And then I met a box office treasurer and realized I didn’t know nuthin’.
Why sure, I had studied sales funnels and The 4 Ps of Marketing, I was like an Army Colonel who knew every tactic known to the modern warrior . . . but had never been to the front lines.
And that’s where the real education is.
This edition of Broadway Pro features one of the very first Treasurers I ever worked with . . . Mr. Spencer Taustine. Spence and I worked on several shows together, including the original company of Ragtime. Yep, we worked for Livent pre and post bankruptcy. (Oh, we also went a few rounds on the Broadway bowling team together – he’s got quite a toss, by the way.)
Now he’s in charge of the box office over at the little show that no one has ever heard of called Spider-Man. Yep, all those electronic millions pass through his hands.
I learned a lot from Spence, and I hope you do too.
Take it away, Mr. Taustine!
1. What is your title?
2. What shows are you currently working on?
Spider-Man- Turn Off The Dark
3. In one sentence, describe your job.
My job, in this day and age, is to be ready for anything. I am responsible for all functions of the Foxwoods Theater Box Office.
4. What skills are necessary for a person in your position?
Excellent customer service skills, ability to supervise a large staff effectively, ability to interact with management on all levels, handle stress easily, among a myriad of things.
5. What kind of training did you go through to get to your position?
3 years apprenticeship in Local 751, and working with some of the best in the business.
6. What was your first job in theatre?
Answered phones at the long-gone Princess Theater during the original run of Pump Boys and Dinettes, The Dodgers and I made our Broadway debut.
7. Why do you think theater is important?
Theater is important in so many ways. Economically for the city, intellectually for us that enjoy it, professionally for those engaged in it, and inspiring for those that dream of performing on The Great White Way.
8. What is your profession’s greatest challenge today?
Technological advances are infiltrating the business in all areas. Making them both functional and beneficial simultaneously can be challenging indeed.
9. If you could change just one thing about the industry with the wave of a magic wand, what would it be?
The internet’s intrusion on the creative process. It is nearly impossible to try things out and see if they work without the entire world knowing about it immediately.
10. What advice would you give to someone who wanted to do what you do?
You need to be all things to all people. Be patient, modest, intelligent, possess the strength of character to know what is important and what isnt, and most of all, surround yourself with the best possible people. I have done that, and I am much better off for it.
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