You might have read our individual bios on the website, but what you may not know is that there’s a deeper history to everyone who works for AndreaRentals. We’re not a family business or anything, but I have known each of the fabulous women who work for me in different capacities over the years.
Servane was my first hire, in July of 2014 when the business was new but growing, and getting to be a bit much for just me. But we met and became friends earlier that year when she came to a baby shower that I hosted for a mutual friend at my house and we discovered 1) that we were neighbors and 2) we both loved Piperlime shoes. (Why did Piperlime go out of business!??) We started bonding over Victorian remodeling, singing at the Alley, and shoe purchases, and when I posted a notice on Facebook that AndreaRentals was hiring, Servane was the first person who reached out to me. We have been colleagues, shoe shoppers, and friends ever since.
Stephanie joined the two-(wo)man AndreaRentals team in July of 2015, in response to yet another Facebook hiring post, but we also knew each other beforehand. Both Stephanie and I have our MFAs in Acting and had bumped into each other over the years in the Bay Area theater world. We finally did a play together with TheaterFirst in Berkeley in September of 2013, right when I first moved back to California from New York. The show was Orlando, by Sarah Ruhl, and Stephanie was Orlando – she never left the stage and was fantastic. I played a variety of roles including one of Orlando’s love interests – Queen Elizabeth. It’s a complex plot, but I’ll leave you with this image and article from the Chronicle review as proof that we aren’t JUST rental gurus – we also have been known to perform for hire. (Side note – Stephanie still does acting work in the area that you may catch her in. I myself have let it go for the time being to focus on new things – though someday maybe we’ll be on stage together again?)
Jen is the newest addition to the AndreaRentals team – she just started in January of 2018 as our much-needed office maven and all-around support gal – but Jen is actually the person who I have known the longest. In a former life, several decades ago, Jen’s former husband was the musical director of the first show I ever performed in – South Pacific at UC Davis. Even though it was a million years ago (really – 26 years) I still remember Jen reading a scene with me for the audition. I got the lead – and I’m sure I have Jen to thank in some way for that. While our lives have taken us in many, many different directions and locations over the last 25 years, Jen has remained a fringe-constant. I visited her in New York City when we were both in our early 20’s and even though it was -20 degree wind chill and the news said to stay inside, she showed me the city. She comped me in to Teatro Zinzanni when she worked there. When I ruptured my Achilles tendon in 2012, 3 weeks before moving into my new under-renovation Victorian home with 14 front steps, Jen showed up to help move my furniture into place and do some much needed cleaning, the mark of true friendship. Now she deftly drafts leases, answers questions, and keeps us all on track and I see her much more often than I have for the last 25 years, which is a great thing.
I love our group, and I think our histories say a lot about the way we’re able to pull together and work so well as a team. I wonder … who might join us next? And are they already my Facebook friend?? Only time will tell.