Curtain Call! An Exit Interview with Apprentices Seth and Lauren
Theatre Three is proud to offer unique apprenticeship opportunities to people who have just graduated college and are interested in a career in professional theatre. Apprentices serve as part of the production team of Theatre Three for one full season as either a production assistant OR as an assistant to the technical director. We caught up with Seth Monhollon and Lauren Volz, our outgoing apprentices from the 2016-17 season, for a quick interview:
Where did you grow up and go to college?
Lauren Volz: I’m from Evansville, Indiana, which is in Southern Indiana. I went to Ball State University in northern Indiana. I double majored in Theatre Production (focus in stage management) and Telecommunications (focus in digital video production).
Seth Monhollon: I grew up in Abilene, TX. I attended Baylor University and earned a BFA in Theatre Performance.
What was your first experience working in theatre?
LV: I was in the children’s chorus of the local philharmonic orchestra of La Boheme when I was in 5th grade. I started working backstage in high school during the fall musical. I stage managed my first theater performance as a freshman in college.
SM: My first paid job in theatre was as a work-study in Baylor’s scene shop. After I graduated, I took the carpentry internship at WaterTower and worked there as overhire for the 2015-2016 season.
What was your primary job as an apprentice?
LV: For 5 of the 7 shows of the season, I was the production assistant, which basically means I was the props designer and the assistant stage manager.
SM: My primary job as an apprentice was to assist the technical director as a carpenter. Lauren and I would switch off every few shows, though, so I got to PA the productions a couple of times, too.
What has been the most rewarding part of being an apprentice at Theatre Three?
LV: There are few things more rewarding for a stage manager than a lighting designer turning to you and saying, “You missed this one light cue, but I’m not worried since you’ve done it and others like it perfectly every other time.” Helping a designer achieve their design makes me feel so accomplished.
SM: The most rewarding part about this apprenticeship is the experience doing a little bit of everything in theatre and the networking possibilities I’ve found.
Any words of wisdom for new members of the theatre community looking to make a living in the arts?
SM: There’s always a way to make a living in the arts! Don’t let doubts bog you down! It’s totally possible!
LV: Ask for help! No one expects you to have all of the answers, to know how to do anything and everything, or solve all problems by yourself. All the people you’ll meet were once in your shoes and starting at the beginning of their careers. Ask for help, ask for advice, and admit your shortcomings. You’ll grow faster, both as a professional, as an artist, and as a friend.
What is next for you?
LV: Assistant stage managing Titus Andronicus at Shakespeare Dallas (September 20 – October 15).
SM: I’ve accepted the Assistant Technical Director position at T3 for the 2017-2018 season!
How has the apprentice program prepare you for future opportunities?
SM: This apprenticeship has given me confidence in my own abilities. In this field, a lot of what it takes is confidence.
LV: When I moved to Texas I didn’t know anyone involved in the theatre community, but I wanted to make connections and network. Theatre Three’s program allowed me to meet a variety of actors, theatre artists, and amazing people that helped me secure more work throughout the DFW community. I’ve been accepted into this wonderful family and I’m so thankful to Theatre Three for giving me this opportunity.
We’re so thankful for Lauren and Seth. As he said, Seth has accepted a full-time position with Theatre Three, so we haven’t seen the last of him! As for Lauren, we can’t wait to see what she accomplishes and hope to see her again soon at Theatre Three!