Living the theatre dream
The first thing I think about in the morning is food so I usually get up straight away and I have my porridge. During the summer months I was training for the Great Scottish Swim in Loch Lomond to raise money for the Music Hall Transformation, so I would get up at around 6.30am and go for a run or swim before work, but now it’s definitely too dark to get up that early.
I always need extra time before I leave because I have two distractions – my dachshunds, Jim and Reg, who try to keep me home with their cuteness every morning.
I’ve grown up with a love for musicals and that’s why my job is so perfect for me. Having previously worked front of house and as a duty manager, I got to see a lot of my favourite productions several times a week. My drive to work takes 25 minutes and is usually accompanied with musical soundtracks, anything from Hamilton to Dear Evan Hansen.
I normally arrive at work around 9.30am and depending on the day I’ll either stay at HMT and change the print and leaflets or I’ll head over to The Lemon Tree where the marketing team is based. On a Monday I spend my morning venturing around HMT which I love because it’s such a beautiful theatre and my favourite place in Aberdeen.
If I start my day at The Lemon Tree I’ll usually start by checking my e-mails and then I’ll look at my to-do list. I’m a big fan of Post-Its, so they usually grow throughout the week. My job is really varied, which is great. Today on the marketing side of things we had the delivery of the HMT spring brochure which is very exciting and includes some great new shows. One in particular is a big musical which I’m very excited about but obviously I can’t reveal the show until the brochure lands next week for the public. That’s probably the hardest part of this job – keeping stagey secrets.
I will then work on sending out print requests for Velvet Evening Seance which was the first show APA staged under our new producing arm, Freshly Squeezed Productions. The show had its world premiere at The Lemon Tree and then went to the Edinburgh Fringe. A perk of the job is getting to see new productions, which for a theatre geek is the dream. Velvet Evening Seance is an excellent show so I’m very excited that it’s going on a Scottish tour, starting in The Lemon Tree in February 2018.
I try not to go out for lunch as I get really distracted by the shops in town. On the occasional Thursday when there is a matinee at HMT I’ll pop across to the theatre to see our Music Hall ambassador and volunteer Sandy. Sandy is helping us sell unique Music Hall Christmas cards which feature a photo of his lovely golden retriever assistance dog, Charlie.
This afternoon I’ll be working on putting together the next Lemon Tree brochure, which will be available to the public in December. I’ll then check in with one of our customers about their Take A Seat purchase, which allows people to support the Music Hall Transformation by buying and naming a seat in the venue.
A large part of my job is fundraising, and in the run-up to Christmas customers are phoning in about taking a seat for their loved ones. Some are doing this in loving memory of someone or as Christmas presents. Some of the stories are really touching. I’ll then finish my day by looking into the upcoming fundraising events that we have planned for the Music Hall. Last month we put on public Halloween Ghost Tours at HMT which were a great success, and next month we’re putting on a Christmas Quiz Night and a festive film screening for staff.
I usually finish work at 5.30pm after reviewing my to-do list for the next day so I can get started straight away when I get in. Tonight I’m helping with a Music Hall presentation before our guests go and see the spectacular Sunset Boulevard so I’ll finish a little later than usual. I’ll then head home to catch up with my family and, of course, see my dogs Jim and Reg. This will probably be followed by liking pictures of cute dogs on Instagram and bingeing on Netflix shows.
5 REASONS WHY I LOVE MY JOB
1. I love theatre, so getting to assist in marketing the shows that I’m passionate about is a great opportunity.
2. I grew up going to see shows in the Music Hall and I actually heard my first jazz band there, which inspired me to take up the saxophone. To be part of the transformation of the venue is really lovely.
3. I work with an extremely talented team who are very supportive of my fundraising events.
4. Having worked in the customer service department and marketing, I have a good understanding of how different departments work which make my jobs a lot easier.
5. Aberdeen Performing Arts is a great company to work for.