Victory Gardens Theater Announces Free Seminar Series For Theater Professionals

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Victory Gardens Theater Announces Free Seminar Series For Theater Professionals

Victory Gardens Theater outgoing Artistic Director Chay Yew, Executive Artistic Erica Daniels announce a free seminar series taught by Chicago artists and local arts leaders designed to aid those whose ability to work has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Topics cover virtual auditions, creating a home-recording studio, and how to handle income and taxes during this time.

All seminars are held live via Zoom with a recorded version made available to those unable to attend. All seminars are on Saturdays from 2:00-3:30 p.m., beginning May 30, 2020. For more information or to RSVP, visit

"During this pandemic, artists have been forced to pivot to a digital workspace and have more questions than ever about how they can make the best decisions and set themselves up for success," notes Executive Artistic Director Erica Daniels. "The Victory Gardens Conservatory wanted to address these pressing questions and give artists access to the top professionals working in these arenas. We're thrilled these practitioners have joined with VG to be of service to our community."

Seminar Lineup

Seminar 1: Tax Workshop for Performing Artists

Saturday, May 30, 2:00-3:30 p.m.
Instructor: David Turrentine, Enrolled Agent and Chicago Actor

This workshop is designed to teach artists how to keep track of income and expenses and save money on their taxes. The workshop will include the following:

  • An in-depth discussion of tax-deductible expenses for artists.
  • An examination of wage vs. independent contractor income and expenses (W-2s and 1099s).
  • Basic bookkeeping techniques and tips on how to run a "one-person business."
  • An overview of the "Qualified Performing Artist" area of the tax code with its special rules for lower-income performing artists.
  • Valuable hints on how to deal with "self-employment" income.
  • A demonstration of how to include arts related business expenses on your tax return to significantly reduce your taxes.
  • A discussion on the advantages and disadvantages of various types of business entities such as LLCs and corporations.
  • An overview of the tax law changes for 2018 as they specifically relate to artists.

Seminar 2: How to Audition Via Zoom

Saturday, June 6, 2:00-3:30 p.m.
Instructors: Bob Mason, Chicago Shakespeare Theater Artistic Associate/Casting Director; JC Clementz, Steppenwolf Theatre Casting Director and Artistic Producer; Lauren Port, Goodman Theatre Casting Director; Kanomé Jones, Victory Gardens Theater Casting Director

Learn how to set yourself up for a successful Zoom audition, from creating your audition space to adjusting your performance for maximum digital impact.

Seminar 3: DIY Home Recording Studio

Saturday, June 13, 2:00-3:30 p.m.
Instructor: Dave Kresl, Recording Engineer

Dave Kresl has worked as a recording engineer in the Chicago advertising community for over twenty years. Through the recording and mixing of thousands of spots for television radio and internet, he can help you with the process of preparing great sounding auditions.

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