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Saturday, June 15, 2019

Saturday Special - Working in Theater - An Interview with Travis Moser, Associate Director, Print and Special Projects at SpotCo,

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 Travis Moser (TM). Travis is an Associate Director at SpotCo, an entertainment advertising and marketing agency. He is also a performer and his cabaret homage to Linda Ronstadt, Just One Look, will be presented at The Green Room 42 this Thursday June 20, 2019 at 7:00 PM.                                                                                 

What is your job title? 

TM: Associate Director, Print and Special Projects at SpotCo, which is a full service advertising agency/marketing company specializing in entertainment, specifically Broadway. The designers at SpotCo have created iconic brands, such as the original productions of Rent and Hamilton. SpotCo can help you with every aspect of advertising/marketing for your show and they're the best in the business! If you don't believe me, check out the book On Broadway: From Rent to Revolution by our founder, Drew Hodges. It chronicles 20 years of SpotCo's work on Broadway! 

How would you describe what you do? 

TM: Not unlike Dolly Levi in Hello, Dolly!, I have my hand in a little bit of everything! One part of my job is project managing every aspect of everything that is physically printed. That includes billboards in Times Square, show flyers, Playbill inserts, direct mail pieces, souvenir programs, bus sides, taxi tops and everything else you can think of. I'm in charge of everything, including getting estimates, liaising with vendors, working with our production artists on the design, getting approval from clients and everything in between! The other part of my job consists of me being the account director for all the national tours and special projects, which includes any show that isn't a sit-down musical or play. An example of this would be a I Am Harvey Milk with Kristin Chenoweth, BC/EFA's annual Broadway Bares, etc. I am the main point of contact for our clients, which typically consist of the show's producers. My role is pretty unorthodox here at SpotCo, but I love it because it allows me to work with nearly every department in the agency on a consistent basis. 

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

TM: I graduated from Point Park University's Conservatory of Performing Arts with a double major in Musical Theater and Communications. I knew I wanted to work on Broadway in SOME respect, but I wanted more stability. I'm also a cabaret, concert and recording artist, so I wanted to make sure my job was flexible enough to allow me to still perform live and record. In fact, I'm performing my brand new show, Just One Look: The Songs of Linda Ronstadtat The Green Room 42 on June 20th at 7pm with special guests Molly Pope, Cathy Cervenka, Daryl Glenn, Jack Bartholet and musical director Drew Wutke! When I moved to New York, I was lucky enough to meet Aaliytha Stevens, who worked at SpotCo and took a chance on me. I owe a lot to Aaliytha. I started as an assistant and worked my way up. I've been at SpotCo for almost 8 years at this point! 

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

TM: Before coming to SpotCo I worked at a market research company that handled theatrical projects, so I had a vague understanding of the advertising industry from the market research side. I also worked for The Araca Group, which is one of the Broadway producers of Wicked(among many others), as well as a Broadway merchandising company. I'm a firm believe that as long as you go to college for SOMETHING, you'll be fine and probably figure it out later. I met my boyfriend, Michael DeiCas, while we were at Point Park University and he was a double major in Theater Arts and Communication. He's now a Publicity and Communications Manager at Disney Theatrical on Broadway. We didn't know a SOUL in NYC before we got here. You just have to take the plunge, come to NYC and hope for the best! 

What is the best part of your job? 

TM: As a self proclaimed theater nerd, the best part is knowing all the inside information about all of the shows we're working on and will be working on. I also love seeing the process of watching our brilliant designers bring the shows to life with their art, whether it's in print, TV, radio, outdoor or online! Getting free tickets sometimes doesn't hurt either! 

What is the worst part of your job? 

TM: Broadway is a crazy place and it seems like everything is a rush, especially around award season! It can be really scary worrying about getting everything done in time, because if you miss your window of opportunity, you might as well have not even done it in the first place! Every day is just chock-a-block! That makes things exciting, but also stressful! 

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

TM: It was a THRILL working on Bette Midler in Hello, Dolly!, because that was such a once in a lifetime event and I love that show so much. A Doll's House: Part 2 is another one of my recent favorites and Laurie Metcalf gave one of the best live performances I have ever seen. I also love working on the tours, such as Cats and My Fair Lady, because I first experienced theater on tour in Pittsburgh, PA. It makes me happy to think some other little boy is experiencing the joy of theater for the 1st time because of one of the shows of which I have a small part! 

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

TM: I can't really think of any non-SpotCo show that I would have wanted to work on! SpotCo has worked on such iconic shows and I'm so incredibly proud to be part of the SpotCo family. I have signed posters of the Broadway revivals of Chicago and Annie Get Your Gun with Bernadette Peters hanging in my childhood bedroom. Those were the first posters I saw when I came for my first interview at SpotCo, because SpotCo designers created the key art for both of those shows. It doesn't get any better than that! 

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

TM: I admire Michael DeiCas (Manager, Publicity and Communications at Disney Theatrical) because he has worked in several aspects of the industry and, as I mentioned, didn't know anyone who worked on Broadway or even in New York, for that matter, before we got here. I also admire Aaliytha Stevens, our COO at SpotCo. She took a chance on me and we worked side by side for many years before becoming COO. She is also the first and only African American female COO at a Broadway advertising agency as well as an amazing person and mother! 

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

TM: After you graduate from college (if you go that route), just get to New York City! Whether that means working in a restaurant or in retail, there is never going to be an easy, perfect time to move here. So many people wait around to save money, get experience or find the perfect scenario which they think will bring them to New York. You can only work in Broadway advertising on Broadway, for the most part, and it's a pretty competitive field, so you have to actually be here to potentially have the opportunity. SpotCo also offers a really great (paid) internship program and many of those interns become full time employees! 

We thank Travis for taking the time to answer our questions. Don't miss his cabaret show, Just One Look, the Songs of Linda Ronstadt, this Thursday June 20 at 7:00 PM at The Green Room 42, 570 10th Ave., New York, NY.

Tune in tomorrow for this week's Sunday Scoop.

2 comments:

  1. Well those are certainly two divergent occupations.

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    1. Thanks for visiting Says Me Says Mom and for your comment.

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