We pretty much know the theater world by now. There are actors, comedians, directors, singers, writers, and even those darn awesome theater technicians; you wouldn’t think there’s a single occupation missing in that list.
But there is.
There are these group of workers called ushers. You’ve probably heard of them. After you get your tickets, the ushers are the first people who introduce you to the overall theatergoing experience. They are the ones that assure you that the show you are about to see will be the best show possible. Granted, it probably won’t be all the time, but such effort is refreshing in this day and age.
The key word in that last sentence is “effort”—a word that makes all the optimism worth it in the end. Some would argue that ushering is a very easy position—one that consists of very little effort compared to working as an actor, singer, or director, just to name a few.
Um….yeah. No. Not even close.
Speaking as someone who has ushered for shows at Rhode Island College, such an argument couldn’t be more wrong. Yes, there may be some shifts where barely anything happens (gotta love that good ol’ winter weather), but that is balanced with shifts where we usher in about 400 children in one section of the largest auditorium possible. It’s also balanced with shifts where we have to make sure those dance moms get to their children before they go on for the next number.
So when I hear people say that ushering is not a “real job”, or how those in that position put little effort into it, I snicker in disagreement.