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A Peek Behind the Curtain

Working at Chico State is an important experience that helps students develop professional skills they carry with them post-graduation. Approximately 4,600 students work on campus each year, becoming more involved with their campus and the community. We wanted to start highlighting some of those hard workers and their experiences here on the blog. So, we’re kicking things off with a two-part series featuring Chico Performances student employees. (Stay tuned for Part 2 of the series next week!)

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By Kristen Warshaw, Junior, Business Marketing, Chico Performances Marketing Assistant

When patrons want to attend a performance at Laxson Auditorium, they go to the Box Office, purchase tickets, find their seats, and anxiously await the curtain to rise. But there is much more to a show than what is visible to that excited theatergoer.

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The excitement first begins to build here, in the marketing department at Chico Performances. This is where my job as marketing assistant comes in.

Preparation for a new season at Laxson Auditorium begins about nine months prior to opening day. We start gathering information, music samples, and photos for each and every performer. We use this information as a platform to create the web page, brochures, season advertisements, and much more.

It’s a rollercoaster every day when you are in contact simultaneously with more than 40 agents, all representing different types of performers. I never know what to expect in my email inbox when I would come into work: “Did the STOMP agent get back to me?” “Who is opening for Andrew Bird?” “The Onion Live got canceled!?”

It is always interesting to see how different artists’ agents react and respond to me. The more precise and direct I am, the more likely they are to give me what I need. I learned very quickly that less was always more. Sometimes it’s a struggle to get the correct information or to even just get a hold of the correct person!

I began to realize a connection between performers and accessibility to their agents.  Performers represented by a large organization usually had very organized systems that use technology to allow me easy access to information and marketing tools. With some of the artists with smaller representation, it’s a struggle just to get adequate information.

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This juggle between easy access and those that take more time to collect info from has been very exciting for me in my daily work. I’ve realized I actually like the challenge of working with a smaller artist more that of working a larger one.

Working for Chico Performances has also allowed me to develop my business organization skills. I have multiple projects with different deadlines. Having this responsibility has taught me a lot about when to stop one task and begin another in order to meet deadlines, an essential skill in the field of marketing.

My overall experience at Chico Performances has allowed me to further develop my skills and prepare me for what post-graduation life has to offer.

Working for Chico Performances has made me realize that I love to be a part of the MORE that happens before the curtain rises; the more than meets the eye.

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