Spend some time with General Manager Dani Rose, and how she's felt about her first three months with Exile.
Incredibly, I’ve been the General Manager of Theatre Exile for three months. It feels like forever and also no time at all. I’m happy to be working with such an exciting and incredible company. I mean, who doesn’t want to come to a show full of blood and body parts and interesting characters and shockingly touching moments and challenging themes? Usually, I’m the one in black standing on stage long after the audience has left. I’m left behind to pick up those body parts and scrub the blood away. Now I find myself sitting at a desk, wondering how much it costs to make the blood or order the body parts. Talk about a change of perspective.
So – three months in, my brain is feeling all spongy. I’m learning so much new information it’s like being in college again. And it’s a really interesting time to be new in Exile. So much has changed and is changing. I think it’s safe for me to say that former Managing Director Bryan Clark’s departure from Exile left a void I cannot hope to fill. Leah, our Marketing Director announced that she’d been accepted to Grad school (YAY LEAH!) not too long after I started. Brenna’s relationship with Exile changed almost immediately after I started. And, oh right, we went immediately into our final production of the season. You may have heard of it, A Behanding in Spokane. I really only had two options: run screaming or start color coding. Apparently being an anal retentive organizer makes me feel better.
Our Google calendar now employs all 10 available colors. Our daily agenda prints out two pages long. This is one BUSY office. Even thought we take the time for a coffee run every morning, by the time I’ve cleaned out my inbox for the day I look down at my empty iced coffee cup and realize that I haven’t even looked away from my computer in the last 3 hours. That’s usually the time for a cigarette. And by the end of the day I look down at my to-do list and both pat myself on the back for my daily accomplishments and cringe at the amount of items I will still be working on tomorrow. And the next day. And the next week. Sitting at a desk in Exile, time is inadequate and infinite.
So what have I done? Well, if you’re hanging out at Columbus Square Park you’ll notice our new sign. Temporary as she may be, she’s ours. And so now we get even less people walking in the front door asking if we service cars or hold polling for elections… and a few of them have even walked in to buy tickets! I’m pretty quick on a calculator nowadays and my skills with Excel have grown exponentially. The thing I still have to learn is not getting “Excel” and “Exile” confused after crunching numbers all day. Maybe I’ll perfect that in my next three months. I’ve also managed to employ 4 GREAT interns for the summer – Brey, Josh, Gili and Jenn just started this week and are ROCKING! They are super smart and enthusiastic, and you’ll get to meet them all at the Cabaret – so say hi! And I haven’t had the building shut down because I forgot to pay the rent or utilities – so that’s something.
I still find myself say “Oh! I do that?” but every day I learn something new, so I guess that’s the major accomplishment. I’ve not yet hit the wall where I can no longer absorb the torrential downpour of information in my daily forecast. It helps that we keep it light in the office - only in a theatre office will you get full performances of absurd and forgotten musicals during the work day (until Clara plays “Johanna” from Sweeny Todd, and then heads roll). I’m certain it’s Clara’s “Heiress Voice” that keeps my sanity (imagine what a pretentious & melodramatic Drag Queen on Steroids would sound like – and try not to laugh).
If we’re being perfectly honest here – if we’re standing in “Truth Corner” as we call it in the office – I freaking love this job! I thought I would miss Stage Managing – and maybe I will, maybe I’m just so overwhelmed with newness that I’ve not gotten the opportunity to miss being backstage – but as it turns out being passionate and supportive and a Ms. Bossy Britches can be done in the black or behind a desk.
Spo- Can (Spokane) you buy me a drink? Because someone needs to cheers with me to Three Months in Exile!!