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Excerpts from an interview with Romy Brock, Concert and Event Production Manager
WPZ: What is your job title and what does your job entail?
RB: Concert and Event Production Manager. My main responsibility is for the ZooTunes concert series, but I also help facilitate other external marketing events such as WildLights, Bunny Bounce and Mom & Me.
WPZ: What is a typical day (or days) at work like for you? I’m guessing your days are ver y different during the concer t season and outside of it.
RB: Every day is very different. In the off season I wrap up the summer and prep for the following year.There’s a lot of budget work to be completed each year. During the summer it’s crazy hectic. I’m planning for upcoming concerts, doing day-of show, working on Group Sales events and helping to train interns and assistants.
WPZ: What sort of education and training would someone need to get a job like yours?
RB: I have a degree in communications.There are a lot of different personalities in this job and it’s really important to get along with all of them.To get a job in events, I’d suggest interning – it’s a great way to get your foot in the door. My background is in fundraising and large-scale events. Being able to handle stress, last minute catastrophes and juggle a million details are all skills that comein handy.
WPZ: Your job is one that’s needed at lots of venues that host concerts and events. Why choose to work at the zoo?
RB: I feel extremely lucky to have a job I love that raises money to help animals. My job is so unique and interesting. Plus, if I’m having a bad day, I just go hang out with the toddlers and penguins.You can’t stay in a bad mood with that fun combination.
WPZ: How do the ZooTunes concerts help the zoo?
RB: ZooTunes typically raises over a half-million dollars per summer. The concerts also bring in a different type of zoo audience. We started using the tagline “see concerts, save animals” this year.
We know that people have a choice on where to spend their entertainment dollars. By choosing us over a for-profit venue, they are making a difference.
WPZ: What’s been your favorite ZooTunes concert so far?
RB: There’s really been something great about every show. I love the moment when all the concert-goers stream into the meadow racing for the front. In the middle I always take time and look around at all the happy families and groups of friends. It makes all the stress and work worth it. Moments that really stand out to me are: listening to Herbie Hancock’s sound check - it was just him and me on a sunny day on the meadow; sitting on the stage with Cyndi Lauper - she was wearing this crazy red wig and has such a larger-than-life personality; and listening to Brandi Carlile and Dave Matthews sing Angel from Montgomery – that was truly amazing.