Los Angeles: Wednesday 2nd March

Well it has come to the final day of this amazing Theatrica tour of New York and Los Angeles!Today was spent in Los Angeles visiting two film and television production houses. Our first stop was at the premises of Todd AO. It is here that sound is designed and added to major television shows and motion pictures. We received a tour of the building that included a recording studio used for voice-overs, a sound engineer’s workspace used for television sound effects and a private cinema. The biggest buzz was watching the work of a sound effects engineer who showed us a 2 minute scene from CSI: New York, discussing how he added all the sound effects to the scene in preparation for its screening on American television.

In the afternoon we visited New Wave Entertainment, a production house that encompasses many aspects of the Hollywood film industry, from creative design, DVD extra features, talent agency, graphic design on screen and in print etc. We saw television producers arrive back from ‘pitching’ new shows to major US networks and people at work in various sections of the building on a whole range of creative television projects. It was very interesting to see how the industry operates behind the scenes.

Both of these tours were only possible because of the contacts Charles Slucki from Theatrica has made doing these tours over the years. We were very fortunate to have major industry professionals giving so freely of their time for our tour group.

Finally we spent a couple of hours at a large shopping centre before heading off to the airport for the 14 and a half hour flight home to Melbourne that ended up being 16 hours after delays!

Make no doubt about it, the last two weeks has been an incredible journey for us all. We have seen some fantastic theatre including five musicals and five plays, from the major Broadway spectaculars of Wicked and Chicago to the Off Broadway gems from Edward Albee. We saw brilliant acting in August: Osage County and From Up Here and lived the raw energy of a sensational musical Spring Awakening, performed by a cast of mostly teenagers. We have visited all the icons of New York City, from the Rockefeller Center to Radio City Music Hall. We have had industry professionals talk to us about marketing and producing on Broadway and we even met the lead actress from Wicked! Add to this the inspiration of receiving a special tour and talk in the most prestigious performing arts academy in the world, The Juilliard School in New York. And we learnt a great deal behind the scenes in the film and television industry over our two days in Hollywood.

The Theatrica group really have a wonderful product here. They have so many contacts with key people in the industry, making their tours for school groups a cut above the rest. To top it off, the Theatrica tour guides were fantastic, an important factor that made the trip all the more enjoyable. My Drama students from Avila College had an absolute ball on this trip to New York and Los Angeles. Still only teenagers, for some of them this may well be their trip of a lifetime.

I hope you enjoyed my blogging on these pages over the past two weeks. For me it has been both a private and public journal of our trip. I am glad many of you have been able to share in our experiences by reading these posts and checking out the pictures of the people and places we visited along the way.

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