The House Managers of CounterPulse

The House Managers of CounterPulse

You’ve seen them buzzing around the box office ensuring the show is running smoothly. They’re the folks making sure you get your ticket and La Croix before taking a seat, introducing the show, and handling the behind-the-scenes House Manager business.

CounterPulse shows would not be the same without our amazing House Managers: Hannah, Greta, and Kirill!

Take a moment to learn about the team’s backgrounds and projects, what brought them to CounterPulse, and the awkward House Manager situations they get into.

Hannah Ayasse

What is your artistic/professional background?

I studied dance and psychology in school and am now a dance artist and early childhood educator.

What project are you currently working on? What’s in store for the future?

I am currently developing an evening of performance art playing with how the body is perceived. At this stage, it’s quite undefined but it will involve sculpture, plaster, paint, movement, stillness, and sweat and I am excited! I’ll be showing at SAFEhouse with Dustin Ordway on October 25th and 26th at 8pm. I also produce a performance and discussion series called the Performance Primers with a mission to keep opportunities open for marginalized performing artists to present their work in Oakland. We have a show, The Ineffable Being at East Side Cultural Center on September 21st featuring 6 Q/TPOC artists.

What are your hobbies, interests, and pass-times?

I love to be near the ocean, make and eat yummy food, go witness art, and put on clothes that make me feel good.

What drew you to CounterPulse?

I first knew CounterPulse as a patron, then performer, then volunteer usher. CounterPulse is my favorite theater presenting and supporting some of the most rigorous and innovative experimental dance in the Bay Area! I love the way it is part of it’s community and cultivates a supportive environment.

Describe your favorite moment as a CounterPulse House Manager.

Working the Gala was one of my favorite events because the whole staff was there dressed in full space-themed costume and working hard but with a big sense of joy and celebration!

Greta Hadley

What is your artistic/professional background?

I’m currently the development associate at Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, as well as one of the house managers here at CounterPulse, but I’ve worked in many contexts: I’ve been an academic researcher, the coordinator of a customer service department at a tech company, a nanny, a stand keeper at a farmer’s market, an English teacher…I love to draw a from all my different experiences in the work I do today. I’m a dancer as well as a visual artist—overall I’d describe myself as a “maker”.

What project are you currently working on? What’s in store for the future?

I’m a member of Cat Call Choir, a project that’s near and dear to my heart. We sing about sexual harassment to the tune of well-known nursery rhymes. I’m looking forward to continuing to deepen our practice together. I’ve always chosen a “surprise me!” rather than planned approach to the future…we’ll just have to see!

What are your hobbies, interests, and pass-times?

Writing, finding inspiration in the weirdest places, making things, making lists, periodically going through my planner and making sure everything’s in there and then basking in the temporary sense of brain tidiness I get from it, being away from the city, finding treasures of all shapes and sizes.

What drew you to CounterPulse?

I started volunteering here when I first moved to the Bay Area almost two years ago—I was interested in meeting people in the art and dance community and this seemed like the perfect place to do so. It was! My first experience was being behind the bar on an open bar night pouring drinks for 3 hours non-stop and talking to about 10 people at once on rotation. I loved it!

Describe your  most awkward moment as a CounterPulse House Manager.

House speeches can definitely be awkward moments for me – I once went up to give the speech and was doing pretty well until I realized I had totally blanked the title of the piece I was meant to introduce. Sometimes there’s just so much going on a performance night that my brain lets go of bits of information that I’d rather hold on to!

Kirill Z

What is your artistic/professional background?
 
I am a visual artist with a background in ink and mural painting, though I’ve dabbled in ceramics, graphic design, 3D installation, and Boalian theater. Most of my early career post-college has revolved around the arts and nonprofit sectors in administration, project management, and event planning. I am currently making the switch into tech, hoping to fill a project manager role once I am more comfortable in the industry.

What project are you currently working on? What’s in store for the future?
 
As my artistic career has taken a backseat to political organizing in the last few years, I am working on two ongoing political projects that are close to my heart. The first, Resistencia Relativa (@resistenciarelativa), is a grassroots migrant- and Latine-led collective working to build solidarity with Central American migrants under the current repressive conditions. It grew out of several affinity groups organizing between the SF Bay Area and Tijuana during the landfall of several migrant caravans in the winter of 2018, and expanded to support multiple migrant-led housing and resource collectives along the California and Texas borders.
The second project, Justice Builders, is a horizontal worker-owned construction collective with a two-pronged mission. We take on contracts from higher-earning clients which we use as an opportunity to train apprentices who are POC, women, trans, or otherwise barred from getting a foot in the competitive and exclusionary construction industry. With the surplus money we earn from those contracts, we provide free labor to low-income Oakland residents and leftist projects with which we align politically. The collective was founded in the spring of 2019 and is gaining steady momentum with large contracts from well-recognized Bay Area institutions.

What are your hobbies, interests, and pass-times?
 
Aside from my artwork, I spend a lot of time taking care of living things. I have two parakeet roommates, Siniza and Bello, who take up a lot of my time in playing, training, and hanging out on top of my head. I am an obsessive gardener, currently counting over 100 house plants and showing no signs of stopping, in addition to my outdoor vegetable garden. I’m an avid cook, trying to get back into it after an illness that temporarily took away my interest in food. Finally, I spend a lot of time socializing in small groups, hosting dinner parties for my friends and meeting people in nature. I’ve really grown in to my early-bird grandma lifestyle in the last few years, and I no longer pretend to enjoy late nights out.

What drew you to CounterPulse?
 
I’ve been a part of the peripheral CounterPulse community before I came on as a member of the team, dropping in on events with Zerena Diaz, CP’s indispensable Associate Director of Operations. I hold a lot of respect for CounterPulse’s honest engagement with the important questions of our generation while staying true to its artistic and political values. CounterPulse’s commitment to diversity, to meaningful and beautiful theater, to community accountability, and to being a responsible member of the Tenderloin family distinguishes it as an exceptional art space. Its warmth and genuine regard for its team keeps people coming back again and again.
 
Describe your favorite or most awkward moment as a CounterPulse House Manager.

Some of my favorite moments as a CounterPulse House Manager have involved getting to know the artists, volunteers, and team members on a personal level. I always try to see at least part of the shows being put on, and it’s funny how my perspective shifts from viewing the artists as coworkers before I see them perform, to being starstruck by them after I witness their work. It’s amazing being asked to post-show drinks with the artist team, chatting with CounterPulse staff about our vacations, and coming in on my days off for galas and events. As cliche as it sounds, my favorite part of working at CounterPulse is the friends I made along the way.

One Comment

  • Rick Darnell

    what a great team of house managers. I have seen them in action, countless times, and am always impressed at how good they are with the HM job and with our patrons

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