We All Have A Story – March 2018
We all have a story. Our stories, when around a common theme, help to preserve memories of people, places, and times in history. They are our stories, with details as we remember them. That’s what makes them ours. When shared, they may enlighten and even entertain those who hear or read them.
This column is dedicated to telling a little bit of my story as it relates to the Palace Theatre. Why? Because I hope by telling you my story, you, in turn, will share your stories with me. The Palace turns 90 years old in August of 2018. We would love to hear your stories and share them throughout the coming season. But someone has to go first so…
When I came to the Palace 20 years ago, I had been a stay at home mom. By choice. I was previously employed, but my girls needed me so home I went until they were a bit older. Otherwise translated as until they needed braces. All three of them. Although I wasn’t actively looking for a job, I knew I needed one. My sister-in-law at the time was doing some volunteer work at the Palace and was asked if she knew anyone looking for work. She told me about the job, and the rest is history.
I came for an interview with Elaine Merchant in August of 1998 and here I am 20 years later still spending my time at the Palace. It all started with just 15 hour a week in the ticket office. I just missed the days of pulling tickets off the back wall! The Palace was moving up in the world and had just purchased ticket selling software. I knew nothing about the Palace or how to sell tickets, but I figured it out. I loved that job. I grew to know names and faces of people I’d never met before and formed some lasting relationship from those early days. New experiences and new faces. Starting in the box office laid a great foundation for understanding things I didn’t know that I needed to know.
The staff was small in those days; smaller than it is now. But, as today, they were a great team and hard workers. I transitioned from the box office and was given opportunities to grow in my work experiences – both writing, creative design, cooking for and serving the artists and their bands. Some of the artists were amazing; gracious and grateful. Others? Well, not so much, but you’ll have to ask if you want to know who’s who. One thing they’ve all had in common over the past 20 years is a great sense of awe when they step onto the stage and see the beauty of this place for the first time. That never gets old.
By far, the part of my story I’ll hold closest to my heart in years to come revolves around the people I’ve encountered. As audiences come and go, I’ve had the privilege of watching thousands of people enter the theatre in expectation and exit with smiles of satisfaction as artists have risen to the occasion and exceeded those expectations. I’ve spent a great deal of time, specifically over the past seven years, hanging out with and getting to know the most incredible and talented people as they have given their time and talent to Palace produced shows. Their stories are woven together with mine. Stories of lives changed, confidence grown, relationships formed, tears cried, and laughs shared.
It’s been an incredible 20 years. And this column truly is just the tip of the iceberg. Maybe someday I’ll write a book. For now, I’ve broken the ice so who will be next? Will you share your story?
I look forward to reading it! Until then…
(To share your story, email Bev at [email protected])