When you work at a place named after a large, prehistoric, and rather fluffy animal, you probably assume that you will not have the typical office experience. When it’s a theatre known for “defying convention” and the theme of the season is “A Striptease of Your Subconscious” you can definitely assume that some of the experiences you will have are ones that you wouldn’t have in most workplaces. And largely, you are right. You can wear jeans. You can say “fuck” (and many do, on a regular basis!). You can have a beer or two in the kitchen with your coworkers…though try and do it at a reasonable hour. All of these things I figured out pretty quickly when I started at Woolly almost a year ago. Still, there were the surprises, and since my time at Woolly is drawing to a close and we are preparing for my last show here, Bootycandy, I’m going to take you all on a trip down memory lane. So here you go, a list of some of the most ridiculous things I’ve been asked to do as the Marketing and Communications Assistant here at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. Well, the ones they’d let me put in writing, anyway. YOU’RE WELCOME, WORLD.
“Hey Katie, there’s a vibrator downstairs. Go find it and bring me photos.”
Alright. So most of you know that the opening show this season was IN THE NEXT ROOM or the vibrator play, so this first one probably isn’t that shocking. However, please keep in mind that this is one of the first things I was ever asked to do at Woolly. Not “hey lady, can you grab me some coffee?” or “I need you to fax this.” GO STALK A VIBRATOR AND TAKE PHOTOS. Oh, and I believe the phrase “be sure you get some really good angles” was used. There is a lot of specific and scientific thinking about vibrators to understand what a “good angle” for a vibrator shot is, and I’d like you to imagine a small, innocent, bright-eyed Katie trying to figure that one out in her first week. And enjoy.
Oh well. At least I didn’t have to do what Max did.
“Why don’t we get Katie to dress up like a child pageant star and wander around the streets of DC?”
This one didn’t actually happen. However, it was thrown out as a possibility during a grassroots marketing brainstorm for House of Gold, and let me explain to you how these types of ideas are presented. At Woolly are you not ASKED to do these things. You are told, “Prepare yourself, this might happen.” Probably for the best, I did not end up putting on that frilly pink dress that those of you who saw the show are familiar with, but it was a very real possibility for a while. And that is terrifying.
“Sorry, I had to go throw fake Jell-o spleens.”
That is a direct quote from a G-chat that I was having with a friend one day. And not only did I have to go throw fake Jell-o spleens, I had to make them. Do you know how to make fake Jell-o spleens? Let’s just say it involves melted gummy worms, ruined spoons, and a specific smell in the office kitchen afterwards. However, I did it for our holiday video (which if you haven’t seen, you need to check out here. Watch it. Otherwise my efforts and our Business Manager allowing us to throw fake Jell-o spleens at her head for about 15 takes so Max could get “the right look” was for naught.
“Alright, I order everyone to send Katie ‘your mom’ jokes.”
That was a direct order from Jeff Herrmann, our Managing Director at an ALL STAFF MEETING. That’s right. This was part of a Social Media campaign that I came up with for Oedipus el Rey which entailed tweeting “your mom” jokes in a contest to win tickets to the show. This started out as a joke I made when we were brainstorming one day, but like many of the jokes I make, it became a real Marketing plan that I was asked to put together. And so I did. I put together a social media marketing strategy plan based on “your mom” jokes.
“Katie, I need you to find a way for us to make customized condoms. Also, I want butt lollipops.”
Have you ever googled “butt lollipop?” Don’t. Just ask me where to find them. Seriously.
“Katie, just be sure you don’t get arrested. Actually…can you get arrested?”
No, I did not actually get arrested, nor did I try to. However, I did have a ton of fun walking around with Brooke Miller, our Press and Digital Content Manager and Woolly friend Seena Hodges and asking people on U Street what they thought “Bootycandy” was. If you don’t know what I’m talking about you obviously aren’t following our Facebook and need to check out this hilarious series of videos here. Shamless self promotion WHAT UP.
Thanks for coming along on my little journey everyone. Yes, there are tons more things I could tell you, but I think a little mystery is good in a relationship so we will leave it at that. However, I will tell you that working at Woolly has been unlike anything I have ever experienced before, and will probably be unlike anything I will ever experience again. The family here at Woolly is so unique and so strong, and I will be very sad when my time is done.
But don’t worry. I still have a little over a month, so it’s still possible they’ll get me arrested.
~ Katie Boyles, Marketing and Communications Assistant