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Meet the Team: Michele

Friday 10 May 2019

Michele Hayes.jpg

We interviewed Michele Hayes, one of our ushers, to know about her special moments at FAC.

When did you start working at the FAC and why?
2018.  My friend was an usher and recommended I apply. I haven’t regretted listening to her! My background is as a musician and a teacher in the arts, so I felt a strong affection for FAC already.

Your favourite show that you have worked on or seen here?
My first show was Daytime Music + Theatre with Michael Cormick.  That set the bar very high! Anything musical works for me, which has been most of the shows. It’s too hard to pick a favourite, as the standard we have is so high.

Best memory?
There have been many ‘goosebump’ moments so far.  When the big band performers asked people who had served in the armed forces to stand so that the audience could honour them, most of the people in the theatre had a tear in their eye, including me. The people who work at FAC are all fantastic and we have had many laughs and special moments between us.

Which shows this season are you looking forward to?
All of them!  I love all the variety we have, and each show brings something special and unique. 

Tall tales but true?
I won a free cruise winning a song lyric competition a few years ago. That was pretty exciting!

Best thing about Frankston?
Great beaches, excellent food, good shopping and it’s easy to get around. The cultural experiences we have, especially at FAC make it a great place to live. Above all of that, it’s the people that are the best.

Favourite food & drink?
Coffee, chocolate and wine (not necessarily all at the same time, although that works too)!

Funniest question you have been asked?
One patron asked me to go onto the stage and dance with him. When I worked as a tennis umpire, a patron asked if I could move from my position on court so that he could see the tennis better. I am thrilled to say that no one in the theatre has asked me anything that silly!

Funniest thing an audience member has done?
It’s very amusing to us that people in their seats don’t realise we can see what everyone is doing, as we are watching the patrons, rather than the performances. So many of them think we can’t see them on their phones (we can). During ‘Shrek-The Musical’, one child called out “no” in response to a character’s question of another actor. The timing was perfect, and everyone laughed, including the actors.

Who are the friendliest/funniest celebrities you have worked with?
As ushers, we don’t meet all the performers. Steve Blackshall was nice, although I am not a fan of snakes, no matter how much information he gives me. Marina Prior was lovely and very down to earth. I have found most of the ones we have had in the theatre to be very professional and warm.

Do you have any superstitions?
No. I believe we make our own luck. I consider myself very lucky and grateful for all my opportunities, especially working here. I don’t walk under ladders, but that’s mostly because I am clumsy and highly likely to knock them over.

Best solution you worked out for a problem?
Working with children for thirty years has required so many chances for solving problems that I can’t remember them all. In the theatre, we often have to think on our feet. I did offer blankets for children to sit on in their seats when we ran out of cushions.

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