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Broad Opportunities

Jack Feivou
V ice-Commissioner, Entertainment Management

Many of you may have noticed that the Management Commission has had a number of commissioner changes and may be asking, "What does the Commissioner of Entertainment do?" I am a producer for Walt Disney Entertainment and my focus is special events ranging in size and scope from media moments and announcements to grand openings for new products or theme parks. I transitioned into the broader world of live entertainment by using skills learned in school and in "legitimate" theatre.

Entertainment encompasses more than a Broadway show or regional theatre concept. Entertainment is any event expected to entertain - themed parties, grand openings, themed restaurants, convention and industrial events, live concerts, or a television special to name a few. A great example would be our involvement in Super Bowl halftime productions over the years.

My focus as the Vice-Commissioner of Entertainment Management is to help grow our talents by sharing best practices. We each bring "key learnings" from our different disciplines and entertainment experiences, and my goal is to create a forum in which to share these with USITT members so that we can learn from each other.

With a theatre degree and a little bit of honed experience, there are many opportunities for a career in entertainment. Working at a theme park is one way in the door, but there are many other avenues to pursue. Offer your services to party planners and local event companies. Sell your management and leadership skills. Identify how your experience in theatre is easily translated to their business (at the very least everybody needs a budget and timeline). Most companies are looking for hardworking, creative individuals who can infuse new ideas and ways of doing things into their business.

Creativity is the key to success. Everyone wants his or her event to be special, and bringing new ideas on what can be done and ways to do it will add to your value. See as much live entertainment as you can. This broadens your horizons and may add to your personal toolbox. Try to never say no! Look at each problem as a new challenge and figure out how to make it work. At the very least, bring another option to the table that could result in a solution. Keeping a positive attitude is very important in this business. Nobody enjoys working with a naysayer.

A career in entertainment management is fast, exciting, and ever-changing. If you enjoy new challenges and working in non-traditional spaces meeting lots of new people, it may be a right-fit for you. The work is never dull, often frustrating, but always fun. We're in the business of affecting people - making them laugh, cry, scream, or just feel good. I must tell you that being part of a team that does that on a daily basis is why I have made my career in entertainment!

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Jack Feviou