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

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.