Tom: Winter Internship

Hi all!

BU Students, Welcome back to Campus! I am very happy to be back on campus for my last semester ever (GASP!).

 

While most students spent their Winter Break streaming Netflix, catching up with old friends, and taking corny family photos – I spent my winter break by returning to my summer internship at AKA NYC. AKA NYC is a Broadway and live entertainment boutique advertising and marketing agency located in… yes, you guessed it… New York City. Some of their clients include MATILDA THE MUSICAL, ROCK OF AGES, and the recently closed SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK. I returned to the company as a Marketing and Promotions Intern.

Interning over the winter break was an excellent opportunity to get back to the swing of interning, reconnect with old friends and co-workers, and to continue to broaden my experience in the theater industry. You would be surprised how much you can learn even in just a three week internship, and are even more surprised by how much changes in just four months.

Most importantly, my winter internship reinvigorated my love for theatrical advertising moving into this semester. While my auditions are still in the works, I’m certainly hoping to get back at Theatre Producing in my last semester with BU On Broadway and BU Stage Troupe. When I have more info on what shows I will be working on this semester, I’ll be sure to share!

Cheers to a happy spring semester (and my last!)

-Tom

Taylor: November Has Me All Shook Up!

Boston is a melting pot filled with thoughts and experiences of a lifetime, and it has me constantly in BURNING LOVE. I could not have imagined myself in any other place than this Commonwealth during the 2012 elections. The amount of canvassing and advertising, the sheer thrill of being near the headquarters of a presidential hopeful, and the diverse ranges of opinions are elements that will forever resonate in my thoughts.

 

At the Boston Public Library interviewing voters about their candidate choice for a journalism assignment.

This month I’ve had the great opportunity of making my BU on Broadway debut in an Elvis Presley inspired musical “All Shook Up” directed by COM Ambassador Tom Schrank. The experience of working with such an awesome directorial team and cast is indescribable. Not since I landed in Boston have I felt more enthused and excited about the future. Stepping on stage again after staying inactive freshmen year reignited my passion of performance and storytelling.

On stage performing in "All Shook Up"

Whether you enjoy solely conversing about politics or singing a few measures within a song, it is never too late to get involved in a campus activity. The experience is so worthy!

So much COMmotion backstage!

It’s Now or Never,

Taylor W.

 

Tom: The Life of a Student Director

Hey all! I hope you have all had a great start to the fall season. I’ve always been more of a winter person so the change to the new season always puts me in a good mood.

Besides the change in weather, the biggest thing on my mind has been the production I am directing through BU On Broadway, our musical theater group on campus. For anyone interested in doing extracurricular theater on campus, I am going to discuss how people can balance both their coursework and their extracurricular activities.

To start from the beginning, I was given the opportunity to direct the musical, All Shook Up, after having pitched the group to the Executive Board back in the spring. Since the group is entirely student run, teams interested in putting on their own show (as director, music director, or choreographer) pitch which show they want to do. The Executive Board and a select pitch committee deliberate on which show fits the group and the season. After an extensive pitch, my team was given the opportunity to direct.

Directing has been both a stressful, but extremely rewarding, experience. Being granted the experience of running an entire production has always been my dream and has definitely exceeded all my expectations. At the same time, being a student director is never an easy task. While one minute I’m cramming for my COM midterm, at another second I’m thinking about how to stage a particular scene. All of this is in between thinking about scheduling, sitting in meetings, and giving constant pep talks to my cast members.

My recommendation to anyone in COM is to take advantage of every opportunity. Even if you think you may be overwhelmed, the experience will be rewarding in too many ways. The opportunities are also great resume boosters! While getting internships is almost a necessity within COM, sometimes the greatest opportunities also come in extracurricular activities.

Signing Out,

Tom

Taylor: Try Something Different

TRUE OR FALSE: Figuring out a daily routine and sticking to it should become priority for college students. Prior the start of my sophomore year, I would have totally agreed with the previous statement. However, during these past four weeks on campus I have come to understand the depth of spontaneity.

Now I am not discouraging terrier-ific COMers to invest in planners. I passionately urge students to create a general schedule with course deadlines along with personal projects. However, I am beginning to understand how much of an enjoyable experience college can be with the inclusion of activities outside of your major field.

For instance, I have recently been cast in BU On Broadway’s fall musical, All Shook Up. Participating in this production is a major change from my campus involvement last year. I am actively involved in both BUTV10 and WTBU, so my personal calendar has endured a scheduling tornado. However, I am enjoying every moment of my involvement. I took the initiative to try something different from my intended major and I have come to fall in love with new family I have joined.

So take advantage of the COMmotion, study hard, and enjoy life!

