May 29, 2019

Backstage at the Egyptian: Brandon Pugh

  1. How important are the volunteers to the Egyptian Theatre?
    1. Volunteers are ESSENTIAL to the continued success of the Egyptian Theatre. We could not do what we do each year without the continued support of our dedicated and loyal volunteers. Without the volunteer support we receive from community members, family, and friends, the Egyptian Theatre would not be what it is today. When the nonprofit Preservation of Egyptian Theatre, Inc. was formed in 1978, volunteer support became pivotal to the future success of the theatre. From validating tickets, working in concessions to seating patrons as an usher, each and every event we host, there are volunteers present. Within the last two years alone, the Egyptian Theatre has progressed from presenting 3 of their own events each season (Fall and Spring) to presenting a staggering 18 of their own events each season. Let us look at those additional 15 presented events…without the support of volunteers, this would not have been possible. Let us also be reminded that when the Egyptian Theatre is FINALLY opened year-round, we are looking at an additional 45+ events each year…also impossible without the continued support of volunteers!


  1. What do you do to ensure that the volunteers are well trained and informed, i.e. in case of an emergency?
    1. Before interning with the Egyptian from September 2015 through May 2016, there was no formal training that volunteers would be subject to before being permitted to volunteer their first event. As a venue, we try to stay aligned with the best practices regarding safety and security. Regionally and Nationally, we are consistently looking to our fellow performing arts venues to see what they are doing to stay on top of emergency preparedness. Within the last two years, I have streamlined an ‘Orientation & Training’ that all volunteers (veteran & new) must attend before being granted access to sign up to volunteer. As well as the Orientation and Training, we have also begun hosting Emergency Preparedness & Evacuation Training, which is separate AND mandatory for all volunteers. This Emergency Preparedness & Evacuation Training allows volunteers, security and staff the ability to talk through evacuation drills, practice them, and debrief.
    2. Before each event that the Egyptian Theatre hosts, we have what I call a ‘Preshow Meeting’. At these meetings, I go over ticket sales, trends for that specific event, and offer up any pertinent information regarding the Theatre. As we as staff continue to uncover new information, I make sure to share it with volunteers. I feel that by sharing information & history, it keeps volunteers interested and invested to the Egyptian Theatre.     


  1. What do you enjoy most about working with the volunteers?
    1. I absolutely love talking with and getting to know our volunteers! I enjoy getting to know the backgrounds and experiences of the volunteers. Through talking with the vast array of volunteers, I constantly find myself learning about new things that I would have never thought about, had it not been for the volunteers. I just enjoy being able to work side by side with volunteers; I don’t simply schedule them and hope they show up – It’s a team effort from the time they arrive until the time they leave for the evening. I strive to show volunteers that I don’t expect things out of them that I myself or other staff members would not do.


  1. Any last words to the volunteers and those that might want to volunteer in the future?
    1. On a personal level, I want to thank each and every volunteer that has donated their time in helping keep the Egyptian Theatre open. We sincerely could not program at the capacity we do without the dedicated and devoted volunteer base that we have. We are beyond fortunate to receive the help that we do; nothing is more precious than time! We hope everyone is able to volunteer at the Egyptian at some point; whether once a year, twice or month, or every event – the opportunities are endless. As volunteer coordinator, I work diligently to foster a fun, accepting, and safe work environment for all!
    2. While I wish I could say that I came up with this poem, I did not. However, it is a phenomenal poem and one I thought was worth sharing!


Volunteers Have
Hearts of Gold
Helping People
Young & Old
Always Giving
Always Sharing,
Are always caring!