Meet Erica Magelky, who has Stage Managed VTG’s productions of True Believers and The Unfortunate Cutthroats. Erica is not only a fantastic Stage Manager, but also in the process of applying to medical school (smarty-pants).
How did you get involved in theatre? What is your first theatre memory?
I first really got involved in theatre during college. I joined an extracurricular, student-run group basically on a whim, and when it came time to fill out a tech form to be assigned to one of the crews for the semester, I realized that the description of a stage manager’s job lined up with a lot of my skills and my penchant for organization. My first show was assistant stage-managing Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and I was pretty much hooked after that. But my earliest theatre memories are from the dinky little productions we would do at summer camp when I was a kid. The year that I was a junior counselor, four or five of us stayed up all night for “Hell Night,” painting the muslin backdrops that would hang in the open pavilion and throwing together costumes from the bizarre array of clothing in the arts and crafts closet. I think even then I had the right ingredients (1 part masochism, 2 parts sheer will power) to enjoy the all-night theatre panic: working hard with your friends to get it done, never entirely sure if it’s going to come together, but somehow it always does.
If theatre is not your full-time job, what do you do on the side? What do you enjoy about it and how does it connect to your life in the theatre?
I work in an immunology research lab that uses mouse models of lupus and inflammatory bowel disease to look at a particular family of genes and how they are involved in general immune cell function. That sounds really fancy, but most of the tasks that I do require a surprisingly similar skill set to the one I’ve developed in theatre: I do a lot of advance planning of experiments, try to stay organized during the chaos of doing the experiment itself, and I have to be ready to jettison a plan if it’s not working out. All of those steps are just as important for the overall development of show. I’m a big process nerd, so despite the apparent unrelatedness of theatre and science, it turns out that both of those worlds are fertile grounds for constantly reevaluating what works, what doesn’t work, and why.
If you could go on a date with one celebrity, who would it be and why?
I think Ewan McGregor is a terrific actor and a big star, and yet he seems so level-headed and uninterested in fame for fame’s sake. Also: THAT LAUGH. It’s infectious. For a lady-date: Tina Fey, hands down.
What’s your idea of a romantic vacation?
A vacation isn’t a vacation to me if I’m running around all day trying to “see the sights”, so a romantic vacation (regardless of location) would definitely involve a lot of sleeping in, hanging out in bed, and casually exploring the area. I think holing up in a cabin in the mountains in the fall would be super romantic: isolated from other people and external stimuli, hiking, drinking tea in front of the fire, wearing flannel. Basically, I want to live in a Bon Iver album.
What one trait (physical or personality-wise) do you find most attractive?
Curiosity. I think that regardless of someone’s “baseline” level of intellect, an eagerness to understand the world around them will naturally produce someone who is also smart, ambitious, and the kind of person I would want to explore the world with.
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Erica is unbelievably excited to work on her third full production with Vagabond. She started doing theater while attending Boston University, where she stage managed productions of The Music Man, Anything Goes, Into the Woods, Beauty and the Beast, and Pillowman. She also stage-managed VTG’s production of The Unfortunate Cutthroats and this past summer’s production of True Believers. By day, she works in a research lab studying immunology. By night, she acts as Vagabond’s Production Manager. In her spare time, she enjoys trivia, burlesque, historical fiction/fantasy novels, and academic articles about the nature of celebrity. She has always wanted a pet octopus. In her other OTHER spare time, she is applying to medical school and hopes to be a fancy doctor lady someday. No big deal.