Monday, September 21, 2009

All Gussied Up, Ready to Go

We're ready to go back to school! In preparation for the first day of the 2009-2010 Conservatory this Tuesday, Sept. 22, the building is all clean and spiffy, thanks to a major cleanup headed by Chris Mikolavich. We've dusted cabinets, trounced old furniture (you wouldn't believe our prop storage) and repainted the stairwell with the help of our intrepid Second Year students! Though it was a bear, we DID eventually get the dumpster delivered from the City.

Personal heroes and First Year Conservatory students Rich Cashin and Dan Selivonchick did the heavy lifting outside. Alum Kendall Meyer sorted through the all-too-well-stocked kitchen with Beth backstage. Together we got the place into tip top shape.

Even Beth is excited about starting Conservatory this week, and she's been doing this for a while. There's no denying it: the shift to a fulltime day program is a major, exciting, big deal change for Portland Actors Conservatory. I can tell you what the press release says, which is that our Conservatory enrollment has grown 41% over the past year and 33% from three years ago. I can even tell you that this year’s enrollment is the largest in the Conservatory’s history (with 24 students - we like it that way). And you might go "Hm. Impressive statistics."

Or I can tell you this: we've got more international interest than ever before (possibly three non-US countries represented by our new First Year class) and Beth made the front page of the Oregonian's Business section last week. Who would have thought? These are firsts no one would have thought possible even a few years ago.

The icing on the cake will be our new banner on the front of the building that should go up this week. Wheee!!!

Philip's even gotten a haircut for the occasion. It is the $12 variety, but it looks darn good.

Our new office manager, Maureen O'Connor, is fresh from Chicago and wo-manning the front desk with class and style. Make her talk Chicagoan to you; it's pretty cute.

And First Years - you are welcome to fill this (blog) space with your thoughts, experiences, travails, and worries. Email me to find out how to contribute and share your Conservatory Confessions with the world.

We're ready. Are you? What's you're worst back to school fear? What was your best back to school outfit ever? Mine was first grade, I think: fleece lined denim jacket with plaid shirt underneath. What can I say, I'm from the Northwest. :)