Mid-Week Intermission Friend Edition: Why Our Volunteer Ushers Love Volunteering

We asked our Volunteer Ushers what they’d like for the holidays… and they said, “More volunteers, of course!” This Mid-Week Intermission celebrates the unsung heroes of the Long Center who greet every patron, know every seat, and answer every question. Read on to learn what they love about volunteering at the Long Center and why you should throw your hat in the ring.

What's Volunteering All About?
A full house sits in Dell Hell with dim lighting waiting for the show to start
A Full House for Neil deGrasse Tyson in 2016 // photo by James Goulden

You’ve seen them in the lobbies, you’ve been greeted by a smile… who knows, maybe you’ve even needed help finding your seat! Long Center experiences start and end with our Volunteer Ushers, and boy, do they have a job to do. With events ranging from 20 to 2500 people, plus countless outdoor shows, festivals, movies, and community events for thousands more… we’re always recruiting! So, what’s it all about?

It can take as many as 50 volunteers to staff a full-house performance in Dell Hall, and sometimes even more for an outdoor event. By helping you find your seat, engaging with guests, answering any and every question you may have, and providing excellent customer service, our volunteer team sets the Austin standard for an excellent experience. But whether they’ve been with us for six months or since we opened in 2008, each of our ushers would say it’s about giving back to the Austin community they love. And who wouldn’t want to see a show while they do that?

We asked:
How long have you been volunteering at the Long Center?

13 years
— Michelle

Over 10 years. Came to the public grand opening and was impressed!
— Carol

7 years. My wife said I needed something to do as I had retired. Love being a volunteer!
— Gary

6 months. I love giving back and socializing, especially in the arts.
— Rusty

Long Center's lookOUT featuring serpentwithfeet // photo by Catriona Long
Peek Behind the Curtain... Literally

There’s one perk of joining the team that beats them all, though… the shows! While our volunteer ushers keep our events seamless, safe, and enjoyable for everyone, they also get to see some great shows for free. From opera to ballet, Hasan Minhaj to Ina Garten, and The Avett Brothers to Gina Chavez, this is the best way to discover your next creative obsession. (And maybe even get a picture with them!)

Plus, you’ll also get a peek behind the curtain at how the events you attend every day are constructed, produced, and executed — a new perspective on the arts and music on which Austin runs. And with a calendar as full and varied as ours, you’ll never get bored.

We asked: 
What’s your favorite thing about volunteer ushering?

Networking and learning about event production.
—Rusty

Engaging with the attendees, especially ones who have never been to the Long Center before.
Katrina

Being around other people who enjoy and appreciate the arts as I do.
— Lesvia

I love the variety of  shows and performances I get to experience.
Pam

We asked:
What’s your most memorable ushering experience?

Singing along with Frankie Valle! (quietly)
— Gary

Watching a family open bags of Doritos at the ballet.

— Rusty

My most memorable ushering experience? Well that’s like picking a favorite child. Between Austin Opera, Ballet Austin’s Nutcracker, Whoopie Goldberg, comedians like Billy Crystal, banjo players like Steve Martin, etc., I just cannot do it.
— 
Lisa

Long Live Music featuring Billy Strings // photo by Jesse Faatz

So, what are you waiting for?? We’re inviting anyone 18 or older to join the team. If you love events, people, and live performances, you’re exactly who we’re looking for. Apply today, and we’ll let you know when the next official training takes place!

We asked:
Why should other Austinites volunteer with us?

Reasons include sharing a spectacular space where you can witness and experience the magic of phenomenal talent and creativity unfolding life; in front of your very eyes!
Lesvia

Experience camaraderie, see great shows, greet great people.
— Maria

Whether you live in Austin, Buda, Kyle, Round Rock, Pflugerville, San Marcos, etc., you should volunteer at the Long Center because it’s like automatically joining a fraternity or sorority. You will gain lifetime friendships with some awesome people.
— Lisa

It’s a wonderful opportunity to see great shows.
— Pam

Do512's Sound And Cinema // photo by Dillon Magnuson
Well, there you have it — we can’t wait for you to join the team. And to all of our volunteers… thank you

KEEP IN TOUCH

At the Long Center, we’ve always got a new partnership or something cool we know you’ll want to check out! Find and follow us @longcenter on your social media platform of choice, and we’ll see you real soon.

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