Entire Productions has been graced with the assistance of two bright interns for the past few weeks. After working onsite at their first event with our team two weeks ago, this is their story…Last night we (Mary and Natalie) were lucky enough to join the wonderful Kelsey at the First Place for Youth Fundraiser at The Fox Theatre in Oakland. This nonprofit organization provides housing and supportive services to former foster youth throughout California, and celebrated their 15th year with a blowout event! Mary arrived embarrassingly early and was informed by a burly man that the theater was closed for admittance. Too afraid to inform him that she was indeed working for the event, she scurried away and waited for someone with more authority than herself to arrive. Kelsey arrived shortly after and we began a walkthrough of the talent’s dressing rooms, making sure that all of their requests were handled. We had a few minutes before sound check was scheduled to begin so we helped the Samantha Smith Productions team drape linens onto the cocktail tables.
Sound check began with Pamela, a young woman who has benefited from the nonprofit’s services, practicing her success story. Then Maya Azucena and her band began sound checking their music. It was so much fun seeing how enthusiastic Maya is when she sings, even during a sound check! Vocal Rush, an a cappella group from Oakland School for the Arts, did their sound check next. Then Natalie arrived just in time to watch DJ Fuze and Zion I perform their sound checks. She was very excited to learn that Zion I is the same group who performs one of her favorite songs “Coastin’.” She was a little star-struck to say the least!
After sound check, we completed a typical intern task: running to the diner next door to get Kelsey and ourselves some dinner. After eating, we struck up a conversation with DJ Fuze, which ended in another food run. This time we went to the food trucks that the event provided for the guests and talent. There was an assorted selection of Indian food, empanadas, hamburgers, and cupcakes. We picked up a few Indian food selections for DJ Fuze and may or may not have grabbed some cupcakes for ourselves on the way back…
After giving DJ Fuze his food, we went into Vocal Rush’s dressing room to fetch them for their performance. They sang two songs, including one of our favorite country songs, “Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum and did a fantastic job! Then Pamela spoke about how First Place for Youth helped her after she was finished with the foster care system. Her speech was extremely moving and made us realize how lucky we are to have such supportive families and be a part of a great community. While Pamela was onstage, the MC started to encourage the crowd to text in donations and they were able to raise an astonishing amount to help local foster children.
Then DJ Fuze took the stage and played some great mash-ups such as “The Cupid Shuffle” and “I Feel Good”. We also watched an incredible performance by Maya from backstage. As she was finishing up, we went downstairs to Zion I’s dressing room and informed the duo that they would be going on stage in a few minutes. It was so much fun to watch an artist from backstage that we actually knew!
After standing backstage for about 15 minutes, Kelsey said that we could join the guests on the dance floor and watch Zion I perform from the crowd. Zion I taught the crowd to slam our hands to the beat of the music, and we did this dance move for pretty much the rest of the night. After dancing for about 15 minutes, we returned backstage and assured that everything was going smoothly before catching the Bart train home. Overall, it proved to be a very successful evening and it was great to see the behind the scenes role that Entire Productions plays during events!
All photos below were taken by Mary, Natalie & Kelsey's super professional iPhones.
By Natalie Garrett & Mary Crowgey, © Entire Productions