The truth is, there is no average day here. I was assured from the very beginning that working at Boston Court would be absolutely unpredictable and not at all formulaic. I nodded and smiled, wondering how that could possibly be true. It’s an office, I thought. How wild can it get?
Actually, it has been more varied than I could possibly have imagined. I’ve taken walks and long drives to pick things up, drop things off, go to meetings or just have a nice lunch. I’ve met and e-mailed some fascinating people, torn books out of their spines, gone on a chocolate bar tour of Canada, and talked about how to secure a career in the arts with people who have actually managed it.
Lest anyone think it’s all made-up holidays and impromptu photo shoots around here, though, I should mention that I’ve learned quite a lot in the short time that I’ve been here. Marketing is a tough area to dive straight into, especially at a new theatre where publicity has to start at Step One: Get People to Find Out We Exist and go all the way up to The Last Step: So You Like Us, Please Continue! It’s a lot like dating. We would do just about anything for you, lovely reader, and we devote quite a bit of time to courting you, attracting you, and anticipating your needs. Not to sound like too much of a creeper, but it makes us really happy when you open our e-mails.
It’s a common problem in this business: how to find the people who are already interested in theatre, and how to get more people to become interested in theatre. I’m sure you’re all familiar with the background of the story—fifty years ago, a set of Lincoln Logs was a high-tech toy, now nothing short of a PlayStation can entertain an eight-year-old—so how do we make people who are increasingly used to 3-D movies come to an art form as ancient as a play?
Every once in a while, I sense adults’ eyes on me while we’re trying to think of ways to entice a new generation of theatre-goers. “They’re your age group,” they seem to be saying, “Any ideas?” Well, no, not really. Utter intern failure. I don’t understand why people my age wouldn’t rather come see a play. They’re smarter, better-written, better-acted in many cases—and besides, the entire point of expensive 3-D imaging and surround sound is to make you feel like the movie you’re watching is really happening in front of you. To state the obvious, wouldn’t you rather come and see something that is actually happening in front of you? Not to mention the potential for mistakes, which you’d imagine this schadenfreude-loving generation would be all over. So unfortunately, try as I might, I have no insights into younger people’s apathy for theatre.
Still, we strategize. We print posters, flyers, postcards, business cards, and I may tattoo my forehead as ad space to find new and excited audience members. I’ve researched, proof-read, set-dressed, made up jokes, and sent more e-mails than the server can deal with. And, of course, I blog! Anytime you see a sudden onslaught of exclamation points you’ll know I’ve been there, hard at work and wondering what will be next.