TIP OF THE WEEK: Greeter Speak…

When patrons arrive to the center with a ticket-related question (even if just asking, “Are there any tickets available for today’s program?”), ushers in the greeter position should say nothing more than, “The Ticket Office would have happy to assist you with your ticket questions.”  Here’s why..

  • We don’t want to offer incorrect information to patrons; tickets could sell out during the course of an usher’s greeting, and only the Ticket Office has that answer.
  • On the other hand, if many tickets are still available, we never want to imply to our patrons that tickets haven’t sold well by saying, “There are a lot of tickets still available.” The patron might question the quality of the performance before experiencing it.

Best practice? Defer ticket-purchasing questions to the Ticket Office.



TIP OF THE WEEK: Campus Safety

With the recent media coverage of crimes on and surrounding campus, we feel it’s important to remind our ushers of ways to stay safe as you exit the center following your shift.

  • We recommend you leave the building in pairs, if possible.
  • The University provides an escort to your vehicle, free of charge, by calling 574-631-5555 from your cell phone or 1-5555 from one of the vestibule telephones. (House Managers have used this service; it’s pretty quick and very easy.  More importantly, it’s safe!)


CENTER HIGHLIGHT: Taylor Swift’s Visit

photo (1)If you were an usher for any one of the FTT performances last week, you heard the rumors that Taylor Swift would be visiting a performance to see her brother Austin starring in Six Characters in Search of an Author.  Behind the scenes, we had the insider’s scoop that Taylor (she’s our new bestie so we can use first names!) would be coming to the Sunday performance.  Given the fact that stars can quickly change plans, and after hearing of alleged spottings on campus each night, we were mentally prepared each performance of the run, just in case.

The confirmation of her arrival came in the form of bodyguard Tyler who met with Megan Saturday night to scope out the building and formulate a plan for Taylor’s secret entry into the building and into the Decio.  The plan was set:  Cars would park on the patio outside the Smith Promenade; the entry door of the Smith Promenade would lead to Door D of the Decio; a quick call from me to Stage Manager Dylan, and the house lights would dim to disguise the arrival of our celebrity guest!  Simple, painless, and well-thought-out…..until…

Bodyguard Tyler reappears at 2:00 (20 minutes before house has even opened for the performance) to tell us that Taylor would like to enter from the north entrance.  Ok, no problem.  Would she still be entering through the side door D?  Tyler told us yes.  Given the fact that house hadn’t opened yet, Tyler encouraged her driver to wait longer; the lobby was pretty full at this point.  By 2:20, Taylor enters through the front doors and walks, uninterrupted, to Door B of the Decio.  At Door B, Tyler motions to Taylor’s mother to enter from the side door, but when Taylor’s mom looked at Tyler and asked Why, the pop star entered like everyone else from the main door and made her way to seat B15!

It was then that Twitter and Facebook exploded, and FTT staffers began saying chaaa-ching as students flooded the building buying last-minute tickets to see the back of Taylor’s head!  The lobby outside, while normally empty on a Sunday afternoon, filled quickly with more students waiting for her exit.  Following the performance, Taylor exited through Door D to head downstairs to greet the cast, especially her brother.  She met and mingled with the group and then took photos.  After that, she would head upstairs to the Decio greenroom to have quiet time with her parents and brother.

This is a question for savvy ushers:  How does a pop star get from the Decio Door D without crossing the windows of the Smith Promenade to reach the greenroom?  The answer, walk on the Decio stage and come out through the back stage door by Josh’s office!  And with Taylor tucked away in the greenroom, fans moved to the Smith Promenade to catch a glimpse of her before she got inside her getaway vehicles.

Thirty minutes later, the family emerged.  She told us, “Bye, see ya!” and walked out the doors to screeeeeaming fans!  With a wave and a smile, she greeted the crowd before departing.  And from this point forward, the hallway she walked and exited will forever be known as the Swift Promenade!

Enjoy the buzz feed article below:




TIP OF THE WEEK: Inclement Weather

Winter is right around the corner; we’re sorry to say!  If it is snowing, remember the following:

  • Please allow enough time to arrive safely for your shift.
  • Change out of snow boots before your shift, leaving them in the locker room.
  • Email pacusher or call the usher hotline 631-2300 as soon as possible if snowy conditions in your neighborhood make it too treacherous to usher.
  • Call the usher hotline 631-2300 to hear an updated message regarding cancelled or postponed performances.
  • Ushers scheduled will be contacted by a House Manager if performances are cancelled.sno