A day in the life of managing NCT is like grabbing a slice of ultra, mega, ultimate, extreme, everything pizza—there is no telling which toppings I’ll get. It’s dust and grit, grease and paint, spreadsheets and meetings, creation and elimination, fixing lights and cleaning the toilet, ticketing systems and class registrations, scheduling and inventory, assuaging patrons and crunching numbers … It’s fun; it’s tedious; and every day it’s “what’s for lunch?”

Coming to work these last two+ years has been a treat, which I don’t take for granted. I get to work with great people, from all walks of life. I don’t have a boss breathing down my neck. (His desk faces the opposite direction.) Business attire is not a requirement—a perk in my book, because I had enough of wearing suits a few career/lifetimes ago. THERE ARE SO MANY COLORS OF POST-ITS AVAILABLE. I get to contribute to the success of a company bringing joy to others. And most importantly, there is always lunch. 

I’ve been at NCT since spring of 2021. When I first started, I was like most new, excited, verve-filled newbies. I saw all the improvements I could make, the inspiration I would spark, and I was convicted. Over two years in, it’s still exciting and fulfilling. This grab-bag of responsibilities is like the game Chutes & Ladders, supplying an ever changing array of daily to-dos that keep me on my toes and my brain buzzing. I might be contacting all the players, staff, and patrons for the weekend because of a road closure, bouncing ideas around for marketing the shows, or climbing onto the roof to change an a/c filter. Some days we spend hours solving problems. Whatever the day serves up, the variety is exactly what suits my taste. I get to work in theatre.

When I graduated with my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre … ahem… a few years ago, I had no idea I’d end up at the illustrious National Comedy Theatre. The Artistic Director, or as some call him, Gary Kramer, or as he calls himself, the Big Cheese, called me in the spring of 2021, after that interruption to life called The Lockdown, and said “Hey, you need work; I need a managing director.” He knew my working style from the time I spent at the San Diego Performing Arts League’s ticket center Arts Tix and deemed it credible enough to serve as his second-in-command.

And I did indeed need work. So my many, many years in customer service, operations, performance, hospitality, project management, arts, travel, finance, data entry, construction, non-profits, yada, yada—it all came in handy! Who woulda guessed? All that time learning different skills, honing natural talent, encountering myriad personalities and approaches to work, have rendered me a Jackie-of-all-trades to best all the Jackies, Jacks, Jacques, Jaks—how many spelling variations are there?!  NCT is a place of learning, camaraderie, exploration, laughter, challenge, and a whole slew of other words I can’t won’t include.

 -DeNae Steele
NCT Managing Director