I been looking at what I love to do and trying to actively do more of it. I've discovered one of my passions is teaching. Although I don't have a degree in education, I have found plenty of opportunities to teach tons of folks plenty of things. I teach workshops around Chicago, I've been a guest lecturer at my Alma Mater and I had the wonderful opportunity to work with the theatre students at Crystal Lake South High School back in 2015.
I got my start in theatre in high school and it was a real trip to be on the other side as an adult.
West Leyden High School. I started with a theatre class in my freshman year and a couple of auditions for the shows where I quickly learned that memorization was not my strong suit. After I realized I was not interested in acting on stage, I dove in to the fascinating world of backstage theatre. I worked under the guidance of Chris Jensen. We built scenery and put practical life skills to use.
It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my high school career and helped me find a place to fit in. I jumped when this opportunity crossed my path. I've wanted to return the gift of acceptance that I got from my high school techie experience.
My first meeting with all of the students was our Safety Training. Coming in as the responsible adult in the room I wanted to make sure all of the students had common knowledge of the tools of the technicians trade. In addition to screw gun and saw training, I made sure we had examples of how to clean a brush and how to lift properly. I enlisted the assistance of the more senior technicians. I taught each one the lesson they were teaching and wrote them a script that they followed. I love getting the chance to give these kids more responsibility and ownership over the theatre and the skills they were developing. The best way to know what you know is to try and teach it.
When we had our safety walk through I made sure every kid was comfortable and safe. Regardless, I always held my breath anytime they were zooming around. The kids only fell a couple of times through the run of the show, but no broken bones!
My favorite thing was bringing tips and tricks from my extensive work in the storefront scene in Chicago into my work. The kids have very little experience in the theatre and it made it extra cool to bring in something they have never seen before and give them a touch of the theatre magic at a higher level. The trick that I brought in that wowed the students the most was painting the floor. As a trained scenic artist, I lean on my paint skills to transform a space. We brought beautiful color into the floor to complete the entire stage picture.
It was a blast working with these kids and I look forward to working with some of them again when I bump into them in the industry.