Hey everyone! Pat here – I know, it’s been a while. It’s been pretty busy in the sales world but I’m back to tell you a bit about what I’ve been up to. This past week I had the privilege of attending the National Community Theatre Festival (AACT) in Rochester, MN. It was my first business trip and the first time that I had ever attended a theatre festival as a vendor and and not as a thespian. It was quite the experience!
For those reading who are unfamiliar AACT, they are a national theatre organization that’s goal is to empower local theatres across the US to be pillars of creativity in their communities. They accomplish this by offering numerous benefits to all of the organizations that join their association. Benefits include discounts and special offers from theatre related companies (ie. the licensing houses that we’re partnered with here at BMD), national & local awards, exclusive accessibility to help articles, discussion groups and invitations to conferences and workshops (like the one I was able to attend in Minnesota).
Seeing as how the vast majority of the clients we have here at BMD are amateur theatres (about 75% are high school or community theatres), it was awesome to be among the type of people that I speak with over the phone all the time. We were actually a part of a small group of people who were from the west coast, specifically California.
It was awesome putting faces to names with the folks from TRW, MTI, Tams Witmark, Samuel French etc. I was able to attend conferences about image branding from Disney (yes, that Disney) and hear speakers such as Michael John LaChiusa (a Tony award-nominated composer, lyricist, and librettist) talk about their passion and artistic endeavours.
My favorite part of the whole festival was, of course, the live performances. Community theatres from across the United States were invited to perform either a one act show or condense a longer show to fit within an hour or so of stage time. The caveat being that they also had to set up and dismantle their entire show (including light and sound design) in 10 minutes. 10 minutes to set up and 10 minutes to break down. Otherwise they would be disqualified from the festival competition. It was actually quite fascinating to see. Watching the setting up and breaking down was almost another show in and of itself!
I couldn’t help but think how awesome it would’ve been if one of the shows had utilized projections in their performances. They quite simply would have just had to turn everything on and presto they’d be ready to put on a show! What would they do with all the extra time they saved? Maybe one year one of the participants at the festival will use some of our scenic projections in their production- that would be something to see (maybe it would even save them some money too because they wouldn’t have to bring as many people to the festival, from a technical standpoint)!
Anyhow, it was a great time. Rochester is a beautiful city- clean, green and welcoming. I really enjoyed being immersed in a theatre culture at AACT. Who do so much to make the communities we all live in a more cultured place because of the arts!
Over and out.
PAT NALTY, Account Manager
Pat hails from sunny SoCal, (San Diego to be exact) where he grew up playing basketball and performing theatre in high school. He attended Fresno State University where he majored in Theatre Arts with an emphasis in acting. If he wasn’t an account manager for BMD he’d probably be a basketball coach (think Red Auerbach, Phil Jackson, Gregg Popovich, etc). He resides in Clovis, California, with his wife, three children and his American Bulldog, Marshmallow. His favorite musical is Thoroughly Modern Millie or anything Sutton Foster is in.