"There’s only one thing I regret learning in my time at the Playhouse. Well, I shouldn’t even say that I regret learning it, but I regret the way I learned it. And that one thing is this: traffic from Canoga Park back to Pasadena on the 134 on Friday about four o’clock is really very slow. Add a hot day and shoddy air conditioning, and it was not the most enjoyable of trips.
But I loved it.
Now, I don’t presume to know what you’re thinking, but if it happens to be that there’s something not quite right with this chap, enjoying L.A. traffic and all, I wouldn’t agree with you. I, unlike many of my fellow theatre kids, think of myself as a pretty normal person. (Theatre kids, by and large—and actors in particular—love to think of themselves as odd, but I find that they’re usually a lot more normal than they’d care to think.)
But back to the traffic. I was trapped in a sea of cars on the hot hot 134 in the Studio City area, I had the window down and the radio loud (world-class rock on 100.3 The Sound, L.A.’s newest radio station—check it out), and was going nowhere fast. But it didn’t matter, because I was in Los Angeles . I was all the way across the country from my home (Demorest , Georgia , population 1465) in one of the biggest and perhaps the most diverse city in the country, and I was working for a theatre. I’m not entirely sure how that happened, but it was happening by God, and the cars weren’t going to stop it. They were rather a sign, the city saying to me, “You Are Here. Welcome.”
Because Los Angeles is the city of opportunity. If you’ve got a head on your shoulders and a will to work, you can make whatever you want for and of yourself here. And that’s what I’m going to do. A lot of people come out here to be in the movies, which I will admit was my impetus. But now, what I want to do more than just be in movies is to make theatre. I’m going to act, I’m going to write, I’m going to direct. And I’m going to do it my way, by making opportunities for myself rather than just going to other people and saying “pick me, pick me!”
And I am going to change the American theatre.
That probably sounds like foolish exuberance at best and arrogance at worst, but that’s okay. Let us be nothing if we are not bold.
Of course, three months ago I had no idea how to do that. I can kinda do the creative side, but the business was beyond me. Now I’m still ignorant, but I’m getting better. I’ve seen how theatres run their business—both Pasadena Playhouse and Furious Theatre Company. I’ve not just seen it, I’ve done it. And there is no better way to learn something than to do it. I still have a long way to go, but the Playhouse has been a fantastic start. And there’s no going back now.
And that’s why I don’t mind traffic jams."
--Chris Schulz, Pasadena Playhouse Development Intern, Summer 2008