Taylor

 

Tom: Reasons Why You Should Live in StuVi

Hey all! Hope you are all off to a wonderful start to the fall semester – I know my junior year went off with a bang of new activities, new faces and new responsibilities. Just in the past three weeks, I cast my BU On Broadway production of All Shook Up (more to come on this in future blog posts!), we held the first annual #COMGames for freshmen, I started classes, and I applied to go abroad to London next semester. Lots of exciting things to begin – I’m slightly overwhelmed but overall ecstatic and thrilled with an exciting semester.

But easily the best part of moving in this semester was that I got to live at 33 Harry Agganis Way in Student Village (StuVi2, as we call it). I’m living in a double with my friend Shane in an eight person suite on the 7th floor (overlooking the Charles River). While the thought of an eight person suite may seem daunting, StuVi2 is definitely the best living situation I’ve been in yet.

Here are my top reasons you should live in StuVi if you get the chance:

1)      Appearance

You always hear “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” You 100% should judge StuVi by what it looks like because it is beautiful. My parents were awestruck by the lobby that makes you feel like you walked into a Marriott Hotel. When you get into the rooms, the good looks don’t stop there. And like I mentioned earlier, the glorious view of the Charles through the large windows is certainly an amazing sight to wake up to in the morning.

2)      The Air-Conditioning

While campus never gets too hot in the fall, there is absolutely nothing like retreating under a blanket after a long day of classes and activities. And with the air conditioning, your room will always be cool to do so.

3)      Space

The space in the rooms in StuVi is not to be believed. I’m in a double room in StuVi but the amount of space we have makes us feel like we have two separate rooms and are just missing the wall that divides them. As they say in Step Brothers, “So much room for activities!”

4)      The BU Bus Stop

This is probably the greatest of the reasons. Picture Me: First day of class, dressed all nice, new shoes. And I walk outside, and it’s raining. Obviously I was immediately distressed, but then when the BU Bus pulled up RIGHT IN FRONT of StuVi I was instantly relieved. I made it all the way to class without even getting a drop of rain on me. Talk about a wonderful place for a BU Bus Stop.

I can go on and on with reasons, but I think you get the point. If you want to see more, definitely check out what BU Housing put together on StuVi and check it out yourself! http://www.bu.edu/housing/residences/stuv/

Tom: The Balancing Act of College

Tom ImageHey guys! I am back and blogging for you guys again. Earlier in the semester I told you guys that I was auditioning for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Time sure does fly by as I am now in the final week of rehearsals before opening night!! For the past month, my life has been schoolwork, work, rehearsal & sleep, all day everyday. But I’ve still managed to find time for a social life. For this blog post, I’ve chosen to write my Top 5 Tips for surviving the balancing act of college.

1.     Caffeine… but with a limit. I am so grateful to be on a campus that has five Starbucks locations on campus. When I’m trying to balance all of the different things, I find my daily dose of caffeine a necessity. However, you need to keep it within limit. Pulling all nighters with a redbull in hand is never productive. A cup of coffee or two will do you fine.

2.     Find the best study space. If it wasn’t for my favorite go-to study space (The Starbucks in SMG), I would never be productive. Find a productive place to do all of your work and you will get work done in half the time!

3.     Get plenty of sleep. You will only be able to function with enough sleep. While it may seem like a better idea to stay up all night and finish all your work, trust me – getting sleep will lead to more efficient work.

4.     Know when to say “no”. My classic problem is the “over-achieving, I want to take on the world” problem. You know what I’m talking about – you want to be on the Executive Board for five different clubs, while working and while maintaining a 4.0. Trust me, learn when is enough and learn to say “no” to commitments that come your way.

5.     Stay Calm! Probably most important of all. College is a time to have fun – not be stressed. Do things that keep you calm – take a mental health day and go shopping or go to the movies, and never let yourself get too overwhelmed.

Follow these five tips (and maybe even learn some of your own) and you will be good to go! I’ve managed to balance a part-time job, COM Ambassador duties, my school work and all of my work with BU On Broadway. I have confidence you’ll be able to handle the balancing act of college the same way.

Signing off,

Tom

Tom: I Wanna Be a Producer

Tom ImageHey guys! Last time you saw me I gave you guys the rundown about how to conquer auditions at Boston University. This time I’m back with some more theater for you guys. Now I bet you guys are thinking – “yes, Tom’s really into theater, but what does this have to do with the College of Communication?” Through my involvement with BU On Broadway, I managed to find a way to combine my major in advertising with my passion for theater: I became a Producer.

Last semester, I took on being a producer for the first time for our production of The Producers (I know… producer of The Producers, way too much producer in one sentence.) Taking on the role of producer was a much bigger commitment than I thought it was, but it provided me with a huge resume and experience booster for the future. Plus, it was actually something I enjoyed doing and was applicable to my future career.

So what does a Producer do exactly?

