Qui suis-je?

Between the length of yesterday’s post and some technical difficulties that necessitated a few rewrites, I didn’t spend much time on the all important task of finding a job. Today will be dedicated to doing more research and mailing resumes.

However, since I am doing so much work telling people about my background so they will give me a job, I figured it wouldn’t be too tough to add some “who am I” information to the site. For those who are interested, a very brief precis of my professional life appears to the right. (For those who know French, I know the entry title isn’t technically correct. I just like the way it rolls of my tongue.)

For those who are wondering how I got into arts administration having started in acting and tech, I offer you this brief and mildly amusing story…

In high school I was BMOC in the school plays and planned to do the same in college. Once I got into college, I was devastated when I wasn’t cast in the first few shows for which I auditioned. I swore then that I would never been involved with theatre again which was an awkward thing given that I had my work study assignment in the theatre department.

One day I got a call asking if I wanted to help hang lights. I said I didn’t know how, they said they would train me and I ended up becoming a resident tech god. Despite the expertise I developed, I knew I couldn’t make a long term go as a technician much less a designer. (I have a hard enough time matching my socks to what I am wearing much less trying to do it for a full production.)

At the time I was writing press releases and running the box office for the theatre department and enjoyed it. I was also helping the department chair, Mark Heckler, coordinate some details of two Association of Theatre In Higher Education conferences since he was VP of Conferences at the Time. (He has since moved on to become Vice Chancellor at Colorado Univ.) I enjoyed the whole organizational process and so with Mark’s support, applied to the Theatre Management program at FSU.

The rest, of course, is history. I think I have a fairly good mind and disposition for arts management so the whole not getting cast episode turned out okay in the end. My hat off to Mark Heckler for putting up with a mixed up young man and guiding me to this path.

About Joe Patti

I have been writing Butts in the Seats (BitS) on topics of arts and cultural administration since 2004 (yikes!). Given the ever evolving concerns facing the sector, I have yet to exhaust the available subject matter. In addition to BitS, I am a founding contributor to the ArtsHacker (artshacker.com) website where I focus on topics related to boards, law, governance, policy and practice.

I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (http://www.creatingconnection.org/about/)

My most recent role was as Executive Director of the Grand Opera House in Macon, GA.

Among the things I am most proud are having produced an opera in the Hawaiian language and a dance drama about Hawaii's snow goddess Poli'ahu while working as a Theater Manager in Hawaii. Though there are many more highlights than there is space here to list.


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