For World Theatre Day yesterday, I went down to the Chicago Cultural Center to listen to a panel discussion about international collaborations. I love going to discussions, because I have always wanted to be a moderator for one. So not only did I learn a little about working with other countries, I also took away some tips about a good panel discussion.
It was a fantastic opportunity to listen to leaders in the Chicago theatre community such as Chris Jones and Henry Godinez. I first met Henry when I was working as an intern at the Goodman Theatre, and he’s always willing to lend an ear to what you have to say. He was the perfect participant for the discussion. Funny enough, I met Chris when I used to teach his bright and polite sons. (On a side note, I was able to easily connect with his boys because I grew up with a British father as well.) But as one of the top theatre critics in the city, it only made sense for Chris to moderate.
I also ran into the staff hosting the event, which was somewhat interesting considering I used to work there. There’s no need to go into that, though. Just remember that the theatre community is very small, so watch what you say and do!
When it came time for the audience to ask questions, everyone was impressed with mine: how do innovations with the internet and social media influence international collaborations now, and how will they in the future? To be fair, though, I think the reason my question sounded so good was because it was really the only question asked. The other audience members who stepped up to the mic gave more of a commentary rather than a query.
Most importantly, I had the chance to network and meet other artists. I’ve even been invited to an event this weekend. Professional Development 2012 is shaping up just fine.