Our volunteers are what keep SLO REP running smoothly. From painting sets to setting up the coffee bar, stuffing envelopes to organizing costumes, the incredible volunteers who give their time to our theatre mean the world to us.
Each month on the BLOG, we feature an interview with one of our volunteers. We have dedicated volunteers who have been with us for more than 20 years and some who have given of their time for less than two months. All are deeply appreciated and deserve a moment in the spotlight!
This month’s Volunteer Spotlight features Jo Jackson. Jo has been in and out of community theatre since high school and gets involved wherever home happens to be at the moment. Now in San Luis Obispo, she wears several hats around SLO REP, including serving as Stage Manager and Assistant Stage Manager for many main stage and Ubu’s performances, hospitality volunteer in the lobby, and occasionally as a “walk-on” or “stand-there” actress, or staged reading narrator. To keep the kitties in kibble, Jo is a licensed landscape architect and artist. Ask her about her incredible paintings!
Volunteer Director, Lacey McNamara, asked Jo a few questions about volunteering at SLO REP:
LM: What volunteer jobs have you had here at the Theatre?
JJ: Hospitality at the front door, stage managing for Ubu’s Other Shoe, and acting.
LM: How long have you been volunteering here?
JJ: 7 years…yeah, about 7 years.
LM: What got you started in volunteering?
JJ: I had waaaaaaay too much time on my hands and had been involved in community theatre in the past. I just stopped by to see what I could do and got involved backstage during Watergate and Other Solid Gold Hits (2013). Once they figured out I knew what I was doing, I got asked to stage manage. (chuckles)
LM: What is your favorite part about volunteering?
JJ: Working the front door, I really enjoy the friends I’ve made with the patrons. It’s been wonderful seeing the same faces and becoming friends. You know, it’s really like feeling part of a family. As stage manager, it really gives me the opportunity to assuage control issues. Haha!
LM: Do you volunteer at any other non-profit organizations?
JJ: I’m the Logistics Coordinator for the Live Oak Festival, I’ve been the Operations Manager for Orchestra Novo, and I volunteer with other community theatre companies – Wine Country Theatre, CCAT, By the Sea Productions – as actor and stage manager.
LM: Do you have any words of wisdom or a bit of advice for someone thinking about volunteering at SLO Rep or tips for someone who is coming in to volunteer for the first time?
JJ: Watch and listen. Be prepared to work with some really, really, really cool people – other volunteers AND patrons!
For more information about joining our volunteer crew, backstage or in the lobby, please visit our volunteer page, where you can find out more and sign-up!