The Kelowna Actors Studio offers a comprehensive home for theatre and local arts, offering educational, volunteer, and performance opportunities for people of all ages, and in all aspects of theatre production. We spoke with Rebecca, the Actors Studio's first ever employee, still going strong in that role today, to learn more about their business and how they are planning for the next stage at the studio. She shares how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed their business, what they are most looking forward to in the future, and her experience with the studio over the past seventeen years.
What is something people might not know about your business?
The arts have been hit so incredibly hard during COVID. I guess, right now, I want people to know that the simple act of buying a ticket or gift certificate for a future event has so much impact, financially as well as emotionally. It is easy as a business to become very overwhelmed by the restrictions and rules. But buying a ticket reminds us that our audience trusts we will move forward with their (and our) safety in mind. It tells us that they value the experience of a live performance and that they WANT our industry to survive. The sale of each ticket has become a light in our darkness and we truly value each and every one.
What are you looking forward to/planning for the future?
It is VERY hard to plan for the future in the events industry right now. We are spending all of our time poring over maps, coming up with new plans, policies and procedures to ensure that as soon as we are able, we can throw open our doors and welcome our audiences back safely. What am I looking forward to the most? Standing in the back of a theatre and listening to an audience enjoy a performance together again. It is not the same to watch a movie or concert at home on your TV. The rush comes from the all-encompassing energy of the audience responding to what they are watching. The shared experience. Most of all, I am looking forward to sharing those experiences with strangers again.
What is something you wish you knew when you first began?
I was the Kelowna Actors Studio’s first employee 17 years ago. I worked many positions: props, crew, bartender, before I finally landed in the box office. Six years ago, we rebranded the box office to be Kelowna Tickets and started working with more venues, groups and teams. At that point my attention really became focused on Arts Marketing and ticketing… I am now a giant nerd when it comes to promotion and sales of an event. But my ‘I wish I knew then what I know now’, is that I was worthy of the opportunities I've worked hard for. Imposter syndrome is super real, and I wish I could tell my past self that I deserved all the fruits of my labour, that making mistakes and learning does not mean you can't be confident in your path.
Learn More at: https://www.kelownaactorsstudio.com/