Backstage at the Egyptian: Interview with Brandon Pugh

Interview Conducted by: Jessica Hicks – Egyptian Theatre Intern

Brandon Pugh is the new House Manager at the Egyptian Theatre. Brandon got involved with the theatre his senior year in college as the Egyptian Theatre Intern and has successfully moved himself up as the House Manager!

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Jessica: You started at the Egyptian Theatre as an intern, tell me about that experience?

Brandon: My senior year, I joined the Community Leadership & Civic Engagement (CLCE) internship course, which aided us in finding an internship. The semester began with a series of four interviews, which were geared toward matching the intern with a nonprofit organization. Of the four interviews I took part in, the Egyptian Theatre was my final interview. The week after the interview, we were notified of our placement. I was ecstatic to have been placed with the Egyptian Theatre as their marketing intern for the fall. Having little to no marketing experience, I jumped feet first into the position. I learned a lot about radio and newspaper advertising as well as how important volunteerism is to the organization being that, at the time, they operated with four employees. Everyone was welcoming when I first began in the fall; I knew I had made the right decision and was not going to regret it. When it came time to pick classes for the spring, I spoke to the coordinator of the class and inquired about taking the course again, which is when she suggested speaking to Alex about staying at the Egyptian for another semester. When I presented the idea to Alex, he accepted and I was able to stay as the Egyptian’s Intern for another semester. In the spring, I was able to plan my own Taste of Home Cooking Show, which taught me a lot about time management and recruiting volunteers.

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Jessica: What do you do as the House Manager at the theatre?

Brandon: First and foremost, my job is to ensure the satisfaction of patrons who attend events at the Egyptian. As the House Manager, I am in charge of handling customer service related issues that arise during events. When the theatre has events, I am the one to make sure the doors open on time and that we are able to get everyone in and seated by the time the show is to begin. In the off chance we are unable to successfully get everyone to their seats before the start of the show, I will call to hold the event. During events, I am also in charge of making sure we have volunteers to help in concessions, ushering, and ticket taking. When I am not working events, I am recruiting volunteers for our events. As the volunteer coordinator, I have to make sure we are fully staffed at events that require volunteers.

Jessica: What is the biggest difference between being an intern to being the house manager?

Brandon: The biggest difference between being an intern and being the House Manager is the level of responsibility. I’m constantly on the look out for volunteers being that the theatre operates primarily through volunteers. I am responsible for a lot things that I was not responsible for when interning. I would not trade the opportunity for anything! The other big difference is that while interning, I was working toward my degree in CLCE whereas working at the Egyptian allows me the opportunity to utilize my degree.

egyptian_05Jessica: What is your favorite part about working at the theatre?

Brandon: My favorite part about working at the Egyptian Theatre is the history within its walls. I take pride in working for an organization that has brought so many years of joy to members of the DeKalb community and numerous others. I enjoy hearing stories from patrons who have not been to the theatre in years. Listening to them reminisce makes everything worth it. I am eager to be a part of history and to spread our mission! Our mission is to share and protect the historical integrity of the theatre as a regional arts center for entertainment and community involvement.

Jessica: If you could have any performance at the theatre what/who would you want to have?

Brandon: If the Egyptian Theatre could house one event, I would love for us to be able to host a show choir competition. While the theatre does not have the space in its current state to host a large scale event, I hope to one day be able to host such an event. I loved the experience I had when I was in show choir and know that if I had been able to perform in a historical theatre, that it would have made my experience that much more memorable.

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