Season 10 Blogathon: Jen Gantwerker

It’s become a tradition at Brelby to spend the month of November reflecting on our artform and how it impacts us through our annual Blogathon. This year, in honor of our 10th Season, our Blogathon participants will be sharing lists of 10 things that have impacted them, whether they be lessons or memories…or are looking ahead towards future goals. 

Today’s blogger, Jen Gantwerker, is a sketch comedy queen who recently helped direct our production of Return to Rosie’s Pub. She’s been seen onstage in roles such as Lady M and Rosalind Franklin, and loves to keep our space organized.

Enjoy below as Jen shares with us 10 Lessons that she has learned from being an artist.


10 Artistic Lessons

I have held almost every job in the world of theatre, and I’ve learned something from each one.

  1. From directing: Your ideas are only as good as your ability to explain them to the actors and designers.
  2. From prop design: Nobody cares if the envelopes have accurate postmarks on them. But you’ll know.  Oh, you’ll know.
  3. From stage managing: If you are wondering whether or not to make a spreadsheet, make one.
  4. From wardrobe crew: Designers who use linen suits in their design hate the wardrobe crew. No amount of starch will keep them unwrinkled for more than ten minutes.  Also, someone will tear their pants during the run of the show.  It’s not a question of if but of when.
  5. From set construction: If it’s in the building while the set is being painted, it will end up with paint on it.
  6. From electrician work: The warning about standing on the top few steps of the ladder ceases to have meaning once that ladder is inside a theater.
  7. From producing: Avoid scheduling production meetings the morning after a daylight savings time changeover. Or move to Arizona and don’t worry about it ever again.
  8. From teaching: Even if you think it goes without saying that a classroom pantomime shouldn’t include someone sitting on the toilet, say it.
  9. From playwriting: Put it in the punctuation, not the stage directions.
  10. From acting: Listen. Oh, and mind the punctuation.

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