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The Top 20 TheatreArtLife Articles of 2017

By Ashley Sutherland

Since the world premiere ofTheatreArtLife.com on April 28, 2017, our contributors have been writing incredible articles sharing their journey, advice, wisdom and experiences about working in the live entertainment and theatre industry. We are grateful to all of our TheatreArtLife readers and subscribers that have joined our community of industry professionals across the globe! Here are the top 20 TheatreArtLife Articles of 2017 in all of our four categories, On The Move, Staying Still, One & Done, and Lifestyle.

#20 Nobody Wants A Tardis Full Of Bras by Chelsea & Theresa Adams

We are huge Doctor Who fans. Tattoos in Galifreyan. Bowties everywhere. Tardis collectables. Whovian art. Huge fans. Having been fans for a while we have been around for a few regenerations (a little context – the character of the doctor doesn’t die, their body does, thus allowing for a revolving door of actors to portray the protagonist). There is a process that fans go through each time: mourning the old Doctor, feeling wary of the new Doctor, eventually giving them a chance, acceptance, which leads right back to mourning. The never-ending regeneration cycle… READ Nobody Wants A Tardis Full Of Bras

#19 Always Lighting: A Career In Lighting With Tom Wright by Anna Robb

Tom Wright caught up with TheatreArtLife to discuss his new company, Additive Lighting located in Melbourne, Australia.  Tom talks about what brought him to Oz and how he has carved his career path in the lighting design industry… READ Always Lighting: A Career In Lighting With Tom Wright

#18 Krista Monson: Exploring Humanity in Performance, Casting & Directing, Pt. 1 by Ashley Sutherland-Winch

Krista Monson is one of the most relevant creative minds in the entertainment industry today receiving requests to direct productions with the United Nations to Cirque du Soleil and A-List fashion designers.  From her humble beginnings as a dancer in Edmonton, Canada, to choreographer, casting director, artistic director, and now writer/director, Krista is a passionate woman who finds meaning in conceptual design and interpreting powerful messages to everyone in her path. Krista joined TheatreArtLife via Skype from her hotel room in Berlin where she is creating a new project that is sure to dazzle the world… READ Krista Monson: Exploring Humanity in Performance, Casting & Directing, Pt. 1 

#17 10 Tips For Great Theatrical Photos by Tom Fairchild

Tom Fairchild is a travel and portrait photographer who also specializes in capturing events and stage performances. Live theatre and events are some of the most difficult and challenging environments to be a photographer. They are dark, things move quickly and lighting is a challenge but here are ten tips to help you take great theatrical photos… READ 10 Tips For Great Theatrical Photos 

#16 Costs of Losing Long-Term Employees: Walking Knowledge by Jay Withee

Why do efficient, knowledgeable, long-term employees leave their jobs? Is it due to bad management, pay, policies or something else? These are great questions, but they are not in the scope of this article. If this article has caught your eye, you’ve probably read about these topics before. READ Costs of Losing Long-Term Employees: Walking Knowledge

#15 Top 11 Audition Tips For Theatre Students by Michelle Bombe

A letter to my theatre students before their auditions: I know this is hard. I know you have your heart set on a particular role. You aren’t the only one. This business is crazy.  It isn’t fair.  Most of the choices are not in your control. Get used to this. It is the way of our world… READ Top 11 Audition Tips For Theatre Students

#14 Follow Up To 16 Essential Items For An Entertainment Technician by Anna Robb

Tom Warneke’s 16 Essential Items For An Entertainment Technician article generated many comments and responses from around the globe, so we thought we would collate the feedback and follow up with the public’s suggestions and add to his list. So as decided by you all here are 6 additional items to consider for your kit… READ Follow Up To 16 Essential Items For An Entertainment Technician

#13 Theatre Etiquette 101: Phones, Snacks & Other Errors by Mena Buscetto

Picture this: it is the last scene of an emotionally charged, edge-of-your-seat, Broadway musical. The lights are low, there is no background music, only an actor-driven, plot-centric and incredibly moving scene happening onstage between two of the main characters. The conflict you and the other few hundred people in the audience have been agonizing over for the past act and a half is finally going to come to a close with this dialogue and… READ Theatre Etiquette 101: Phones, Snacks & Other Error

#12 Want To Work In Theatre? Start Saying Yes! by Theresa Snyder

Start saying yes, that’s the advice I give most often these days when younger people ask me what they should be doing to start their careers in entertainment. Sometimes it still feels strange to me that I have been in the business long enough that I’m the one giving advice, but I’m 16 years strong. Maybe it’s strange because the adventure of this job still feels like it’s just beginning for me… READ Want To Work In Theatre? Start Saying Yes! 

