Read on to see what Linda has to say about her experiences volunteering at Lyric Arts!
Talk a little bit about your first memories of Lyric Arts.
My first big memory of Lyric Arts was the first Christmas season I volunteered - 12 full hours of volunteering in one day. I think we did 3 Laura Ingalls shows and 2 Christmas Carols - so tired after the day, but what a great time!
How did you get involved with volunteering at Lyric Arts?
During Riverfest I came to listen to the Anoka Superstar competition which Lyric Arts sponsored - started talking with the staff, and of course, Paula Gutterud - and the next thing you know, I'm ushering that very same night!
What keeps you coming back to Lyric Arts?
Lyric Arts is a wonderful place to be - I've met SO many wonderful people here! Lyric Arts has also given me so many great opportunities to try different things. I still love Front of the House volunteering though, I enjoy being able to "schmooze" with all the patrons and get to know the regulars!
You recently made the jump from volunteering with front of house to volunteering backstage as an assistant stage manager and onstage as an actor. What made you decide to make this leap? Talk a little bit about your experiences both on and backstage.
I had volunteered a number of times running the registration desk for auditions - everytime I felt a little more of a nudge to be on the other side of that door, plus the nudging from my fellow volunteers. I've never been on stage before, but it almost felt natural to be there. As for back stage work, after watching different assistant stage managers in the productions, I knew that if I couldn't be on stage for a favorite production, that would be the next best thing! I'm loving both acting and back stage work!
Talk about some of you all-time favorite experiences at Lyric Arts.
Well, even though it wasn't technically volunteering in the regular sense, I'd have to say my favorite experience has been to be a part of the cast of White Christmas last year. That time was really magical and everyone in the cast and crew got to be so close. I don't know if anything can top that!
Where else do you volunteer? Why is volunteering important to you?
I also volunteer at my church in the hospitality area - making/serving coffee at the services. I'm the secretary for my Townhome Association and also the secretary/treasurer for my bowling league. Volunteering is important for me because it's a way to give back to the organization - I can't afford to give monetarily most of the time, so I guess this is the next best thing.
How has volunteering at Lyric Arts impacted your life?
I have met so many wonderful people through Lyric Arts. I can always count on a smile when I walk through the front door. But for me personally, being involved with Lyric Arts has meant so much more. I look forward to being at the theater, no matter if I’m volunteering in Front of House, or I’m in a show or just working backstage. I know, when I walk through the door, I can really just forget about anything else that may be going on in my life and be my “silly” self, OR pretend to be someone completely different (on stage). Being involved with Lyric Arts has helped me build my self-confidence (which is sorely lacking at times) in being able to “schmooze” with complete strangers at the wine bar or concession stand, or feeling completely at ease on stage in front of 200 people, not to mention the confidence that others have shown in my abilities. I’ve said this several times, especially in the past year, “I can’t imagine my life without Lyric Arts!”