Some mornings it’s tough to know what business I’m in.

     I work in a basement office. I process numbers, edit words, answer phone calls, attend meetings, monitor budgets. How different is that from any other office job?

     Yes, my office is in the basement of Popejoy Hall. Just up the stairs are the doors where the public will enter over 100 times this year to see shows, to spend a few delightful hours, to escape the drear of their own jobs.

     But selling tickets to shows is akin to selling air. The tickets are the only tangible element of what we offer. Some days it’s difficult to remember what makes our product attractive.

     I suppose the customer requests we handle should provide a clue. This week someone asked permission to take a photo of a family member with the performers — during the show. We often get requests from young men to be allowed to ask girlfriends to marry them in some very public way. Most are willing to propose from their seats. Some want to do it from the stage, either before the show, at intermission, or right after curtain calls, brought up on stage by the cast. Every one of them wants, literally or otherwise, the spotlight on their moment and the glow that the stage imparts to their lives.

     That certainly speaks to the specific nature of my job. Those opportunities aren’t available at everyone’s place of business, and I’m very glad these people are so enamored by our performances that they want to make them a very significant part of their lives.

     I always want to say yes, but I have to remember that we don’t control the artistic content of the show. We are presenters, not producers, so we have to ask permission of the production du jour for anything that happens forward of the first row in our house. There's also the Pandora's box aspect of it all.

     Such requests do speak to the joy people feel at a Popejoy performance. A friend of mine from high school contacted me again recently and asked if I still worked here. I said yes, that I was still selling smiles to New Mexicans. He thought that was a great way to put it. I had tossed the phrase off in my email to him, but he liked my serendipitous choice of words.

     I've never referred to my job that way before. I reconsidered the words. All the repetitive tasks, all the paper that streams through my hands, all the little failures and frustrations began to take on new meaning. Day in and day out, no matter what the specific task, I sell smiles.

     Bring on the paperwork.

Terry S. Davis
Popejoy Hall

Photo credit: Katie Fisher Photography

Views: 133

Comment by Matt on January 27, 2012 at 1:43pm

I couldn't do that job, but am thankful someone is.


You need to be a member of Duke City Fix to add comments!

Join Duke City Fix

Connect with Us!

Community Forum

The best wings in town? 7 Replies

Started by Sophie in Food & Drink. Last reply by Adelita on Sunday.

Fives Things You Can do to Fight Hunger Locally

Started by Alison Sherman in Food & Drink Sep 22.

Black Cherry Pie!!! 9 Replies

Started by Adelita in Food & Drink. Last reply by JMG Sep 2.

Protein Shake Shack? 1 Reply

Started by Kitson Harvey in Food & Drink. Last reply by Phil_0 Aug 14.

My blog for where to go for lunch in ABQ 2 Replies

Started by Gretchen Winchester in Food & Drink. Last reply by Ron Da Bomb Aug 12.

Latest Activity

Popejoy Hall posted events
2 hours ago
Angelina Skoniezcka posted an event

Community Organizing as Empowerment, Advocacy, and Action at UNM Art Museum

October 10, 2015 from 11am to 2pm
4 hours ago
Barelas Babe liked Adelita's blog post I've Been Working at the Rail Yards
4 hours ago
ABC Library posted an event

Gaelic Golondrinas Musical Performance at Lomas Tramway Library

November 21, 2015 from 11am to 12:30pm
5 hours ago

Regular Features

Anyone can blog on the Duke City Fix, but here are the folks who blog most often:

© 2015   Created by Duke City Fix.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service