December 12, 2017
All of the shows in The BlueShore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts at Capilano University are supported heavily by students in the university's Arts and Entertainment Management (AEM) program.
If you've attended a Cap Jazz, Cap Global Roots or Cap Theatre (Exit 22) performance on our home stage or one of our season satellite venues, you've had the pleasure of being seated or served by an AEM student in one of their rotating roles of usher, merchandise table staff, front of house manager, concession or will-call pick up. The students also assist directly with visiting musicians in the role of artist liaison. In this month's BlueShore at Cap e-newsletter, we're pleased to share an interview with AEM student Matilda Cormier-Stumpf.
Can you describe your experience in the Arts & Entertainment Management program, and what you’ve learned from the shows you’ve worked?
So far the program has been extremely positive, there’s such
a plethora of opportunities. It gives us a
lot of chances to work in real-life situations, and we get to work with people who will ultimately be our bosses one
day - that’s so valuable.
Everybody has an important role [at the shows], we all know what we should be doing,
and when that’s not happening, things can’t really flow. The supervisors
aren’t going to let disasters happen, they aren’t going to let things fall
apart, but we need to be held accountable and be responsible.
Which hands-on roles have you held to date, and how is your approach towards audiences and artists evolving?
I’ve primarily done artist liaison – working with the
artists and backstage – as well as front of house, concession and two usher
shifts. Working with artists and backstage is my favourite.
I used to very much just wing things, and let things happen but I’m recognizing how important it is to
be organized and coordinated. Communication between all roles is
extremely valuable. It cannot be understated that you need to communicate with
your front of house, with your ushers – it’s such a team effort that if one
person is just doing their own thing then it’s not going to work as smoothly as
you want it to.
What have you learned – or enjoyed – working with
BlueShore at Cap’s audience members?
It’s been very positive, people are very receptive and
understanding, especially when you have older audiences. Depending on the show you’re going to get a different vibe, and people bounce
off what you’re putting out. You really want to put out a positive experience for everyone
because then it will be a positive experience for you, and people will be receptive
Is there anything unique or
special about our home stage that you’ve grown to love?
The size of it. Compared to other theatres, there are a lot of hallways and places you
can get lost. You definitely need to learn your way around the space. Some keys
don’t work for some doors but work for other doors, or only work sometimes –
there are so many little quirks throughout the space that make it special and
fun. It makes it feel like you are in on a secret, when you get to know all the
passageways and shortcuts working within a “home” theatre.
Are there any upcoming satellite venue shows you’re
particularly interested in working?
When I saw that we are at the Vogue Theatre [for Birdman
Live on February 1], I got excited because that’s a venue that I have
frequently attended but haven’t had the opportunity to work in. Being able to
work in a space for which I have such high regard will be very exciting. I’m
just doing merch, but to say that “I’m working a show at The Vogue today” is so
If you cast forward to having worked a year’s worth of
home stage and offsite shows, what do you think will be your key takeaways?
Communication and coordination amongst each other. I used to
be very independent, and very focused on myself and what I’m doing, and I’m
learning that sometimes you have to put that aside and really collaborate with
people and that’s when you create better events.
We'll be rolling out additional student profiles so audiences can get to know the dedicated students who work hard to make BlueShore at Cap performances the best they can be!