BWW Blog: How I Discovered Arts Management
Hello, BroadwayWorld! My name is Chloe Lang, a junior Public Relations major with a minor in Theatre at Appalachian State University. I'm so excited to be writing for BroadwayWorld! I have spent countless hours on this site reading blogs and getting updated on theatre news and I'm honored to be featured! I would love to share my journey to arts management with you all.
Ever since I was little, I loved the arts. I was always putting on puppet shows for anyone who would watch, singing, painting, writing, reading, and attending music festivals ever since I can remember. As I got older, music and theatre became the mediums I was most passionate about. My sister and I started a bluegrass band, The Lang Sisters, and we have performed across the East Coast for the past seven years. Through promoting the band, selling CDs, working with bookers and venues, I got more and more interested in music and arts management.
Meanwhile in high school, I got heavily involved in the theatre program, auditioning for every musical and play, and finding my true passion. The art form helped a shy, self-conscious teenage girl blossom and find her place. I felt most alive while on stage, watching shows, analyzing plays, and researching the newest Broadway trends. There was something about the humanity of the work, the dedicated individuals who spent tireless hours in a dark theatre, and the creative expression that allowed me to be someone else on stage while also learning about myself the whole time. I knew this was something I had to be involved in for the rest of my life- I just didn't know exactly what capacity.
I began my college journey as a theatre education major. I performed in shows, worked backstage, and lived in the black box theater. I tried out several things, but realized that my skill sets lie more in the field of communication. I love networking, writing, public speaking, and social media. After the first semester of my sophomore year, my passion for the stage and interest in management found each other. After a whirlwind first trip to New York City, I truly discovered my calling. I had never felt more secure and hopeful.
This newfound fire inside of me landed me in two internships this past summer, one with the marketing department at the world-class Durham Performing Arts Center, and one in the development department for the amazing non-profit North Carolina Theatre.
At these internships, I wrote press releases, created graphics, compiled and delivered press kits, worked VIP and donor events, and met so many inspirational people. I discovered my love for community engagement and advocacy. I loved being able to apply my creativity to real-life projects. These experiences just made me more excited to dive into my classes for the next two years in order to be as prepared as possible to hustle my way to NYC after graduation. Ever since I changed my major and networked within my department, I have found kindred souls who are also interested in the same career path! I have found that to be truly helpful in all sorts of aspects- a source of support, encouragement, and others to geek out about the latest Broadway news with!
My advice to anyone who is still trying to discover their calling is to listen to their heart. It may sound cliche, but once I reflected on my experiences, what I felt most alive doing, and trusted my gut, I came to a slow realization of what I wanted to do. This doesn't mean I know exactly what I'll be doing in four years- trust me, I've tried that (I'm your classic type A student)- but I have a true understanding of my strengths and where I feel most alive. I also chose a major that is versatile and applicable to many careers. Don't wait for tomorrow- just start today! Dip your toes in the water of anything and everything you think you might be interested in. You never know what could happen. As Katherine from Newsies would say "just watch what happens!"
Photo Caption: Holding the Tony Award for Best Musical for Dear Evan Hansen at an event I worked for my internship at the Durham Performing Arts Center