Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Thoughts from the marketing intern

Ashley Thomas has been with us for a few weeks now, though she still doesn't have a proper name tag (unless her parents were cruel enough to dub her VISITOR), and so she's gained some insight into arts marketing and our good ol' TBPAC. Here are some of her thoughts:

Honestly, I came into this internship as a series of unrelated coincidences.

Ultimately, I stumbled across in on their website while I was dutifully verifying that the tickets for the Lion King had not gone on sale yet. I ended up with the best internship that I have had to date.

I have never been more eager to go to work (especially since it’s unpaid) and I learn something new every day. I can hardly believe that I get to walk by pieces of the My Fair Lady set or stand on Carol Morsani Hall. Most days, I can not believe that I am so fortunate that I have an internship in such an interesting place. So, for the sake of making this less of an ode to my internship, I have developed a list of the Top 20 Things I’ve Learned While Interning at the TBPAC:

  • The Rehearsal Hall is the same dimensions as Carol Morsani Hall’s stage to allow the performers to mark.
  • The cardboard cutouts in Ferguson Hall and Carol Morsani Hall windows may seem innocuous but they make very poor and space-consuming cubicle-fellows. (Sorry Brian Regan.)
  • Advertising a show is extremely expensive.
  • If you read the show descriptions, there are things that are interesting outside of the Broadway series. (Crazy, I know.)
  • The appeal of the Radio City Rockettes draws more of a crowd than the legal drama of Twelve Angry Men
  • Radio commercials are harder to write than TV commercials because they are longer and there is no visual to help—you’re on your own.
  • People are crazy about Menopause The Musical. Maybe that’s just odd to a college student.
  • The Lion King will require Carol Morsani Hall to be temporarily remodeled.
  • Sometimes the small shows are the most fun (Rest In Peace, Hurlyburly)
  • Everything is in constant flux.
  • Opera is the new cool thing in Tampa.
  • They still do fire drills.
  • Excel is life and the copy machine is your friend.
  • Marketing uses an ungodly amount of paper
  • The Marketing Department is small so everyone works really hard to get a show advertised and they are all really good at what they do.
  • The electronic marquee is run by Tampa’s most ancient computer (just kidding, but it really is the thing of legends.)
  • Patel Conservatory’s “Make Your Own Musical” program is such a cool idea (I’d never heard of it).
  • Ferguson Hall is the size of a Broadway Hall.
  • Velcro signage, while a great theoretical design idea, loses its practicality in the Florida heat.
  • TBPAC employs the nicest and most fun people I have ever worked with and it is truly a wonderful place to intern.
So, unbeknownst to me, I have stumbled across the best learning experiences that I have had. I have learned so much about Marketing and the processes behind a Broadway show that I can hardly believe it has only been just over a month.

I never considered working in the marketing department of a theater, but now that I am doing it and loving every minute of it I may reconsider. At any rate, I am totally sold on the idea of Event/Entertainment marketing.

This internship has helped reiterate why I love my major and generated more of passion for what I want to do than I had before. It’s amazing (and I’m not just saying that because I want tickets to The Lion King).

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