Tuesdays with Corti: Our Volunteers

Good Tuesday, dear reader! It’s Volunteer Holiday Party Time at Paramount! Every year, Paramount Theatre throws a thank you party for about a hundred of our ushers who dedicated their time to working 10 or more performances in the last 12 months. At this time, there are 268 members serving in the Paramount Theatre Volunteer Program! Over the last five years, I’ve taken note of our staff of ushers; how they greet everyone and thank each patron for being here as if the theatre were their own home. Ushers are a very significant connection we have with the public – as it is with our valet service as well, Jane & Scott Glor of Valet Systems, Inc. They are the very first impression you get when you arrive at our doors, and they devote themselves to be sure it’s an extraordinary impression indeed. They are ambassadors representing our theatre. I will go as far to say that they also represent our work, our art. Remarking about them, Front of House Operations Director Jeremy Gehman states, ” Many of them volunteer at other theaters as well. It’s a way of life, spending their time moving where the art is being made. As with any age group, they are fulfilled by the community…that is why Jenna (Gagliano, Front of House Manager) is so good at running the relational side of the program. Jenna knows each of them by name (268!) and has some relationship with each of them. The Ushers want us to succeed; they care about seating issues; they care about the patrons; most of them see the big picture and want to be a part of the creative and visual magic.”

In his eloquence, Jeremy continues, “In the day and age of ‘the customer is always right,’ there truly is a variance to that saying when speaking about hosting live theatre. We will always extend our services to make your time with us exceptional. However, more importantly, we want you to leave inspired, invoked and intentional about taking what you have experienced to increase the art and passion in your day-to-day life. We are not the host that is needy, forceful or arrogant. When you come visit us, our charge, our purpose, our design is to nurture your experience and usher you to your prize.”

I asked, Mr. Gehman to speak to his perspective on what his job entails. He replies, “My commitment, my job, is nurtured by an exceptional team of individuals that is Front of House. It’s not so much the role of each person that matters, but the manner in which each person embraces the vision set before the collective team. We are here in support of creativity and art. We each have our own skill sets, whether it be management, concierges and doormen, beverage and café staff, FOH associates or volunteer ushers, we mold and complete a team that is your host from the front doors of the theatre to the front edge of the stage.”

Well said, Jeremy! We have much to celebrate tonight! It’s gonna be a good party for a whole lotta good people!

Love & thanks,

Jim

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