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I’ve joined the Theatre. Time to break a leg?

Posted on 23 Jan 2015 in Art, Branding, Marketing, Not For Profit, Uncategorized | Comments Off on I’ve joined the Theatre. Time to break a leg?

Gateway Theatre in Richmond BC at night

My new place of work. I hope to not regularly stay till it gets this dark.

Some time this week, I’ll be breaking the news to my Social Media outlets of my new job title: on Monday January 19, 2015, I begin at the City of Richmond’s Gateway Theatre as Communications Manager.

My new life in the Theatre

As I currently see it, this role will combine my years of Communications experience with three new hats that I’m excited, yet a bit daunted to put on.

New hat 1: Arts-ist

While Art has been a part of what I do (I graduated from OCAD, the big art school in the center of Canada’s universe), it hasn’t been a part of my full-time life this explicitly before. Particularly the Theatre Arts, one of the steeper learning curves on my horizon. However, what I think got me this job was that my thinking and inclinations align very much with Arts appreciation, and specifically with Gateway’s desire to foster more creativity. The title of Arts-ist is something that came up in ruminating on my new role. It seems somewhat less hoity-toity than Artist. Or Artsy. Or Artiste. Boy did we need a new title…

New hat 2: City Worker

One of the things that attracted me to the role was that, as a regional theatre, Gateway is fairly independent yet is intimately linked with the City of Richmond’s life. It is indeed a part of a well-maintained central Parks ground (my 3-year-old daughter and I call it the Bunny Park) that includes the Central Library and is near its City Hall. This lends itself to art that isn’t simply for art’s sake, but is accountable and responsible to the citizenry. I believe this is a big part of its success, where it’s now the Greater Vancouver area’s second largest Theatre production company. And when my wife Dana told her UBC Library work friends about landing the gig, they were all excited because they’re big fans and attenders of Gateway too. Who knew?

New hat 3: Manager

Managing is not entirely new to me but this is the first time Manager has actually been a part of my official title. In this day and age, the actual title might not make that big a difference. However, it’s become clear to me that management of a Communications Team (of three including myself) is a major reason I’m in the seat. I purposely left this as point 3 of 3. I’m interested in feedback from a slew of my friends who manage as a profession. More specific “quick, how do I do this?” may come more specifically in future but for now I’m mighty curious about quick general dos and don’ts from you, my friends with people management experience. In the meantime, I’m already thinking through my own wishlist of ideal and less-than-ideal management situations that I hope will shape my role here.

Feel free to Comment your management tips in, or better yet, if you use the Contact Form here to email me, you can make your advice even juicier!…

So there it is. I’ve run off to join the theatre. Or more accurately, I’ve stayed put to join the theatre, as finding work a 20-minute walk away was one of the drawing points, especially since proximity also means building into an enterprise that is a vital part of my city’s lifeblood. I hope to serve my home city well, and also hope to update my blog audience here more frequently on my progress in this.
Happy new-ish year!

promo shot from Gateway Theatre's production of cantonese play Detention

A promotional still from Gateway’s 2014 Pacific Festival production Detention. Again, detention is also something I hope to not get while working at Gateway.