Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Interview: Stephanie Malaspina and Genesis Ruiz

1. We're looking for student musicians who want to be a part of Jimmy!: A Musical Fable with Almost No Historical Basis this summer. If you play acoustic guitar, bass guitar, drums, or mandolin (and want to get paid for working with some sexy dancing peanuts), we want YOU to join Team Jimmy! Email vchatfield@nationalstudenttheatre.org for more information.

2. Want a discount on Jimmy! tickets? Get $5 off on General Admission tickets from now until Friday with our Jimmy! trivia challenge. Just go to http://jimmy.bpt.me, click on Enter a Password or Discount Code, and answer this question: In what year did Jimmy Carter win his first Grammy? Your answer is the discount code!

3. And now, an interview with Stephanie Malaspina and Genesis Ruiz, the stage management team behind Jimmy!.


By Kayleen Peña (Producing Assistant)

Ah, stage managers.

The gods of the production process.

They’re everything a person working in theatre should be -- there to offer support, taking care of the logistics, taking over when things get tough, etc. I spoke to Stephanie Malaspina, our wonderful stage manager, and Genesis Ruiz, her equally amazing assistant. (Our other assistant stage manager, Genesis Tolentino, had the day off.) These two girls gave us their thoughts on Jimmy! and their work.

Why did you choose to become the stage managers for Jimmy!?

STEPHANIE: I chose to become the stage manager because I was at school and Victoria [NTSA’s executive director] kept asking people around school, “Where’s Stephanie?! I need to talk to her! She’s the girl I want to be a part of my new production!” So I finally went to go see her, and she convinced me to join her.

GENESIS: I became ASM [assistant stage manager] for Jimmy! because I did it last season in another production, and wanted to do it again this year because it was really fun.

Who are your celebrity crushes?

STEPHANIE: My celebrity crush would have to be . . . hmm . . . this is a hard question. Oh! Mila Kunis has to be my celebrity crush.

GENESIS: I think . . . Zayn Malik from One Direction.

What are your thoughts on the production so far?

STEPHANIE: It’s a very corny musical that I’ve grown to love after reading it over and over again, and I cannot wait to see what happens at the end of this process.

GENESIS: I’ve never worked on a musical before, but this musical is really funny and the songs are getting stuck in my head. I’m excited to see the final thing.

What’s the most difficult part of being a stage manager?

STEPHANIE: Getting people to like you and hate you at the same time if that makes sense. You need everyone to listen to you and know that you’re in charge.

GENESIS: Tech week is kind of difficult. There’s a lot of stuff to do during tech week.

What’s your favorite part about stage managing?

STEPHANIE: You get to see everyone change from being so shy and not knowing where their place is to them being the creative spirits that I get to see them on stage as.

GENESIS: I think just being able to work with actors and actresses and props.

Why should someone buy a ticket to Jimmy! right now? At this very moment?

STEPHANIE: At this very moment, people should buy tickets to go see Jimmy! because it is a musical about the life of Jimmy Carter -- the secret life of Jimmy Carter -- and Jimmy Carter was a great president. His secret life with aliens and peanuts is beyond wild, and something that everyone should witness right now.

GENESIS: People should buy tickets to Jimmy! right now because it’s an amazing musical that you cannot miss. Everyone’s been working so hard, and you’re gonna love it.

Come see the secret life of Jimmy Carter! Buy your tickets to Jimmy! today!

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