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Saturday, January 12, 2019

Saturday Special - An Interview with Emily McGill, Press Agent and Founder of Public Relations Firm, Press Play


Welcome to another installment of our Working in Theater series. This series in which we interview people working in different theater related jobs runs perodically on Saturdays.  Today we will be speaking with Emily McGill (EM), publicist and founder of the Public Relations firm, Press Play. Emily has a decade of experience working on numerous shows including Memphis, Billy Elliot, A Raisin in the Sun, and more. In August of 2017, she founded Press Play Public Relations.


What is your job title?

EM: I’m the founder of Press Play, a boutique public relations and branding firm serving those in and around the Broadway community.

How would you describe what you do?

EM: Ultimately, my job comes down to telling stories and communicating with the media, audiences, and clients.

How did you come to be doing the job that you do?

EM: didn’t know that there were other jobs in the theatre when I was growing up, all you see is the people on stage!  But I knew I wanted to be on the business side of the business so after college I moved to New York and started interning at various offices.  I interned under a producer, a general manager, and a company manager, as well as being an assistant to a star and her producer husband.  Eventually I was ready for a full time job, and a Broadway PR office was hiring.  Despite my not having experience in that particular aspect of the business, they took a chance on me and I was hired as the receptionist.  After 6 months, I was promoted to being a publicist and the rest is history!

Did you have to get any special training for your job?

EM: The best training you can get in this industry is to work.  Internships are so valuable as they allow you to soak up information and network to carve out your own space in the industry.

What is the best part of your job?

EM: The best part of my job is getting to work with people that I love and being part of the Broadway community.

What is the worst part of your job?

EM: The worst part of my job is not getting a response from journalists!  I understand that we’re all busy, but a “no” is SO helpful.

What are some of your favorite shows that you have worked on?

EM: MEMPHIS was one of the best experiences in my life.  I was so young, and my brother had been in the show for about a year before I started on the PR team, so I knew the whole company and was already invested in the show.  From there, I got to work with people that have become my family.  MEMPHIS LIVES!

I also had an incredible experience working on A Raisin in the Sun starring Denzel Washington.  That was a challenging and very rewarding show to be part of, and it gave me another opportunity to work with amazing people.

Most recently, I worked over the summer with Disney on Broadway handling Aladdin and The Lion King.  To work on such iconic shows was very rewarding.

What show if any would you loved to have worked on?

EM: Oh gosh, I wasn’t even alive, but I would have LOVED working on shows that Bob Fosse, Michael Bennett, and Jerome Robbins created.  And the original Broadway production of 42nd Street.

Who are some other people in your field that you admire?

EM: Irene Gandy is the original fabulous Broadway publicist.  She is an icon and has been working in the industry for 50 years!  She’s also the only publicist to have a caricature at Sardi’s.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to do what you do?

EM: Intern, intern, intern!  I can’t stress enough that getting in on the ground floor to meet people, make connections, and learn everything you can makes a HUGE difference.

We thank Emily for taking the time to answer our questions. For more about Press Play Public Relations, visitwww.EmilyMcGillEntertainment.com.

Tune in tomorrow for this week's Sunday Scoop.

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