Getting the Show on the Road
I’ve always loved traveling, and I dreamed of finding a job I enjoyed that allowed me to see the country. I never thought it would come true though. But as I write this, I’m sitting at a coffee shop in Oklahoma City (home for me is New York) sipping on an apple green tea while taking a break from planning next week’s travel to Memphis and from creating the flight sign up for Fort Worth.
I’m the Assistant Company Manager for the first national tour of On Your Feet! That means every week I hop on a flight or a bus and get 65 people from one city to the next. My life is spent in hotel rooms and theatre basements with a new bucket list every week for each new city I get to explore.
In high school, I was given the choice: sports or theatre. I chose volleyball, basketball, and lacrosse. I still saw regional productions and touring Broadway shows and made my way to New York for theatre weekends. I didn’t know there was a way to be in theatre without being on stage.
I found out how wrong I was when I was graduating from college. My background was in Creative Writing and English, but I applied for and got an apprenticeship at Roundabout Theatre Company in New York in their Special Events Department for their 50th Anniversary season. I spent an amazing year planning opening night parties, backstage tours, donor dinners, and a Gala. I got to go to the Tonys and cheer as my company won Best New Play for The Humans. I saw every show I was offered (you sometimes get free tickets when working in the biz) and read plays in my spare time…and, at the end of the apprentice program, I knew I wasn’t going to leave theatre.
Once I had my foot in the door, it was eye opening to see how many jobs were available in theatre behind the scenes as a crew member or 10am-6pm office workers. I continued my education by moving to a commercial producing office, where I discovered touring Broadway shows need full-time employees – onstage and off – to travel the country. It was the perfect combination of travel and theatre.
It’s been an unforgettable time. I will have been to 38 cities by the time my tour is over in April. I’ve toured the Opry, climbed to the Hollywood sign, been to the top of the Space Needle, rode a hot air balloon over the desert at sunrise, and walked the Golden Gate—while also working A LOT.
Company Management is a job that is all day, every day. I’ve been woken to canceled flights at 3am, built bunks on a bus that didn’t come outfitted properly, and dealt with a whole bunch of other things I can’t quite share in this article. But every day has been new and memorable. I wouldn’t change it for anything.