Monday, March 22, 2010

Producing Unique Performances in Unique Spaces

I have been asked to teach a class today at San Diego State on "Event Planning in Non-Traditional Spaces," a topic I have lectured on for several years now. Unlike a large symphony or theater company, Orchestra Nova does not have a "home." Instead, we are fortunate enough to have several: from low-tech churches to state-of-the-art concert halls.

For a production manager, presenting in different venues has its own set of opportunities and challenges. For example, at Qualcomm Hall I am fortunate enough to work with a professional stage crew of ten, operating the lighting, sound, video, and stage moves. We are able to use Jung-Ho's computer backstage and run a full video display during the concerts. There are plenty of dressing rooms, well-stocked refrigerators, and a backstage paging system. Oh yeah, and a 9-foot Steinway on site if we should need one. In contrast, when we perform at St. Paul's Cathedral, the lights are controlled by a breaker box in the hallway, several columns make it difficult to view video, and the musicians need to line up outside before they take the stage as space is limited. We also have to use music stand lights and a special light below Jung-Ho's podium so that the musicians can see his hands. The stage manager and I do the stage set up, any stage moves, and put the church back together at the end of the night.

We have gotten to know each venue intimately and we know what can be done in each space. I would urge our guests to try out the different venue...each experience is completely unique.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The more you know...

I don't know about the for-profit world, but in the not-for-profit world there are lots and lots of opportunities for improving your knowledge and skills. In the sector there is a great deal of on-the-job training, but outside learning is always encouraged and appreciated. There are many aspects of working in the not-for-profit world that we don't know coming in - these are skills and talents that must be honed and improved over time and if you can take a class in it, all the better!
Right now I am taking a course through the Fieldstone Foundation - a great foundation in Southern California and Utah. The course series is called the Executive Learning Group and has a cadre of wonderful NPO leaders from around San Diego involved. Our sessions are lead by Tom Hall, former Executive Director of the Old Globe and a very talented administrator/consultant.
Some other opportunities for learning that I am pursuing are through the San Diego Foundation - at the end of March I hope to take a course through the Foundation on Corporate Partnerships and in April begin a six-month course in Development. I am so excited about the possibilities of continued learning so that I can better serve Orchestra Nova and our family of supporters.