Leadership / 11.25.20
INTIX Community Shares Gratitude, Silver Linings, Resiliency and Growth
Let’s face it, 2020 has been a pretty tough year. Everyone in our INTIX community has faced challenges, but ticketing folks are incredibly resilient. They know how to find joy in hard times and always lend a hand whenever and wherever it is needed. More simply put, and as our President and CEO Maureen Andersen reminds us each week, you are all amazing! So, with the most thankful of holidays upon us in the United States, there is no better time than today to stop, express our thanks, send virtual hugs and share stories of gratitude.
To start, the word cloud that accompanies this story is not something we just randomly generated. It was created based on thoughts that INTIX members shared in the chat during our Nov. 18 Wednesday Wisdom call. It contains dozens of things our community is thankful for — from time to slow down, connect with others, be with family (including fur babies!) and work toward goals and dreams to a few drinks, some delicious food, baking, biking and Christmas trees in November!
Whether you are feeling super thankful today or need a bit of a boost, we hope these tales of gratitude, newfound appreciations and silver linings will help your heart smile and your spirits soar. We have also included a few folks you might not know but who are integral to our INTIX community every day. We are also grateful for them.
“Looking back at this year, I am so thankful for the time I have spent safely at home,” says Morgan Manghera, a behind-the-scenes and super tech-savvy member of the INTIX Access editorial team. “I usually prefer to be on the go — traveling, shopping and commuting to work in my actual office. Being at home means I get to spend more time with my rescue boxer, Ceviche, and indulge more in one of my favorite hobbies: reading. I have read over 60 books so far this year, and I appreciate the opportunity to travel through fiction when I’m not able to travel in real life. And Ceviche happens to be the best reading buddy.”
Ceviche is all smiles in this photo!
“Believe it or not, I am thankful for the chance to slow down,” says Alexa Schlosser, editor extraordinaire and another important behind-the-scenes member of our Access editorial team. “I performed improv comedy before the pandemic, and I was lucky if I had one night a week where I didn’t have a show, a rehearsal, dinner plans, etc. I never got eight hours of sleep. So, I am grateful for this downtime that I have been forced to take. I have been able to spend more time with my dog, read books that have been sitting on my shelf unread for years, decorate my apartment and get eight — sometimes nine — hours of sleep. When things go back to ‘normal,’ whatever that looks like, I will take with me the lesson that sometimes it’s OK to slow down.”
Raisin is happy to have mom Alexa at home.
“I am a writer by trade, and I’m very thankful that 2020 opened up new avenues for my creative side,” says Teddy Durgin, who regularly shares his writing prowess by contributing his talents to Access. “With so many stages dark, I entered the first annual North Carolina Radio Play Festival, and my Halloween-themed play ‘The Next Street Over’ was one of 10 produced and broadcast. My wife is an acting teacher, and she and I collaborated on a short film with some of her students — socially distancing all the while, of course — and we ended up winning second place in the Zombiepalooza Film Festival in October. To finish off the year, the Forest Moon Theatre in Wake Forest, North Carolina, is producing a one-act Zoom play of mine titled ‘I Am Santa’ on Dec. 12.”
Teddy Durgin with his wife and creative partner, Bonnie Webster.
“I’m thankful for contact with my friends, and when I say my friends, this includes INTIX members,” says Ebony Hattix of Memphis, Tennessee. “[There are so many] people who keep me sane right now and are willing to talk to me about my 4-foot Christmas tree in the middle of the night when we are all thinking about how we’re going to have fans and if we are safe. So, I am appreciative to everybody who has been a part of that, and for connecting with people via social media who allowed me to talk about cotton candy grapes all the time. Thanks, guys!”
“It has been really important to keep some sort of structure of connection. I have a biweekly call with my brothers. We talk for an hour, sometimes two hours, and just catch up on stuff across political spectrums. It’s arguments and fights, but we are connected and closer now than we have ever been,” says Joe Carter of Los Angeles. “We started the tradition of the biweekly call when my parents passed away, but it has become a different animal today because it is really important. We talk much more deeply. We used to talk about the grandkids and all that kind of stuff. Now it is deep conversations about life as well as TV shows. [I’m also thankful for] card games with friends from around the world, too, or any of those [similar] kinds of things, because it keeps something constant so that you are still feeling connected to people that you have loved for years.”
