Meet your front of house team: Matilda Cormier-Stumpf

    December 12, 2017

    Mati AEM profile pic

    All of the shows in The BlueShore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts at Capilano University are supported heavily by students in the university's Arts and Entertainment Management (AEM) program. 

    If you've attended a Cap Jazz, Cap Global Roots or Cap Theatre (Exit 22) performance on our home stage or one of our season satellite venues, you've had the pleasure of being seated or served by an AEM student in one of their rotating roles of usher, merchandise table staff, front of house manager, concession or will-call pick up. The students also assist directly with visiting musicians in the role of artist liaison. In this month's BlueShore at Cap e-newsletter, we're pleased to share an interview with AEM student Matilda Cormier-Stumpf.  

    Can you describe your experience in the Arts & Entertainment Management program, and what you’ve learned from the shows you’ve worked?

    So far the program has been extremely positive, there’s such a plethora of opportunities. It gives us a lot of chances to work in real-life situations, and we get to work with people who will ultimately be our bosses one day  - that’s so valuable.

    Everybody has an important role [at the shows], we all know what we should be doing, and when that’s not happening, things can’t really flow. The supervisors aren’t going to let disasters happen, they aren’t going to let things fall apart, but we need to be held accountable and be responsible.  

    Which hands-on roles have you held to date, and how is your approach towards audiences and artists evolving?

    I’ve primarily done artist liaison – working with the artists and backstage – as well as front of house, concession and two usher shifts. Working with artists and backstage is my favourite. I used to very much just wing things, and let things happen but I’m recognizing how important it is to be organized and coordinated. Communication between all roles is extremely valuable. It cannot be understated that you need to communicate with your front of house, with your ushers – it’s such a team effort that if one person is just doing their own thing then it’s not going to work as smoothly as you want it to.

    What have you learned – or enjoyed – working with BlueShore at Cap’s audience members?

    It’s been very positive, people are very receptive and understanding, especially when you have older audiences. Depending on the show you’re going to get a different vibe, and people bounce off what you’re putting out. You really want to put out a positive experience for everyone because then it will be a positive experience for you, and people will be receptive to that.

    Is there anything unique or special about our home stage that you’ve grown to love?

    The size of it. Compared to other theatres, there are a lot of hallways and places you can get lost. You definitely need to learn your way around the space. Some keys don’t work for some doors but work for other doors, or only work sometimes – there are so many little quirks throughout the space that make it special and fun. It makes it feel like you are in on a secret, when you get to know all the passageways and shortcuts working within a “home” theatre.

    Are there any upcoming satellite venue shows you’re particularly interested in working?

    When I saw that we are at the Vogue Theatre [for Birdman Live on February 1], I got excited because that’s a venue that I have frequently attended but haven’t had the opportunity to work in. Being able to work in a space for which I have such high regard will be very exciting. I’m just doing merch, but to say that “I’m working a show at The Vogue today” is so exciting.

    If you cast forward to having worked a year’s worth of home stage and offsite shows, what do you think will be your key takeaways?

    Communication and coordination amongst each other. I used to be very independent, and very focused on myself and what I’m doing, and I’m learning that sometimes you have to put that aside and really collaborate with people and that’s when you create better events. 

    We'll be rolling out additional student profiles so audiences can get to know the dedicated students who work hard to make BlueShore at Cap performances the best they can be!

    Submitted by: Nicole Pointon