by Lesli Bandy, Broadway/L.A. Season Services Manager
It is probably the most common question I’m asked when I tell people where I work.
You aren’t alone. You’re in the company of Hollywood royalty! Want a laugh? Here’s a clip of the great Elizabeth Taylor struggling over the name (and others!): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iKqHRNiLbY
Nederlander (pronounced NEE-der-land-er) is one of the largest powerhouses in the Broadway industry, and a major force in the concert industry, as well.
The second biggest question I get: “So, you sell tickets?”
Sort of. My official title: Broadway/L.A. Season Services Manager.
David Francis’ recent blog post, The Wizard of Ozone, is probably the most creative way to explain a large part of the technical, boring side of my job. The other part is, what I like to call, servicing the customer. Yes, I service L.A. customers all the way down in San Diego. I swing in my porch hammock, feet in the sand, laptop on my lap, cell phone in hand, ready to solve any patron issues with a laid-back smile as I watch the waves roll in.
In our San Diego office, we service Broadway/L.A., Broadway/San Diego, Broadway in Riverside, Broadway in Tucson, and Broadway/San Jose. This is Nederlander’s West Coast Regional Season Ticket Office. There is no sand at our feet and we can’t watch the waves roll in from our porch, but we still try to accommodate any request with a laid-back smile. This is, after all, San Diego.
With a staff of 7 for Broadway/L.A., we take on many duties.
We welcome new Season Ticket Holders after they purchase their first season seat package, explaining every detail about the shows and their seats, so they know what to expect.
We help Members change seats because one of their party had knee surgery and needs an aisle seat for a few shows, until she gets better and the can sit in their old seats again.
We re-issue Season Tickets that were destroyed in a fire, so these patrons would still have the joy of looking forward to the theatre.
We give a 93-year-old veteran aerial photographer in World War II access to matinee shows in the same great center section seats he’s had for years, since he is no longer able to drive at night.
We call 9-1-1 to help a Season Ticket Holder who passed out after having a seizure in the middle of a phone conversation, and we stay on the phone until the ambulance arrives.
We position a family of four in the first row of the balcony so their small children can see the season of shows without anyone blocking their view.
We comb the ticketing system to re-capture a patron’s old seats again, after he had to cancel; happily, he got his job back, and would no longer be forced to move.
It’s easy for us to get caught up in the “process” of it all sometimes; it’s easy for us to forget why we are doing this. But once in a while, when the phone stops ringing, we take a moment to sit in our hammocks, stick our feet in the sand, watch the waves roll in, and remember what it is we do – what it is we really do.
Very soon, another person will get the chance to sit in the glorious Pantages and be whisked away to another world for an entire season, and they will love their seats, because that is our job, and Mr. Nederlander has made it all possible.