Welcome to Ask an Admin, a series in which we talk with theatre administrators and theatre-makers working in Minnesota to learn about their backgrounds, their jobs, and what snacks they keep in their desks.
Patron Services Manager at Yellow Tree Theatre
Tell us a little about yourself and your path to your current position.
I went to school for Communication Studies and was pointed to the Minnesota Historical Society as a company to work for if I wanted a theatre-esque job. I ended up holding five positions for the Historical Society and it's true, it is pretty similar to theatre! I led tours, taught classes, and even got to perform as a historical character and in a yearly Christmas show. I am also the Head Coach for the Mounds View High School Speech Team, which exposes me to wonderful talent in our youth. I also directed an after school program called Kids on Broadway at the Armatage Montessori School, where 80 elementary school kids put on a sort of musical revue! I like to act in plays if I ever have free time, but mostly I just go and see a lot of theatre and improv.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
A crossing guard. A dentist. An author.
What’s the best part of your job?
It never gets boring. It's always something new, and I have so many facets to my job that I get to learn new things every day. It never gets stale.
When did you know you wanted to work in theatre/the arts?
I started doing plays in middle school, but it wasn't until high school that I decided I wanted to do something with theatre. I just kept that in mind - even working for the Historical Society, in retail, in education... I knew long-term, I wanted to do something with theatre. And now I finally am!
What has surprised you most about your work/working in theatre/the arts?
There's so much I never knew about acting - I love being in shows, but I didn't realize how much work actors put in to just being seen! I realize I was sort of snoozing on acting (it was just for fun anyway, so I'm not torn up about it.) Now as a part of my job, I run auditions, and so many people not only audition, but follow up, send their headshot and resume, video reels, and keep updating their resumes with new skills. It's crazy how much work actors do!
Who gave you the best advice you’ve ever received, and what was that advice?
My mom always gave me the advice “just be.” It's a take on “be yourself,” but way cooler.
What’s the best/your favorite production you’ve seen in the Twin Cities in the last year?
I loved Minneapolis Musical Theatre's Be More Chill, I saw it twice. And a couple years ago I saw Theatre Latte Da's Assassins, which was also phenomenal. And I always see wonderful things at the Fringe festival too!
You’re stuck on a desert island. Which three theatre-makers would you want to be stuck with (living or dead)?
Carrie Hope Fletcher, Jeremy Jordan, and Dick Van Dyke. You have no idea how hard it is to pick only three.
What advice would you give to someone who wanted to work in arts administration/your position?
Try your best at staying organized and prioritizing. I'm still new at this, so I'm no expert, but color-coded Post-It notes and labeling everything has been really helpful. Also using Caller ID to your advantage - I can look people up before I even answer the phone!
Do you keep snacks in your desk/work area? What are they?
I keep Throat Coat tea and bee pollen honey because they just taste so delightful. I mostly snack on tea and water. I should get some real snacks!