On a Wednesday matinee efficiency of Broadway’s “& Juliet,” assistant firm supervisor Annie Schroeder is making the rounds backstage.
The present is a humorous tackle what would occur if Juliet of “Romeo and Juliet” elected not to take her life and determined, as a substitute, to journey to Paris along with her crew of besties (good nurse included). In lieu of authentic tunes, “& Juliet” works in iconic pop hits resembling Backstreet Boys’ “Larger Than Life” and Katy Perry‘s “Teenage Dream.”
Schroeder walks round via workplaces, dressing rooms and inexperienced rooms checking in with the show’s various players. Did the assistant stage supervisor who was out on medical depart obtain her catered meals? (She did.) What is the replace on new ensemble member Kate Mina Lin? (She’s trailing solid member Rachel Webb at 1:30.) Is the merch sales space out of beanies? (Sure.)
Schroeder’s important process each present is checking ticket gross sales and sending numbers up to the producers. But as assistant firm supervisor, she has her arms in a lot of the behind-the-scenes logistics of the present as properly. “She’s a sister girl,” says solid member Michael Ivan Provider, and he or she’s “the mother that needs to stay out of my room.”
So far as work’s involved, it is precisely what Schroeder had in thoughts. She’s partial to “having my foot in every part of the show,” she says.
Working in theater ‘is what I need to do’
Schroeder, 28, grew up in Columbus, Ohio, all the time a theater child.
She was enrolled in a drama program for teenagers in elementary faculty, joined drama membership and took on appearing, stage managing and directing in highschool, and finally attended Otterbein College for her bachelor’s in theater. It was there that she found her love of the small print of what makes a efficiency.
Schroeder’s faculty hosted an annual drag present that raised cash for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. She put the present on with a good friend and within the course of realized what balancing the funds of a efficiency is basically about: paying these concerned, protecting the price of merch and promoting and nonetheless elevating cash for the charity. But Schroeder had a knack for it.
“Over the three years, we ended up tripling what we made in sales,” she says.
When an alumnus of her faculty working as a firm supervisor of the “Kinky Boots” present on tour got here to discuss to her class and described his function, Schroeder realized, “Oh, this is what I do for drag show,” she says. “This is what I want to do.”
‘I sort of describe [Broadway] as like a meals chain’
It takes dozens of individuals to placed on a Broadway present.
There’s the actors, writers, composers, producers and administrators, in fact, but in addition the choreographers, casting administrators, sound designers, costume designers, lighting designers, hair and make-up designers, stage managers, common managers, associates and assistants to the aforementioned, sound mixers, electricians, props managers, bodily therapists, accountants and extra.
“I kind of describe it as like a food chain,” says Schroeder. “Producers are at the top. They’re the ones that are raising all the money.” Additionally they carry on the overall administration workplace, which creates the finances for the present and hires everybody else (with enter from producers). This contains hiring the corporate managers, who’re liable for payroll, coverage enforcement and assembly the day-to-day wants of choose patrons, solid and crew.
Schroeder’s day normally begins round 10 or 11 within the morning and ends round 9 or 9:30 at night time.
“One of our actors, Mel, came from England,” she says for example of a current workday. “At one point I was balancing a payroll sheet, budgeting, and at the same time I’m unpacking, like, 200 boxes from Amazon actually moving this woman into her apartment.”
Technically, she will get in the future off per week. Usually she’s roped into last-minute duties even on that day, although.
“Sunday was my day off and I think we got four or five last-minute house seat orders,” she says, referring to seats booked privately via the present for VIPs or folks within the firm. “I spent the morning getting those last bits of ticketing in.”
‘I am barely breaking even’
Just about all roles on Broadway are unionized. They’re a part of simply 10% of the American workforce that is represented by a union, according to the Department of Labor.
Schroeder’s function is beneath the jurisdiction of the Association of Theatrical Press Agents and Managers. She’s about a quarter of the way in which towards getting her membership, which requires working for 52 weeks on legitimate contracts over up to three consecutive seasons, a collection of seminars plus an oral and a written take a look at.
As soon as she turns into a member, she’ll have entry to medical health insurance, a pension plan, paid trip and holidays and different advantages. Affiliate firm managers, the following step up from Schroeder’s present function, who’re within the union make a minimal of $2,466 per week with a full profit bundle. She’s presently making half of that.
“I’m barely breaking even,” she says.
‘You’ve got to be a little bit loopy if you’d like to do that’
Even as soon as she’s within the union, Schroeder will not essentially be assured work.
“You jump from show to show all the time,” she says. “You never know if a show is going to close. You never know if you get a job and then it’s going to end up not getting to the stage.” But she’s constructing a community for herself and has to date been ready to regularly e-book gigs.
“Something that I remember a college professor told me on our first week of classes was, ‘you have to be a little bit crazy if you want to do this for the rest of your life,'” she says. There are each every day fires to put out and uncertainty in the long term.
But then there’s magic, too. At the very least as soon as week, and on tough days specifically, Schroeder tries to watch each the primary act of “& Juliet” and the viewers’s response to it. Seeing their adoration and respect for what’s occurring on stage feeds her.
“It was tough at first,” she says of the job. “But I think, for right now, I love it.”
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