This summer I had the privilege of working for California Musical Theatre (CMT), a company that I have loved ever since I was a child. I worked as the Marketing and P.R. professional assistant during CMT’s Music Circus season. These few past months were the most educational and enjoyable summer months I have ever had. I worked for a nationally renowned theatre company that is highly respected for their production quality and professionalism and I became a member of a company that inspired me since I was starry eyed kid in love with the theatre. This summer was unforgettable.
My history with CMT began when I was a young child and my family and I began attending Music Circus productions when we moved back to the Sacramento area in 2002. Each time I remember leaving the Circus dazzled by the theatre magic and counting down the days until I would be able to return. Now as my summer position with CMT has ended, I find the same feeling of giddy and hopeful return to this spectacular company fill me once again.
As the Marketing and P.R professional assistant my biggest responsibility was helping gather playbill content for our five productions. This entailed reaching out to actors, designers, directors and production staff members for everything ranging from headshots, licensing rules for playbill instructions, to bio edits and approvals. Overall I made contact with over 130 people for content information in just the first two months of working. My responsibilities were intimidating at the start, but the CMT marketing team was always supportive when I needed their help.
I’d love to share some of my summer highlights:
- My first day: When I sat down at my desk for the first time and the dazzle of the company introductions began to subside, I started to realize the amount of work that laid ahead of me. I was given high expectations to reach for when producing my work and I found these standards very motivating. In each task I was given, I was challenged to develop skills that are crucial for a profession in marketing and P.R. I feel I improved in my professional work as I successfully achieved each goal that was set before me.
- Our cast meet and greets: These were opportunities where I was able to introduce myself to the actors and designers that I had been bugging for playbill content for weeks! Each person was kind and gracious during the detailed editing process and most importantly generous in their patience with me when I made mistakes.
- Our five summer productions: These included A Chorus Line, Mary Poppins, South Pacific, Brigadoon and La Cage aux Folles. Each show was as fantastic as the last. Mary Poppins was especially exciting because it made its premiere performance on a round stage under the direction of Glenn Casale, CMT’s Artistic Director.
- Publicity interviews: I accompanied one of our marketing directors on several TV interviews with cast members from each of our productions. These were educational because I was able to observe professional interviews and learn about vital tactics for P.R. management. During the times before the interviews, I was able to get to know some of the actors more personally. It was a pleasure to meet such talented artists who were kind, down-to-earth and friendly.
- And last but certainly not least, our amazing opening night parties: After every opening Tuesday night, Music Circus hosted a party for cast, production and staff members to attend. They were always way too much fun. At our last party for La Cage aux Folles the production stage manager Craig Horness came in full drag! One word: Fabulous.
Though my summer at CMT has ended, my journey has been one of extreme growth and absolute enjoyment. The professional assistant job deepened my passion for theatre and provided insights into a potentially amazing profession in theatre marketing. Each day I learned more and was met with respect and kindness by every member of the CMT family. I realize how lucky it is to have worked for a company that is filled with caring and talented people. Each day I made incredible memories, but even more so incredible friends.
At the end of this summer, and even at the end of each day, I was able to leave CMT feeling completely fulfilled and completely grateful. It has been a true pleasure of mine to discover a new theatre family at a company that has made such positive impacts on my life in countless ways both past and present.