Friday, November 21, 2008

Power to the People

Actorfest was almost a week ago but it seems like longer since I rushed right into handling another big event 5 days later. But l'd like to give Actorfest it's due! A post devoted to an interesting and exhilating day. It all started at 3 a.m. (see previous blog on sleep preparations). At 3:45 a.m. I arrived at the Hammerstein Ballroom to find everything as it should be, cleaning and production underway and 80+ boxes to be unpacked.

As an independent event planner, I'm often helping non-profits and other "stream-lined" organizations that can't afford a full team of people to help at an event. This event was better than most in that we did have about 30 staff. An additional 20 volunteers came to help at 6 a.m., tough for a Saturday morning, but a mere two hours before doors opened at 8 a.m.

So we moved. We moved boxes, we moved signs, we moved stantions. We moved computers, printers and books. My shoulders ache just thinking about it. But these people did not stop. Every time I turned around, there was a person at my shoulder asking for the next task.

Once we moved supplies, it was time to move the people. They were lined up down the block and needed to get through the exhibitors, casting calls and to the workshops. Hammerstein is an incredible venue but not intuitive. We labeled every wall we could with directions but nothing moves people like other people.

There were questions, there were requests, there were people on all sides. And these staff and volunteers handled all of it with patience, brevity and humor.

So after all the ups and downs that come with every event, I walked away from this one with just a single overpowering thought...that there is just nothing like a good team when it comes to a creating a successful event.

Monday, November 10, 2008

This Saturday is ActorfestNY

This weekend I will be at ActorfestNY at the Hammerstein Ballroom. My client, Back Stage, is a Nielsen Media publication that produces this event each year in NY and LA. We're expecting 4,000 actors to come to the casting calls, networking cafe, exhibits and workshops, such as "Auditioning for Film and TV: The How-To's of Winning a Role" and "Actor's Lab: Rehearsing with Tony Winner Marian Seldes." Last year, people were lined up at 5 a.m. to get some of the remaining time slots to meet with NBC, Telemundo, Nickelodeon and The N.

If you know any actors in the area, tell them to visit and sign up! Did I mention that entry is free?

And check back here next week for an update on the event...