’d enjoyed acting in high school and developed a casual interest in theatre quite early, I never considered that I could be paid to do it. I went off to university quite confident that I wanted to pursue Political Science – but kept finding excuses to get involved in the theatre department. By the end of my first year, I was spending all my spare time volunteering and exploring different areas of theatre production. That summer, I landed a job as a PA for a local theatre company. I was ecstatic to be making money doing what I loved, so earning $400 CAD per week felt like a fortune to me. With some encouragement from the production’s excellent stage manager, I had the confidence to leave my program before the fall semester. I began my professional apprenticeship the following year, and the rest is history!
What is the best role/job/gig have you done and why?
I’m only half-joking when I say my best gig was dog-wrangling for a college production of Legally Blonde. That pooch was adorable, made her entrances every time, and was always super excited to see me backstage!
In truth, though, one of my favourite gigs was stage managing a production of Million Dollar Quartet that played at two venues in Ontario, Canada last summer. I didn’t think the show was my cup of tea at first, but the experience really reminded me how positive leadership can inspire all departments to put their best foot forward. When everyone feels excited about what they have to contribute, it’s reflected in the final product, and there’s so much room left for having fun. And have fun we did! The people really made that process.
What was the worst task you were given when you were starting out?
Cleaning up mouse and squirrel poop in a rehearsal hall located in the basement of a Masonic lodge. Vacuuming up dead flies in a rehearsal hall located in the basement of a house that was for sale. And fixing many broken toilets.
What do you think is your best skill?
It’s difficult to see from the outside, but I definitely endeavor to create an environment where everyone feels supported, respected, and heard.
What do other people think is your best skill?
I wish I had an answer for this one – but that would require asking other people!
What advice would you give your 18-year old self?
Trust your instincts. Get to the point. Embrace criticism. Admit fault. (All of that advice is still relevant, actually.)
What is your job now?
I’m stage managing a production of The Monument, a well-known Canadian play that our Director has re-contextualized to examine the issue of Canada’s missing and murdered indigenous women. The show goes up at Factory Theatre in Toronto, Canada on March 15- April 1, 2018. Learn more about The Monument.