Charm City Ballet

116 Lake Front Drive, Cockeysville, MD 21030

charmcityballet@gmail.com

443-318-4902

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THE JOBS OF ACC

There are countless people who work to create a stage production like A Christmas Carol. Most obvious are the dancers themselves, but a production like this can be thought of like an iceberg: what you see is only about 10% of the picture. The other 90% exists under the surface. From costumes, to set construction, to lighting design, there is far more to the development of a show than meets the eye. Here you will get to explore some of the "other" people that make A Christmas Carol a success and learn about what they do and how they do it.

COSTUMES

[SYDNEY]

Tell us your role in the production of ACC  and what that means.

I am a costumer. I collaborate with the artistic director to discuss and execute costume design details by altering and repairing current costumes, and creating and constructing new ones when needed. I usually start my work when the cast is set and continue until the last curtain falls for the season.

What are some of the most important aspects of your job and why are they important to the show?

I think the most important aspect of being a costumer is helping the directors share their vision of the show with the audience. Sometimes this might mean 

late nights and multiple trips back to the drawing board until we are seeing the same thing, but it’s all worth it in the end.

What are your favorite parts of the work?

I love when the show finally comes together and everyone is back stage doing hair, putting on headpieces and costumes, when the music starts and the dancers take the stage, the excitement of the quick changes and the last minute repairs and just knowing that I helped the audience enjoy the show.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I have worked on many productions throughout the years, some requiring more of my creativity than others, but I think my favorite productions are the ones I get to work on with Becca and Pete. I love how they really put their hearts into the creation of the Christmas Carol both in the way they work with the dancers and the way they are always ready to bring a fresh look to the show. I think if you are looking for a new tradition to celebrate the holidays watching CCBs performance of A Christmas Carol is a great idea. Every year it’s just that little bit different and will never get old.

STAGE MANAGER

[BEVIN]

Tell us your role in the production of ACC and what that means.

I have been the stage manager for almost every single CCB production! Being a stage manager is a lot of work. It involves keeping the entire company on time and ready to go for rehearsals, performances, warm ups, notes and everything in between. It is my job to communicate with the folks who work for the venues we perform in about schedules, any changes , crew needs, and so many little details. I also "call" the show, which means on a headset during rehearsals and show, I talk to my backstage manager, run crew, lighting technicians, fly rail operator, sound engineer, and house 

manager to make sure the entire show keeps moving on time to the music. My job is knowing the music, the dancing, and every cue of the show (sound, lights, scenic and fly rail changes) inside and out and making everyone else confident that we can put on a flawless and on time performance every time!

What are some of the most important aspects of your job and why are they important to the show?

I would say the main job of the stage manager is to instill a sense of calm and trust over the rehearsal and performance process. You simply must create a sense of trust within the venue and the company that they know you will have their back. Have confidence in your timeline for the day, your production staff and the material. Prepare yourself as much as possible for rehearsals. Just like the dancers and production staff, I have to rehearse as well! Before I even get into rehearsals with the company for A Christmas Carol, I sit down with the script and music or DVD from last year and listen. I will sit in my kitchen and call the show as the music plays. So then, once I get into the studio with the company, I am refreshed on last years show and can accept any changes that come my way this year without fear. The more I am prepared, the more the company can trust me.

What are your favorite parts of the work?

The whole experience of watching a show come together is just amazing. When the crew nails their scene changes, the dancers move with purpose and stick their choreography, the sound and lights come together! When it all falls into place, that is my favorite part. I can't forget my other favorite part of this company. Watching CCB grow into a flourishing company has been an amazing ride. Being with them every step of the way and watching as each show gets better and more professional. It feels like an honor to grow with them and watch them shine! 

SET CONSTRUCTION

[PETE, SR.]

Tell us your role in the production of ACC  and what that means.

My role with Charm City Ballet's production of A Christmas Carol over the last 5 seasons is wide and varied. My main function is to help with the stage scenery and effects. Essentially, I construct the set pieces you see on stage, and help with special affects when appropriate. In this production, Scrooge's bed, the office desks, and the tombstone are a few of the pieces for which I am responsible. The fog effect that you see during the scene with Marley and the graveyard are also something I provide.

What are some of the most important aspects of your job and why are they important to the show?

None of this is done alone, as my wife Tammy provides creativity and often physical labor to accomplish the job. We arrive the first day at the theater to deliver the set (among other things), and stay every day throughout the production, ready to do whatever needs to be done.

What are your favorite parts of the work?

The best part of this job is the seeing the story come together, and hearing the audience's reaction and comments as they are moved with emotion. The dance, lighting, music, costumes, and scenery come together to delivery this story unlike any other experience.

BACKSTAGE HEAD

[KELLEIGH]

Tell us your role in the production of ACC and what that means.

I have filled the position of Backstage Head and Stage Manager for ACC in the past. As Stage Manager, the duties include being in charge of running rehearsals, creating the light cues with the designer, and calling them in time during the show to ensure that all the effects happen when they should. As a Backstage Head, it is my job to have all the set pieces organized backstage, have them positioned in the right order to bring them on and offstage smoothly, and ensure seemless set changes during the show so that the story flows uninterrupted.

What are some of the most important aspects of your job and why are they important to the show?

The most important aspect, for both positions, in my opinion is being able to communicate effectively and professionally. For all the different aspects of theater to work like a well oiled machine, everyone needs to know where things are going, when, and by whom. That way, everyone knows what to expect and injuries can be avoided. 

What are your favorite parts of the work?

I love seeing everything come together at the end, where performance and technical theater collide. All the artistic ideas come to life then, and everyone's hard work pays off. 

Anything else you'd like to add?

I've been working on the crew for every performance of ACC and show Charm City Ballet has put on, and every year I am amazed at the talent, dedication, and heart this organization brings to it. It has become a job and group that I genuinely look forward to working with, no matter the show.