#11 Departure: Why People Leave Jobs? by Tom Warneke

I was reading Jay Withee’s article this morning, Costs Of Losing Long-Term Employees: Walking Knowledge and it got me to thinking just how much of an issue employee departure can be – not simply because of the impact that person has by leaving and the knowledge, that Jay so rightly points out, but more so, the underlying reasons of why often point to something much larger… READ Departure: Why People Leave Jobs?

#10 The Art Of Giving Notes To Unapproachable Artists by Terrence Williams

One hour before curtain, and my assistant, Tara, appeared to be a bit apprehensive. Knowing that I had given her a note for one of our show’s more difficult personalities, I asked her if everything was alright. “Yes, it’s alright,” she announced, “I just…” Her words broke off. And to be fair, I already knew. READ The Art Of Giving Notes To Unapproachable Artists

#9 DMX Demystified by Michael Cassera

What is DMX? I ask this question to every person I interview for a job. It’s an important question because while the lighting industry is using ethernet-based communication in certain situations, DMX will still be around for a very long time…READ DMX Demystified

#8 Redundancy in Theatrical Systems by Jay Withee

“Two is one and one is none.” This famous phrase describing redundancy, coined by the United States Navy Seals, was used to remind themselves of the basic concept that having one of something is the same as having nothing; leaving the operation open to failure and putting the military operation or people’s lives in the hand of chance…READ Redundancy in Theatrical Systems

#7 Freelancing In Theatre: Choosing Projects & Planning The Season by Erika Morey

As a stage manager, Spring can be a stressful time as the offers for the upcoming season start to roll in. At least, it is for me now. I should qualify this statement by saying that in the not-so-distant past, finding work at all was a bit of a struggle. This made decision-making pretty simple- I’d gladly jump on literally any offer that came my way. With a few years of experience under my belt now though, I’m coming into a place where I have to make some strategic decisions when I have multiple offers on the table. When it rains, it pours, as the saying goes, so inevitably they will all conflict and overlap in the most inconvenient ways. How do you choose? READ Freelancing In Theatre: Choosing Projects & Planning The Season

#6 Troubleshooting Your Theatrical Systems: Part 1 by Jay Withee

Let’s get one thing perfectly straight. There is not one single large-scale (or small-scale for that matter) theatrical system that has ever been created equal, but there is one thing that all system must have in common. The fact of this commonality between them is that when they fault or fail, any one of them can bring a show to a halt and if you’re not quick enough, it can even bring a perfect show to a swift and unexpected conclusion….READ Troubleshooting Your Theatrical Systems: Part 1

#5 Lessons In Stage Management by Justin Mabardi

When studying theater, one repeatedly hears the same cautionary tale… “If you can see yourself doing anything else for a career, you should do that instead.” It’s said to dissuade students from spending four or eight years earning (and paying for) degrees in a field that might not be useful to those who don’t find success. After twenty years as a working stage manager, I can tell you… READ Lessons In Stage Management

#4 How Do I Get Your Job? by Sarah Grubb

After a 15+ year career primarily working in large scale events, I often get asked ‘How do I get your job?’ by everyone from long term industry workers to recent graduates.  It really is the most asked question after I explain why I lived out of a suitcase in about 15 different countries for the past 10 years.  It is not an easy one to answer… READ How Do I Get Your Job?

#3 Stage Manager: Functionary or Creative? by Madison Burkett

If I was to ask who are the ‘Creatives’ on a theatre production, it’s fairly easy to guess most people’s response. At the top of most people’s list would be the director. If it’s a new work, next would be the playwright or composer and if it’s a…READ Stage Manager: Functionary or Creative?

#2 The Overlooked Characteristics Of Great Stage Managers by Melanie Selwood

When someone asks what makes a good stage manager, our answers are usually along the lines of organised, hard working, good humoured, tough, good with people. There are a few skills, though, that are less discussed – generosity, passion, persistence, consistency and care. All the best stage managers I have encountered have all of these. They are ‘soft skills’ – difficult to learn at university but can be fostered within oneself. READ The Overlooked Characteristics Of Great Stage Managers 

#1 16 Essential Items For An Entertainment Technician by Tom Warneke

I was on a job site last week and we were mid-show. The bands were changing over onstage and we were getting into the final stages of the night when all of a sudden one of the network racks started beeping incessantly. The headliner was next and we were under the ten-minute mark. Time pressure builds and the beeping won’t stop. Going one hundred miles an hour like trying to dispose of a bomb, what’s the problem and how do we fix it? Is there power? Is it the breaker? Is the UPS running? Are the batteries dead? If we don’t get this fixed, all the DMX fiber converters and switch racks will be offline, no data network means no show. In short – if we don’t get this right, show’s over…READ 16 Essential Items For An Entertainment Technician

We would like to send a huge THANK YOU to all of our contributors for writing articles for us in 2017! We can’t wait to see what you write in 2018. Stay Tuned!

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