The Adventure Continues

It’s taking shape

This past week has been a whirlwind of activity for the Wildflower Women’s Ensemble artistic team. We’ve scouted locations, built a baby website, got started on social media, and held auditions/first company meeting. All while working at another Shakespeare festival and holding down a 40 hour a week job. There were times when I thought I couldn’t handle this much, but I love it when I prove myself wrong. Grant it, I’ve done a bit more nothing these past couple days because I needed to. I’m ready to get back in the thick of it!

First Company Members

On Saturday, we held an invited audition for our first production, Henry V. It was invited because we need specific abilities and skills based on the type of production this first one is. I’m so excited that 14 women showed up as I was hoping for 10. The best part was the excitement and enthusiasm they brought. As I continue on this path, I am learning how important it is to have this company, dedicated to expanding the opportunities of women on stage, here in my city.

Nina Dramer, Samantha Hannum, Emily Labowitch, Shelby Saumier and Faye Taylor.

Nina Dramer, Samantha Hannum, Emily Labowitch, Shelby Saumier and Faye Taylore.

First Meeting

There is something intriguing about seeing “founding member” on someone’s resume or biography. I now get to put that on mine, Founder – Wildflower Women’s Ensemble, something that makes me crazy proud. I also plan to make the 14 women who showed up founding associate artists! This makes me crazy happy.

Back to work

As I sit here, I realize my “break” is over and I want to get back to work. Until next time!

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The Next Adventure Begins

WWE Logo 1

Wildflower is Born

Today, I went on an adventure to help bring about the beginning of a brand new all-female Shakespeare company called Wildflower Women’s Ensemble. In previous blog posts, I’ve hinted at the creation of this, and now it’s becoming real.

The Work to Do

I knew that starting this would take work. I think I even knew it would take a lot of work. But as I dig into the Articles of Incorporation, tax-exempt status and business licenses, I realize that I need to be more organized at getting all this done. I have 18 windows open right now and can’t remember where I started. But it’s an exciting process and I can’t wait to take the next step.

Coming Soon

We scouted for a location today for our first play which will open in Sept. We started in one direction but ended up on the other side of the river, in a spot that will work beautifully if the city allows it. Next, we announced auditions to a small group of women. In the next 8 weeks, we have to audition, rehearse, incorporate, apply for tax exemption and secure our location. Not to mention the crowd funding campaign that should start in about a week. Whew! But it’s all accomplishable…and mind boggling!

Wildflower

If you’d like to see the baby steps of this new company, visit us on the web, Facebook , Twitter and Instagram. We’ll be posting updates there (and I’ll be keeping you all up to date here.)
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Thank you for reading!

Tools for Travel Planning

Want to take a trip

I am not a professional travel agent (nor am I sponsored by any of the sites listed below), but sometimes I think I should have been. When it comes to travel planning, I love it! I may not use my time as efficiently when planning as I should but I get it all done and I enjoy the process. But I am also always on the look out for tools to help keep it simple and/or make it easier to book extensive plans without a professional travel agent.

Where to start

I start with the destination. Between Google maps and Trip Advisor, I get a feel for the location. I’ve also used Facebook to ask the locals where to stay, what to do and how to get around. They are the best source of information. Next, I approach how to get there. If it is by car, I review my vehicle and it’s capability. I rely on my husband to map the route as it is a passion of his. If it is to be by plane, I start with SkyScanner. This handy little app and website gives me an idea of ticket prices if my days are flexible. As they often are flexible within 2-3 days, this helps me narrow my travel dates. Once this part is done, however, I switch over to Kayak to search fares. Most of time, I find the lowest fares then go over to that airlines website. 95% of the time the fare is very similar, and sometimes lower. I have frequent flier accounts at a couple of airlines – Southwest, American and Delta – which covers most places that I can get points due to partnerships.

Once I get the flight booked, next stop is lodging. As a time-share owner (Disney Vacation Club and Wyndham), that is my next stop. If I cannot book through them, I use Booking.com to find hotels. I also use Google Maps and their “find nearby” feature, especially if I know that I want to stay in a particular area of the city. I just did this for Seattle and found a gem that wasn’t coming up on the booking sites.

Next is transportation. I have used Kayak and CarRentals.com for cars, but usually just go to the sites directly (Alamo, Enterprise, Avis.)

My favorite itinerary tool

My favorite itinerary tool

I think the best thing that I’ve found to help me keep organized is TripIt. This is a travel itinerary application and website that automatically imports my email confirmation into travel plans. It helps me keep all my confirmation numbers in one place and shows me the daily itinerary for anything we’ve booked. I just reviewed my intinerary for that upcoming trip to Seattle and it’s a busy one! But there is peace of mind knowing it’s all in one place. I have also had to use TripCase because of a travel agent connection. It does a similar thing but I like TripIt better.

What do you use?

Do you have any suggestions on a ways to streamline this process? I imagine many people use only Kayak or Booking.com, which I always consider. Are there any brilliant tools you’ve discovered? Thank you for sharing.