Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Who is Mae?

As many of you stumble across this site, you see that my name is Rachel. I list that in my bio and in the web domain. But I often use Mae when I am thinking of clever names for my blog. My middle name is Mae, Rachel Mae. But what's in a name?
I always loved my middle name, but it was just there and I never got to use it. Then, I got a job as a waitress at Viva Maria's in Ada, Ohio. At the time, there were two other girls working there named Rachel so my boss asked me if I had a nickname. I didn't. So she asked what my middle name is and, confused, I told her it was Mae. Ever since that day, I am called Mae by all of my coworkers. I write Mae on my tickets that I give to the kitchen and I tell my family that if they want to request me as a server, I am not Rachel.
I work with several people that I also interact with around school. Some of them, who knew me from school first will call me Rachel. Others, who knew me first through work, call me Mae. It is funny when I am at school and here someone yell Mae down the hallway. I also get a chuckle when I see people struggle to call me Mae at work. Whatever the case, it works out.
It's also intriguing to me that I was able to adapt to having two names without a blink. When I was young, I would create imaginary characters for myself and would never be able to remember what my name was. When I am at work, I don't even turn when someone says Rachel because I assume that it is not me. Funny how that works out.
Anyway, there's the random story about how my middle name became such an important part of my life. Do you have any similar stories with a nickname or name change? Comment below!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

What is a Stage Manager?

When I explain to people what my majors are I often get the question, "What is that?" Everyone has a general understanding of what Public Relations is, however, very few have heard of International Theatre Production. I usually respond with, "It's all of the backstage stuff," and people can accept that, when in reality it is so much more. 

International Theatre Production covers a wide range of lighting, sound, scenic design, costuming and stage management. Most people have one or two sections that they focus on throughout their training. I am focusing on stage management. 

The stage manger is responsible for the cast and is the right-hand man or woman to the director. In short, the stage manager will help run auditions, keep track of all paperwork, take blocking notes, cue the show and keep the actors in line. 

Most often, the stage manager is the only person left once the show opens. Directors and designers will move on to their next show and it is the job of the stage manager to maintain the creativity of the show after the creative people have left. 

During the show I am currently working on, our phenomenal director, Michael Licata, has been very organized and patient with me as I am learning to do this job for the first time. This experience that I have had with this show and my stage management class is what drove me to change my Theatre major to International Theatre Production. 

I have been pleasantly surprised with how many stage management skills are interchangeable with PR. I look forward to continuing my education in both majors and becoming a very versatile employee!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Measuring Relationships with your Communities and Neighbors

As I mentioned in my previous blog, relationships are vital to having a successful career. Not only do relationships boost you as an individual, but relationships are beneficial to companies as well. Good relationships with a target market can create a loyal audience and a successful business. Below are a few tips to maintaining and measuring those relationships.

1. Agree on Solid Measurable Goals

Make sure that your entire team is on the same page regarding what goals you have for this project.

2. Define your Publics

Who may play a role in your companies success? Make a list of anyone who may be a stakeholder for your business. 

3. What are your Benchmarks?

Compare yourself to businesses similar to yours in other towns. Ideally, you want to benchmark against your competition. 

4. Set your Audience Priorities

Who and what is most important to measure?

5. Choose your Measurement Tools

There are different strategies to measuring results:
  • Relationship Surveys
  • Local Media Analysis

6. Analyze the Data

When analyzing data, be sure to consider:
  • When it comes up for a vote, it's too late to change anything
  • How your company is viewed by an outsider
  • Nonprofit Measurements
  • Government can plan ahead
  • Campus Opportunities
As we all learn, relationships are very important to the success of a person or company. In order to ensure that your company stays successful, make the target audience your top priority. By following these steps, you will be on the right track to pleasing your audience!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

It Really is All About Who You Know

As we grow up, it is extremely important to not burn bridges. When I applied for my first job, I had no experience but one of my references was a friend of the owner, so I got the job. The longer I am in school, I realize that it is valuable to make connections with everyone you know. Someday, that person could be a CEO or hiring you for a job you really want.

The fact that connections are so important has taught me some lessons. I am not a quick to dismiss a relationship or quit on a project because I know that I might need those people for a reference someday. People are satisfied with my work because I am aiming to please them.

Relationships are your key in the door of the job you want, however, don't become absorbed with another person. A connection can make a great path for you in your career but you also need to have skills and a personality that sets you apart. Your relationships may get you the job, but you have to maintain it. Nobody wants to hire someone that isn't actively seeking to go above and beyond everyday.

My advice is to make and maintain as many relationships as you can. While you are working on those, work on making yourself the absolute best candidate so that your references will be the last thing getting you the job.

Friday, April 21, 2017

International Play Festival

This past month I have had the opportunity to stage manage "Prometheus: The Beginningin the International Play Festival at Ohio Northern University. It has been a blast to work from the beginning of this project and watch everyone grow throughout the rehearsal process. 

As much fun as it is to watch my cast grow, I have also learned a lot about the professional theatre world. I got the chance to work with our guest director, Michael Licata, who has worked on Broadway shows. Michael has been very professional and I have learned what directors expect from me. 

The International Play Festival will be running Thursday, April 27, 2017, to Sunday, April 30, 2017. The two shows will rotate every other day, starting with Prometheus on Thursday. I am so proud of what my cast has accomplished this past month and I hope the audience enjoys all the hard work and creativity the cast and crew put into the show. 

If you aren't busy next weekend, consider stopping by The Freed Center to see the show!

Monday, April 17, 2017

What are KPIs?

In the book I am currently reading, the author often uses abbreviations for business terms. One that is reoccurring is KPIs or key performance indicators. The book, "Measure What Matters", discusses measuring a company, different types of measurement and tips and tricks for a successful program. KPIs are a huge part of measuring your company's success.

KPIs often measure engagement. KPIs can be used to determine what is important to your audience, making that important to you. Once your company has set goals, KPIs keep track of if you are meeting those goals or not. recommends using the SMART technique.

1. Is your objective Specific?

2. Can you Measure progress towards that goal?

3. Is the goal realistically Attainable?

4. How Relevant is the goal to your organization?

5. What is the Time-frame for achieving this goal?

With these helpful tips, I hope you are able to use KPIs effectively and grow towards your goals!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Easter Break

One of the things I love about going to a private college is that we get a lot of breaks. Larger schools may have a fall break, Christmas break and spring break, but we get extended weekends around every holiday as well as seasonal breaks. Towards the end of the year, it is really easy to get burnt out and have no motivation to do anything. This makes breaks especially nice so we have a chance to catch up on our sleep, spend time with people we care about and come back refreshed.

Every year, my church has a sunrise service and breakfast on Easter Sunday. After church, we have lunch at my grandparents' house and visit with family. Even though my cousins and I are all college age, my grandmother insists that we have an Easter egg hunt every year.

For the past two years, I have spent Easter evenings at my boyfriend's house. We typically eat dinner, play euchre and watch whatever sports game is on TV. I see my boyfriend's family a lot because they live close to ONU, but it is still nice to spend a relaxing day together.

This year, I will be working on Good Friday and spending the rest of my vacation at home cuddling my cat. I am hopeful that this small break will be enough to motivate me to push hard through the last three weeks of school.

What are your Easter plans? Do you have any special traditions with your family? Comment below!