FAC Box Office Managers | Good things come in threes!
Friday 22 May 2020
Over the past 25 years, our Box Office has been managed by only three different people. We sat down together to reflect on some of their favourite memories in their role at the FAC.
Since the FAC opened back in 1995, many wonderful team members have contributed to the venue’s success. But in that entire time our Box Office has been managed by only three people. Here's some of their stand-out memories...
Alison commenced working for Frankston City Council in 1991, and she was the Box Office Manager from 1994 to 2003. She is currently the Executive Manager Mayor & CEO Office.
My most special memory is employing both Jeannie and Pauline! Along with the Box Office crew achieving a turnover of $1M in the first year of opening!
Jeannie commenced working at the FAC as an usher in 1995, moving to the Box Office team later that year. She was the Box Office Manager from 2003 to 2017.
In the very early days, I remember a computer monitor that took up most of desk space, the cash tin sitting on a recycled roll out trolley (possibly an old sewing machine trolley), a dot matrix printer running continuously, and multiple floppy disks to be run at the end of each day to back up that day’s work!
Not long after that, we saw the introduction of email. I remember June, the accounts officer, getting a computer on the same day that Hugh Jackman performed Musical Matinee (all her Christmas’ and birthdays rolled into one!).
I remember the Frankston Guitar Festival, with the foyer full of people and live concerts running. We embraced lots of innovation to manage festival bookings. Around that time, I remember ‘enjoying’ sound checks through the piece of plaster separating the office from stage. I arrived one morning to find all the heavy folders along with the CCTV monitor had been bounced off their shelves!
Another memory is the demise of the Travelling Film Festival when the projector failed during a film. Pauline and I discovered there was an upper limit to EFT refunds and only $x in the till. The film was rescheduled for the following day – but the projector failed again and Donald hopped on stage to retell the end of film.
Other ‘fun times’ included the introduction of new software, and Pauline and I not knowing whether to laugh or cry sorting things out.
The one constant over the 22 years has been the teams I have enjoyed in the Box Office. Over the years, the personnel did change but the Box Office vibe remained the same. We had a range of ages, backgrounds, genders but we always enjoyed each other’s company, and ‘had each other’s back’ and many of the friendships made many years ago still continue.
Pauline commenced working for the FAC in 2001; she has been the Box Office Manager since 2017.
I remember sitting in the admin office with Jeannie after going live with internet sales and waiting for our first internet sale to come through. This took quite some time, with us patiently waiting, and when it finally did, we were very excited! Nowadays we are selling around 54% of our tickets online and it is an everyday occurrence.
We had a crew of teenagers, mostly staff member’s children, who used to come in to do the mail out of our ‘What’s On’ Brochure. The crew used to have to put the labels on the envelopes of around 23,000 brochures and sort them into their postcode boxes, enjoying the endless supply of soft drink provided.
Jeannie and I were enjoying the performance of The Bird Cage performed by PLOS Musical Productions, when Michael Fletcher in a lead role fell down the stairs into the Theatre and broke his wrist. Jeannie and I thought we were going to have to refund/reschedule the performance that night, and as the paramedics attended to Michael, we raced to the Box Office. However, in true ‘the show must go on’ style, Michael went on to finish the final performances before having his wrist operated on!
L to R: Pauline Bagnall, Frankston City Mayor Sandra Mayer, Allison Clarke and Jeannie Hayes.