Thank you so much for your patience the last two months, while Jordan and I relocated, reestablished ourselves and settled on solid ground.
It's been a whirlwind, to say the least. Over the last six weeks I have:
~Moved all my belongings into storage
~Interviewed for a new job
~Auditioned for an internship with Third Rail Repertory Theater (and got it!)
~Said goodbye to Southern Oregon!
~Gone to Texas for a week (to visit Jordan's extended family)
~Started a new job the day we got back from Texas
~Hunted for an apartment in a seller's market (Portland is at 98% capacity!)
~Moved our stuff out of storage
And in the midst of all this I have used every spare moment to make Enso connections, find space for our show, and begin putting the pieces together for an education program. So here is how that's been going: AWESOME.
I sent out a big email to some Portland theater folks to see if anyone was willing to chat with me over coffee. I ended up meeting with 5 or 6 different people, all of whom were eager to help and provided me with lots of useful information about the theater community.
I've contacted just about every high school and college in the Portland/Beaverton area, offering our free Jane Austen workshops and asking if we might be able to rent space. I've also contacted a number of theaters--in fact, I am currently in conversation with the Artists' Repertory Theatre (considered by some to be the second-largest theater in Portland) to rent their space.
Dennis Foster, co-founder of the Oregon Conservatory of Performing Arts (where I taught acting in Southern Oregon) has given me an acting instructor position with his group, and has been absolutely stellar in his support for Enso and our project. He is connecting me with many valuable people in the area and helping to boost my reputation so that we can slowly build support for an Enso Theatre Education program.
Our new apartment is half-furnished and filled with unpacked boxes, but it is TOTALLY WORTH IT, to be able to spend time creating this beautiful thing. In fact, I'm currently writing you whilst sitting on my floor with our computer in front of me, also on the floor. :)
I also wanted to share with you where some of the money is going. Because of your spectacular support, I was actually able to pay four of the behind-the-scenes people who were absolutely critical to the success of this Kickstarter: Arden Kilzer created our poster for the staged reading, Autumn Harrison edited two of our promotional videos, Garrett Lushingtonmanaged our website, and Logan Anderson, as you know, is our phenomenal musician. THANK YOU SO MUCH YOU GUYS for helping me make this happen!
Quick Tangent: Logan Anderson has actually launched his own Kickstarter, to assist the making of his second album "The Company" (some of you will be receiving it as part of your reward for donating to this campaign!). I've heard a few of the songs on this album and it is awesome. Plus, it's always fun to guess what kind of instrument Logan is using, because he's used everything from tea cups to plastic bags. Check out his Kickstarter here, listen to the songs in his video and see if you can guess the instruments he uses: http://kck.st/1GK5Kkb
Part of the money will also help us to pay a marketing student to manage all our social media pages, and to connect us with places to hang flyers, etc, as we prepare for the show. So if anyone knows a Portland college student studying marketing, looking for a little extra cash, but mostly for resume experience, please let us know!
And last but not least, I've begun yet another editing process with the script...seeing the staged reading come together was incredibly helpful in allowing me to see what works and what doesn't. I'm very excited about some of the new changes being made. :)
Thank you so much everyone for your love and support! Keep a watchful eye, because as soon as we solidify a space, we will be in full-tilt advertise and spread-the-love mode.
All the best,
Went to add the latest update to the blog and saw that whoops! I completely spaced and didn't add some former posts that I had already drafted. So, here are the bits and pieces you need to know.
Just want to keep everyone in the loop! I am moving to Portland, OR with my partner-in-crime, Jordan Mackey, on June 3rd. Thus, I may be a bit off-the-grid, so your patience in June will be much appreciated, as we will need time to unpack, settle in, and start making those connections all over again in a new city.
Later in May, 2015:
The first Kickstarter reward was delivered last weekend (yay!) when I visited with Shereen Motarjemi to have tea and conversation! For the Tea with Me reward, I've created a sort of "kit" that I bring to each donor's house. In the kit are three different loose-leaf teas to choose from, my Yixing clay teapot, tea cups, tea condiments and fresh pastries! Unfortunately, when I visited Shereen, I was visiting my family in the Bay Area and didn't have my Yixing teapot with me, but I got to borrow my Dad's beautiful Japanese pot, which worked out just fine. :) After visiting Shereen (and thanks to her inquiry: Are you going to perform a tea ceremony?), I decided it would be fun to learn at least a little of the Japanese tea ceremony, and perhaps more about how tea would have been served in Jane Austen's time. I've always wanted to anyway! So that's what I'll be doing between now and the delivery of the next Tea with Me reward!!
Out of the three loose-leaf tea options I brought, Shereen choose the Jasmine Green Pearls, which were sublime. We talked about the possibility of making "Pride & Prejudice, an adaptation" an audio book, what it means to ask for help in our pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps society, and the significance of tea ceremony.
WOW! Thank you Shereen! Little did I know that delivering the "reward" part of the Kickstarter process would be just as inspiring as the creation of the campaign was. I can't wait to put pen to paper again and think about the possibilities for P&P: already I've been meditating on what this script would look like on film, the full staged production of course, and now, audiobooks....hmm....
If anyone has any audiobook-connections, or film-connections in Portland, OR, let me know!
...because of course that's the other part that's been taking up my time lately. MOVING. Oy. I always underestimate how much time, energy and work goes into moving. And did I mention ENERGY? I keep getting surprised by how tired I seem to get these days, and then I remember: oh yeah, moving is physical and mental. I eagerly await getting to Portland, settling in, and making all those wonderful connections. :)
While I was home with family, I was also able to see two of my closest friends, Monica and Amy, also Kickstarter supporters! So I treated them to some tea as well, this time the Earl Grey Creme and Rooibus Chai. Amy is going to become one of my business advisors, and I very much hope to see Monica auditioning for us in the future!
And finally, I got to meet Sabrina (who is AWESOME and I can't wait for our Tea in Portland!), visit family friends Sylvia, Cathy and Simone, and see my grandmother, Aunt Donna and Uncle Alan, ALL Kickstarter supporters. It felt so good to thank them in person!! THANK YOU! Their rewards (and all of yours!) will be coming very, very soon. :)
Thank you, everyone, again for your patience with me during this transition. My next update will be from Portland! Hurrah!
All the best and all the rest,
Caitlin Lushington is the Co-Artistic Director of the Enso Theatre Ensemble, a teacher, director, and actress. Sometimes she works too hard, sometimes she forgets things, and she strives to put the car keys back in the same place every time. She drinks tea every morning from her TARDIS mug and "Mr. Tea" diffuser. She loves the morning and wishes she had a photographic memory, so she could remember the names of every person she meets.