Alonzo King LINES Ballet Hires Point Park Alumnus James Ogden II as Production Director Alumni Profile
Meet James Ogden II
- Job Title & Employer
- Production Director, Alonzo King LINES Ballet
- Theatre Production (stage-management)
- April 2012
- Dean's Academic, Artistic Achievement, Outstanding Technical Theatre Award, Alfred Brooks Award, Apprenticeship
- Bear, Del.
- High School
- Cab Calloway School of the Arts
- Now Living In
- San Francisco, Calif.
- Hobbies & Interests
- TV, movies, live performances, parks and sunshine
"As a student, I was the stage manager for gala events, a world-premiere dance production, and two world premiere plays with The REP, earning my card with Actors' Equity Association. Being able to work on plays, musicals and dance productions prepared me to work in performing arts."
How did Point Park’s theatre program and faculty prepare a pathway to your career?
Point Park's theatre program and its faculty allows students to not only work under, but alongside working industry professionals who are respected beyond the University. Many professors took us outside of the Pittsburgh Playhouse to shadow the work that they were contributing to at City Theatre Company, Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company, Quantum Theatre, Pittsburgh Public Theater and many others. Since graduating, it's hard not to run into Point Park alumni coast-to-coast.
Before attending Point Park, I had very little knowledge of all of the positions available in the technical theatre world. It wasn't until my second semester that I decided to concentrate in stage-management. My first semester allowed me to explore the many introductory courses to deepen my understanding of what it took to put on a production. In my junior year, I was selected to attend the annual SETC Convention, where I discovered just how many jobs were available in this field. The faculty and artists I had the opportunity to work with at Point Park and the Pittsburgh Playhouse more than prepared me, they gave me the confidence I needed.
As a student, I was the stage manager for gala events, a world-premiere dance production, and two world premiere plays with The REP, earning my card with Actors' Equity Association. Being able to work on plays, musicals and dance productions prepared me to work in performing arts.
Where have you worked since graduating from Point Park?
- SeaWorld San Antonio, Stage-Manager at Shamu Theatre
- Charlotte Ballet, Stage-Manager, Company Stage-Manager and Director of Artistic Operations
- Martha Graham Dance Company, Production Supervisor
- Elisa Monte Dance, Production Stage-Manager
- Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Freelance
- Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Production Director
Tell us about the work you do at Alonzo King LINES Ballet?
Stage-management is about 10 percent of my overall job. The majority of my work is to oversee all technical aspects of the company's productions. I supervise the production staff at LINES and within each tour venue. There are many meetings with agents and presenters to work out logistics of technical needs and budgetary restraints.
What do you enjoy most about your job and why?
Calling performances is the best part of my job. There is no greater reward than to watch everything come together after months of hard work. Additionally, being able to travel the world is rather amazing. Granted most cities that I travel to I am able to see no more than the hotel and theatre, but the skills I have been able to strengthen are priceless. When English is not the first language and your translator isn't fluent in stage terminology, you have to get rather creative communicating the needs of the Company.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
Four years may feel like an eternity starting out, but it will all be over before you know it. Try new things, explore all that you are offered and take advantage of each opportunity in your life.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Do not under estimate the power of networking, not only with your peers, but with the faculty you have the honor to learn from. Networking is not just finding people that can get you work. Networking is about making connections and strengthening relationships with those who motivate and inspire you to do better.