8th May 2021
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Theatre Industry Worker Tag: Rebecca Wolfe

Theatre Industry Worker Tag: Rebecca Wolfe
By Rebecca Wolfe

We are asking anyone working in any capacity of the theatre industry what they love about it and have learned along the way. Here is Rebecca Wolfe, a theatrical administrator based out of New York City.

1. Do you remember your first experience with theatre?

Sadly, no. My first theatre experience was Barney and Friends at Radio City when I was barely a toddler. I have no memories of the day but I’ve been told stories about my older sister dancing in the aisle.

2. When did you know you wanted to work in the theatre industry?

I didn’t see my first Broadway show until I was a freshman in high school on a class trip and we saw The Little Mermaid. During “Part of Your World” I knew this was my home. I never had any aspiration to perform but I just knew I had to be in the theatre. Ten years later I would end up working as an Usher at the Lunt Fontanne!

3. Did you study the arts?

As a child I was actively involved in art camps; I loved painting and working with soft pastels. I studied Film & Television in college with the intent of becoming a producer. I didn’t really transition into theatre until graduate school where I did a writing and directing program of sorts at RADA.

4. What was your first job in the theatre?

Technically speaking my first job in the theatre was an intern at the Nederlander Organization, which mainly consisted of making thousands of files and covering the front desk. At the time I was living in South Jersey with my mom and commuting 3+ hours every other day but it was so worth it.

5. What’s the best role you ever had?

I did a long term coverage of VIP Ticketing and LOVED it! I felt like I was learning all these neat new skills about logistics and I feel in love with ticketing, but I was still able to showcase my interest in hospitality and giving experiences to people. The perks were not too shabby either. ;)

6. How is your role misunderstood outside the arts and how do you explain what you do to people?

ALL. THE. TIME. Especially as someone trying to pivot in the pandemic. It feels like almost every interview or networking call leads to someone assuming I’m an actress. In middle school I was in the ensemble of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and that is my sole acting credit. Or that people in the arts are flakey which is the exact opposite. I’m pretty right brained but give me a spreadsheet and numbers to crunch and I’m good to go! It’s all about crafting the narrative of comparisons to help people understand.

7. What are the top three skills you need for your role?

For admin I’d say you have to be dynamic, organized, and a team player.

8. What advice do you have for anyone looking to do what you do?

Stay authentic to yourself and be honest with your team. Always seek out new and exciting projects that you actually want to foster and grow out of passion, not necessity.

9. If you could do anything else in the theatre what would it be?

I would love to be a General Manager or if I wanted to get more creative, a Movement Director which actually aligns more with my formal training.

10. What advice do you have for anyone looking to make a career in the arts?

I once read that if you could see yourself working in an industry outside the arts, you should probably stick to whatever that other thing is, which I find true to an extent. Also work front of house; it’s messy but you’ll learn more there than you will doing anything else.

11. What do you wish someone told you before pursuing a career in the theatre?

Just because you’re pursuing the business side of the theatre that doesn’t mean you’re in a stable sector. And make sure you make the time for interests outside of the theatre because it can get so consuming!

12. Were you still able to work in the theatre industry during the Pandemic?

I was working remotely for a couple of weeks but the work was slow and when I say slow, I mean there was nothing. My position was terminated in April 2020.

13. What are you most looking forward to in the theatre when we reach a new normal?

Hopefully we’ll adapt to new technology and more efficient systems. I remember how excited I was as an usher when e-ticketing was introduced because it was so much easier to read the tickets and I can’t wait to see more breakthroughs like that. I also think we’ll all have a stronger sense of gratitude for the arts.

14. What do you love the most about the theatre?

The community and sharing the experience of live entertainment. It’s beautiful and some of my fondest memories happened in the theatre as a consumer and employee. How grateful am I knowing I got to make a living off of my passion?!

15. Would you ever want to leave the theatre industry?

Yes- I have an entrepreneurial spirit and a love of yoga and someday I’d love to have my own studio. However the more admin interviews I go on, the more I miss the theatre. Truth be told I’m not a fan of assistant work but for the theatre, it was a great place to grow!

Also by Rebecca Wolfe:

What it Means to Work in Theatrical Administration

Who Tells Your Story: What I Learned Working as an Usher at Hamilton

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