1. Advertising, Advertising, and more Advertising. The Producer’s main job is to sell the show. This involves everything including poster design, T-Shirt design, and handouts for us to give out in the George Sherman Union. We also ran a social media campaign for the production using the hashtag: #PrOBucers (note the “OB” (On Broadway) in the middle).

2. Managing the Budget. Ah, the budget. A COM kid’s least favorite word. Unfortunately, being a Producer isn’t all fun and games advertising. You also need to take the cost of the whole production into account. The producers are responsible for making sure that the tech crew stays within their budget and are reimbursed through the Student Activities Office for all the purchases they made. While very tedious, managing a budget is an extremely valuable skill I picked up that’s relevant to any future in Account Management.

3. Work with the Student Activities Office. As On Broadway is a student group on campus, someone needs to be responsible for checking in with the Student Activities Office. This is where the producers come in. The producers need to fill out numerous forms in addition to making sure everything is set for opening night.

Here’s some advice:

While I’m not recommending everyone interested in communication run out and be a producer, I would advise new COM students to do what their passionate about. I got involved with On Broadway as an actor, and managed to blend my love for theater with my future aspirations in advertising. My advice: be a good student and stick to what you love. Your career aspirations will eventually work out.

That’s all for now! I hope to keep you updated with my newest producing endeavor: this spring’s production of Spring Awakening!

Tom: Auditions, Auditions, and More Auditions

TomHey guys! The second week of classes only means one thing for students involved in theater on campus: Auditions.

While running between my own auditions, I figured I would share with you guys the procedure for auditioning for some of our theater groups on campus. For the purposes of this blog post, I’m only going to go into auditions for BU On Broadway and Stage Troupe, but there are also many other theater groups on campus you can get involved in!

First Up: BU On Broadway.

Here’s some background. BU On Broadway (OB) is our premier musical theater group on campus. The group typically puts on two shows a semester (this semester being Spring Awakening and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee). Like all extracurricular theater groups, everything is student run from its direction to its acting. Students are welcome to pitch shows as long as they have a director and musical director on the pitch and a committee, along with the executive board, choose the plays that go up each semester.

Now, how to audition. You are welcome to audition for both shows for the group, but are only able to be cast in ONE. After auditions and callbacks, the directors of both shows meet to discuss who is cast in what. Both directing teams are in the same room at the time of the audition, so to make it simple, you just need to prepare one song (16-32 bars) for both shows. If you are lucky enough to get called back for both, they will coordinate with each other to make sure everyone is seen. My favorite part of having two shows is that it casts many more people each semester, as opposed to having just one show that everyone is auditioning for.

Next Up: Stage Troupe.

Here’s some background. Stage Troupe is our oldest and largest theater group on campus. While they predominantly put on straight plays, students are also welcome to pitch a musical for the group. The group puts on four plays a semester ranging from works by Arthur Miller to more contemporary works such as Farragut North and Dog Sees God. The same as OB, students pitch the shows they are interested in directing. Slightly different from OB, the shows are voted on by the general membership.

Now, how to audition. For auditions, the directors are in different rooms, but you are still welcome to audition for more than one (or all) of the shows. In the same fashion as OB, the directors will meet at the end to discuss who is cast in what show. For any straight play you audition for, you do not need to come with anything prepared: The directors will give you a side from the show for a cold-read. If the show is a musical, you will need to prepare 16-32 bars of a song (like OB).

To wrap it up. I’m sure you guys are thinking right now: “wait… how do we know what group to audition for?” The best part is, both groups coordinate with each other as well so you can audition for both groups. You are definitely open to audition for all six shows put on my both groups if you so wanted. My first semester I auditioned for four of the shows and got called back for three. Let me tell you: it certainly was a rough callback night.  A word of advice: I would choose just a few shows to audition for.

That’s all for my audition guidelines. Stay tuned through the semester while I blog about everything from theater to advertising.

Tom: One Week Away

Tom
Tom Schrank

My spring semester run in BU On Broadway’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is almost coming to an end. We open in one week and I’ve never seen a process go so fast before. I remember way back in January when I was auditioning for the show and now we’re just a week away from our opening night at Tsai Performance Center.

Sweeney Todd is such a hard show to put on, but it’s such a fun show to be in the Ensemble of. I have three different wives throughout the show, I get my tooth pulled (you can get a sneakpeak of that scene in my COM Ambassador video!), and I get to play a lunatic (CITY ON FIRE!!!!).
At this point, my life is getting super stressful, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. Right now, we are meeting everyday in our rehearsal space right after dinner until 11. Next week, we move into tech week, where I’ll pretty much spend every waking moment of my life at Tsai Performance Center until we do our first opening night on Thursday!
Being involved with BU On Broadway’s Sweeney Todd was one of the highlights of my semester here at BU. It kept me busy for a three-month rehearsal period and I met so many people in the past three months that I never would have met previously. Plus, what’s better than a show about human meat pies? I mean, come on.