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Behind The Scenes
With...Erica Rubin

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Erica (left) and friend
STARTING OUT

How did you get started in theatre?
My uncle is an actor and I loved hearing all of his theater stories.  When I was in Junior High School I got involved in a children's theatre group.  Since my high school was on a small budget we had no theater in school, so I didn't start again until college.  I fell in love with stage managing and the rest is history.

What hooked you? School play, Broadway show, etc.
My uncle Stan.

What was the first show you ever worked on?
I "student directed" the circus in kindergarten.

What was first show you ever saw?
I can't remember.


WHAT I DO

What is your position on a production?
I am a stage manager and a crew chief.

Describe what your job entails.  What are the duties of a (Crew Chief) job? 
I figured since you have had many stage managers complete "Behind the Scenes," I would let everyone knows the responsibilities of the crew chief. I hire the crew, and that may be the toughest part.  It is very hard to get responsible people to commit sevral weekends for VERY little pay.  At the theaters where I have worked, most of the crew gets even less than the
actors (and they don't even get a curtain call)!  I also work closely with the tech director, stage manager and the designer to make sure that the show tech- nically runs smoothly.  I fix broken parts on hte set, and refocus and change broken lights, I figure out why someone's microphone is making the sound like they are under water, and get to fine tune all those "threads" throughout the run.

Did you go to school to learn what you do?
No, but I learn by watching and listening to all of the directors, technical directors, designers, and yes, the actors that I encounter daily.


MY THEATER EXPERIENCE

What has been your favorite show to work on?
I think Peter Pan was my favorite.  It was also my least favorite.  It was both changelling and rewarding. I was forced to stay on my toes and was aware of what was going on at all times.  It was a big change from doing all those shows that seem to "run themselves".

What motivates you to keep doing what your doing?
I'm not quite sure?!

How do you feel about pre-casting?
I don't mind pre-casting (easy to say when you're not an actress).  Sitting in on as many auditions as I have, I see the necessity of it.  We have a small theater community and sometimes it is necessary to cast people in advance.

Also, I want to bring up the point that directors are artists and have the right to use whatever "materials" they need.  no one would have told Picasso not to use RED just because he may see a nice pink a few weeks later, right?

What was your best theater experience?
I recently had the opportunity to "go on the road" with a production of Hello Mudduh, Hello Fadduh! I know that, since theater is my hobby and not my career, this may never happen again.  What a blast!

If you could give one message to ALL of the actors out there, what would it be?
CHECK YOUR PROPS!!

If you could give one message to ALL the producers out there, what would it be?
Trust the people that work for you.

If you could give one message to ALL the directors out there, what would it be?
Enjoy the show.

If you could give one message to ALL the other techies out there, what would it be?
Remember your blacks.

Why do you work at the theatres that you do?
I enjoy the people where I work and feel that of all the theaters that I have worked in it has the highest production values. Now that I am on staff, I work on every production and I do not have time to work at other theaters.


FUN

Do you think Long Island theater will continue to grow?
I sure hope so!

What brings you greatest joy?
An evening at home in my pajamas.

What irks you?
Lateness!

If you won lotto tomorrow you would...
Take very good care of my family.

Is it true you would rather be rich than good looking?
Not sure...