This week, we speak to Lindsay Rodolico who serve as the Los Angeles KISS stage manager. What is the responsibility of a Stage manager? Well, she makes sure that everything runs smoothly and once in a while, she has to make sure that no wholy Shit moments happen. We have spoken to her at pretty much every single home game and thought it was about time you got to meet the women dressed in Leopard pants running around the field and the Honda Center on game days.
What made you decide to become a stage manager?
After my initial introduction to the LA Kiss through contacts I had met prior in the AFL, I was brought in as junior dance team director and consultant/judge for the pro dancers during their audition process. I was/am extremely passionate and interested in this team from the start and, when Harlan jumped on board as producer of game day, I knew this was an opportunity I couldn’t refuse. We had worked together in the past and, because he is a master at his craft, I felt confident joining the production team.
Where else did you work prior to the LA KISS?
Danced professionally for the AFL’s Philadelphia Soul Dance Team, under the ownership of Jon Bon Jovi. Then was chosen as captain and selected as a representative for the Arena Football League Dream team (The AFL version of an All Star Dance Team) and performed at the Arena Bowl in New Orleans and the Nascar races in Talladega. Since then I moved to Los Angeles and had the opportunity to choreograph for music videos, live performances, and different teams in the professional sports industry. In collaboration with Statewide Promotions, she became the choreographer for the first ever junior dance team in MLB history with the Dodgers in 2009.
How do you deal with conflicts/problems that emerge? (live component)
With a smile, a solution, and a positive attitude! With live sports entertainment, there is ALWAYS the possibility of crazy things happening and, with the KISS, they usually do! That is what makes it so fun and the energy and spontaneity of some moments arewhat make the most memorable experiences. I also keep my running shoes and a fire extinguisher near by just in case things get TOO crazy! ;)
When deadlines approach, how do you deal with them?
I am one of those whacky people who thrive under pressure and deadlines are what keep me in check! It is always an interesting juggling act of balancing multiple jobs and positions and making sure there is still time to devote to creating a quality and fulfilling out of office life.
Do you have any help/assistants?
I am very fortunate to work with a small yet mighty group of talented and devoted professionals at the LA KISS games. In this inaugural year, our organization has created the product on the field from scratch and, while we have had our own set of fiery hoopsto jump through, it is so rewarding and exciting to execute.
What paperwork do you have to accomplish your tasks and how do you organize it?
I do generate and organize paperwork for the Junior Dance team to keep accurate registration records and necessary information in tidy little folders (typically leopard ones!) and have digital copies of everything as well. On game day, I work off the game day script and make my own little condensed cheat sheet to keep everything EXTRA organized. Yes, the teacher in me carries over big time.
What are the Junior Kiss Girls?
They are a dance team comprised of dancers 7-17 who exhibit an interest in sharing their talents and personality on a team that performs routines at select home games. The girls have two dance workshops per month and they always amaze me with how much choreography they can retain at once. My vision for this team includes bringing out each girl’s inner rockstar and encouraging them to feel confident and shine without the added pressure of the typical dance world experience. I am SO proud of this hard working little team!
Did you bring up the idea of a junior team or was this in the works prior?
I did reach out to the LA KISS very early on with an interest in adding in this component and I was happy that Brandy, the director of the dancers, and I shared similar visions and enthusiasm! I have worked with many junior dance teams in the past and this is definitely where my talents and passion shine the most. When you love what you do, it makes the world of difference!
How is this squad different from the main team?
Well, for starters, they are minors :) I like to model the junior program in such a way that the younger girls can look up to the pro squad and learn different components and skills that may prepare them one day to join the LA KISS Girls!
What is a typical day for you on game day? Non game day?
A typical game day is usually organized chaos with a dose of crazy and excitement! I usually arrive at the arena 6-7 hours prior to the start of the game, which leaves me enough time to get organized, oversee rehearsals, prep for pre game and then get the fun started! (I also do a quick wardrobe change because a girl still needs to try and look cute on the job!) :)...Non game day? Well, I always like to surprise those who ask this question with the fact that I teach Pre School Monday through Friday for my full time job! Talk about two extremes...and I love everything about it :)
Do you think you have any little quirks that you think help you be a stage manager?
This question made me laugh a little bit because I think my quirks have become my “normal” which is a little scary! I like to believe that I have the qualities of a person who makes other people feel comfortable and confident and I try to share this with the talent that comes in for the games. There are a lot of nerves and insecurities that can arise with live entertainment and being organized and positive, with a touch of a happy cheerleader, can hopefully make someone else feel at ease, focused, and in a better mood. Then it becomes a win-win for all involved!
Even though it is exhausting, knowing what you know now, would you still be a stage manager?
Absolutely. I am currently looking for additional avenues in which I can share this passion!
Do you have any advice you would like to give someone thinking about stage management as a career?
Stay focused yet keep your eyes open for the unexpected (good thing mine are big!), stay present yet confidently anticipate the next move to execute , and let mistakes become memorable moments and lessons without taking everything personal!