“In the first five or six months, my relationship with my partner was becoming challenging because we were always stuck in the house,” says Nikki Tremblay of Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. “We are really appreciating each other more [now], not because we have to because we are stuck in the house together; I think our perspective on things has become more educated. We are appreciating each other more and rekindling that relationship we had prior to COVID.”
“I typically work three or four jobs. I work all the time — nights, weekends, seven days a week — because I manage multiple box offices. Right now, I am extremely thankful that I still have one of those jobs, and it is the job that pays the bills," says Liz Baqir of Berkeley, California. "So, I have been taking advantage of having a lot more free time. Similar to what Joe said, I have a weekly call with my two best girlfriends back East. It is the most time we’ve spent talking to each other since I moved to California 20 years ago. I am also going to yoga teacher school online, so by the next time we have an INTIX conference in person, I will be a certified yoga teacher and be able to teach classes. It is something I have wanted to do for 15 years, but I never had the time. This is a huge silver lining for me. I really encourage people to try to find something like that.”
“This is the 35th straight week of the INTIX Wednesday Wisdom call. Obviously, we are so used to seeing each other once a year at the conference and then your small groups talk in between during that year, but to see everybody, whether you are on video or off video, every week [is great],” says Anthony Esposito of Atlanta. “Each week, we hear more and more voices stepping up to share what they are going through, when their venues are opening, what they are experiencing. For me, from a large venue to Josh Logan running a 70,000-person event all the way down to the smallest 100-person theater, I think it’s helpful for everybody. We are all doing the same thing; it’s just scaled differently depending on where you are. We are thankful to Maureen for coordinating this call each week, and we are also thankful for everyone who has participated consistently, week in and week out, for 35 weeks now!”
“It is the honor of my lifetime to do this, truly,” says Maureen Andersen from her home office in Palm Springs, California. “What I love the most about this and what I am grateful for is that all of those words that used to divide us semantically — that arts never talked to sports, and sports didn’t talk to arts, you were this or you were that — all of that is gone. We have learned and are learning from each other and sharing. Whatever may be happening at a 75,000-seat stadium can also impact how a 100-seat black box theater in Poughkeepsie can function. That, to me, is one of the huge, huge benefits of a pandemic, if you can find one. We are not divided semantically anymore or by vertical by nature of what we do. We truly are a group of one.”
“When I first joined INTIX, I wondered what I was going to get out of it when I’m in a 600-seat theater with all three of our theater spaces. What am I going to get from somebody who has a baseball stadium or a football stadium or the University of Michigan with 100,000-seat stadium?” says Greg Warrington of Houston, Texas. “What I’ve gotten out of this is I have learned to pivot. I took ideas from baseball with their [fan cut-outs]. I took that idea back to our theater and, when we did our live performance last week, it was just the actors and the theater. We had a couple of heads in the audience of people who worked at the theater, some of our donors and people who wanted to donate a picture of themselves. We put them in the seats so the actors on stage were performing for somebody — that they saw somebody. It made it special for the actors, and the people [who had cut-outs] could say, ‘hey, I was there!’”
“I am grateful for my just-announced retirement that’s coming up early next year,” says John Harig of Cincinnati. “It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while. When you are past your mid-60s, you start thinking about it. We are getting to a place where we are whittling down our staff even further, and I thought that rather than have somebody [like me who is close to the end of his career], they can open it up to some new people to stick around.”
“I am grateful for how this group has showed kindness to each other, opened up and showed each other gratitude. Instead of becoming embattled out of fear, they have become open and kind and generous,” says Aren Murray of San Antonio. “Every single person in this group is facing stress and trouble right now, yet they are open with information and show incredible consideration of each other.”
The INTIX community is full of passionate people who continue to amaze us with their humanity, courage, passion, grit, leadership and spirit. They support one another in a way that is filled with grace.
“This spirit,” says Andersen, “is deep within them. It gives me hope both during this time and also for the future. With these people in charge, our industry will not only survive but thrive beyond anything we can even begin to imagine.”
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Tags: Memberships , Leadership