DeBlogs > Tyler Esselman > theater-school-gala

The Theater School Gala

​​This past week has been both wild and crazy. I’m currently in the thick of tech for my show at The Theatre School in addition to midterms and business ramping up in the TTS (The Theater School) admissions office in preparation for our first audition day in the coming weeks. It’s an exciting time of year, to be sure. Autumn is kind of my time, anyway. Us Esselmans have always been partial to earth tones and hearty meals so autumn is our time.

But all that fun stuff aside, I am going to be taking part in a very interesting event in a couple weeks and am very excited about it. Ever since my first year at TTS, I have volunteered at our annual fundraising gala. In much the same way professional theatre companies host galas to raise money to support their season each year, TTS has one to raise money for its students’ scholarships. The evening features a big dinner and program where many of the city’s most prominent arts benefactors can buy tables and watch as we honor alums, celebrities, and prominent members of the Chicago community for their contributions to us and the arts community in general. In past years I have sold tickets for the raffle and been featured as costumed entertainment but this year I will have the distinct honor of being a VIP escort and presenter. I will be escorting Mary Spaulding Burns who is the chair of The Theatre School board. She is a local lawyer who is heavily involved in supporting charitable organizations and the arts here in Chicago and, from every thing I’ve heard, seems like a real sweetheart. I will accompany her throughout the night to make sure she knows where she needs to be for the program. And I’ll get to rock my new suit! So that’s pretty cool. The gala is a really cool event that I’m very proud to be a part of especially because of the fact that I have benefitted from scholarship funds raised by this very event. It’s gratifying to know that I am playing a part in supporting the future of my school. That’s very important to me. Plus, you know I’m down for that free dinner!

Hot Track of the Week:

In honor of Wilco’s (nearly) sold out six night residency at the Riviera Theatre coming up in December, I have been poring over my favorite tracks from my favorite Chicago band. This one never fails to please.