STORIES FROM THE PAC FRIENDS
We are so fortunate to have a big group of volunteers who come together for the Performing Arts Center and the Central Coast community.*Some submissions edited for length
From Terry, Ushering Since 2013Why I became an usher at the PAC - My wife Laurie and I joined the PAC team in 2013, and love working there. We became interested in joining the PAC after to talking to friends who were ushers. Since day one, we love the mission of the PAC and really enjoy serving patrons and making sure they have a safe enjoyable show. Some of our most enjoyable times working at the PAC were shows that normally would not peak our interest. However, once the show started we were blown away by the talent or story the artist was conveying on stage. We would have not had this experience without taking a risk on a new show.
One of the best benefits of the PAC, is working with my beautiful wife Laurie. The nights we work, we make it a "date night" and stop for dinner prior to the show. This is something we like doing together and have made friends with many of the ushers. We were both surprised during our last usher meeting to be recipients of the Nancy Cochran Spirit Award! We felt so honored to be recipients of this award and it is the first time a couple was chosen.
In closing, I am proud to be an Ambassador of the Performing Arts Center and have always felt appreciated by Milly and Ryan who are our fearless leaders.From Laurie, Ushering Since 2013
My favorite thing about ushering at the PAC is that we get to see shows that we normally wouldn't even know about. A perfect example of this is the panel discussion for Engineering Students that we worked a couple of years ago. This show was one of our surprise favorites because we learned so much. I think it was an SOS show and we loved it! The most interesting speaker was the lead engineer that designed the Space shuttle that crashed. He explained that he told them it was to cold and that they shouldn't launch but they were getting so much political pressure to launch that they didn't listen to him. Later he became a whistle blower and got fired from his job but then they realized he was right and he was rehired. His message to the students was powerful, they have to fight for what they believed in even if it wasn't popular or if it cost them their job. All the speakers were great but his message just really struck a chord with me. To this day Terry and I still count this as one of our favorite shows!
From Amalia, Ushering Since 2019
I’ve been retired from school counseling for 4 years now and really miss the kiddos. I was ushering for WOW and a young Freshman girl came out of the auditorium, obviously upset. She was having an anxiety attack (her term) so I spoke with her gently. She opened up to me right away when I told her I was a school counselor. We spoke for about 15 minutes and she said I had helped her immensely and was able to go back in. About 15 minutes later, a girl was brought to the door by her parents. She was crying and really having a tough time letting go . I spoke to all of them for a bit and told her that my daughter had gone through WOW and told her a little more about what to expect . She was finally able to go in. I felt a sense of purpose being there for the kids even in my capacity as an Usher.
From Carmela, Ushering Since 2005First and foremost is the example set by my father. He was very "service to the community" minded and volunteered until his late 80's. Now, I think it's part of my DNA.One of my first memories of him volunteering is from when I was 4. We lived along the shore of Lake Michigan and my dad was involved with planning and producing the 4th of July BBQ for the "beach club" we belonged to. Our basement was storage site of cases and cases of pop: root beer, orange, and creme soda!! It was the one day in the entire year and when we were allowed to have one ice cold bottle of pop with BBQ chicken and potato salad!He volunteered with my Girl Scout troop teaching us how to pitch our pup tents, and fold up our sleeping bags, he volunteered at the public high school track meets where my brother competed, and at the Catholic high school repairing what was broken and remodeling their chapel. He was in the Knights of Columbus, Commander of Veterans of Foreign War posts in both Illinois and California, he volunteered as a poll worker for every election since 1946, and was a lifelong blood donor since the Battle of the Bulge until 2007.I believe volunteering is my responsibility as a citizen and a member of the community where I live, to put more back in to the collective good than I take out.From Norma, Ushering Since 1996
I’ve been at the PAC since the beginning. Amazed at the expansiveness, elegance and sophistication of the new building I was eager to be a part of an enlarged family (I had already ushered at Spanos for a few years) welcoming the public. The tone of volunteering at the PAC was set by Theatre Operations Manager, Nancy Cochran, whose warmth, sincerity and dedication, infused all of us with pride and ownership in this beautiful facility. Ushering for shows spanning David Sedaris to Metropolitan Opera to Kinky Boots has expanded my world view and appreciation for the arts. What a privilege to have been a part of the show for 25 years!
From Debi, Ushering Since 2015
I have been volunteering at the PAC for 5 years (this year), and have so enjoyed being a part of such a fantastic community event space. The building itself is beautiful, the sound system top notch and the quality of shows is above and beyond what I had expected. I have also found that the house managers and other ushers are kind, helpful and fun to work with, and the staff at the PAC are both professional and supportive. I can't wait until we can get back to our duties at the Performing Arts Center and look forward to sharing many more shows with our excited patrons!