Search
  • OSP

Ditching the Desk Life

Updated: Sep 9, 2019


By: Mary Ragus, Broadway Audience Experience Manager


I've always been a talker. A loud talker. A loud talker with, what some might call, an obsessive love of Broadway.


I picked “Communication” as a major sophomore year because I assumed it had something to do with conversation. My RA actually scolded me that same year for throwing a dorm room party only to discover I was alone chatting with my bff on speaker phone.


After graduating, I tried to quiet my voice (let the literal and metaphorical implications of that sentence sink in.) I landed a coveted, yet traditional, 9 to 5 job in professional theater and once again found myself getting glares – this time from HR – because an open floor plan office does not lend well to a conversation about topics like your colleague’s Bumble date. Note that men can literally cheer when their March Madness team hits a three-pointer at most offices, while I was being reprimanded for inquiring about the potential life partner of my closest work friend, but I digress. By 2017, I had garnered fantastic Marketing & Events experience at Geva Theatre Center, SpotCo, and Roundabout Theatre Company, but I knew I wasn’t living a life that would bring me the most joy (turns out I unknowingly used the konmori method on my career). I quit in search of an environment that fulfilled my love for the arts but also allowed me more daily human interaction.


After a few months of mastering latte art and twisting balloons at Senor Frogs (no, you cannot make that up), my former colleague texted me out of the blue: "If you're still trying to work in Broadway and not sit behind a desk, I have the perfect job for you."


I said yes and began my gig on the Broadway revival of Once On This Island in a role they called Audience Concierge. I hosted the show's lottery, took photos pre-show encouraging the audience to post about their experience on social media, and facilitated VIP meet & greets, talkbacks, and other photo opportunities post-show that could be beneficial on social media. My night would consist of anything from taking a post-show photo of a raffle-winner on stage to ushering Lin-Manuel Miranda backstage for photos with the cast. For the first time, I was not only allowed to spend my working hours talking to people, but I was encouraged to.


Lin Manuel-Miranda (center) backstage at the Circle in the Square Theatre with Once On This Island company members.

Since Once On This Island, I've recreated this same role for Broadway's Gettin' The Band Back Together and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts I & II.

I love engaging with the audience and feel so lucky that now, rather than getting in trouble for talking, I'm hired to do just that.

CONTACT US

526 West 26th Street, Studio 522, New York, NY 10001​

Tel: 917-969-9102

info@openstageproject.org

FOLLOW US

  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon

© 2017 by Open Stage Project