What does it mean to be Gala Chair?

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It is an honor to chair SF Ballet’s Opening Night Gala, I am enjoying the ride, and have made some wonderful friendships along the way.  The Reliable Source, a column run by The Washington Post,  recently asked the question: “The chairwoman of the gala! A title of such grand, obscure glamour— but what does it mean? And does she get to carry a scepter?”

I can assure you, no scepters are carried. Just Post-its, clip boards, a cell phone with an extra battery, and a patient ear.  In my other life I am a theatre producer, and I am often asked that same question, “What does it mean to be a theatre producer?”

San Francisco Ballet in Wheeldons' Number Nine at the 2012 Gala (© Erik Tomasson)

In many ways, it’s a lot like chairing a Gala!  A lot of passion for the work, multiple moving parts, supporting creative personalities, paying attention to budgets, and raising money. This is usually followed by, “It must be so exciting and glamorous?” Yes, it certainly can be, when all of the  work comes together on opening night.  The sun, the moon and the stars align, the curtain is up, the audience is engaged, moved and inspired and everyone is having a great time.

When your team feels successful, the production achieves, or exceeds its financial goals, your guests are smiling and enjoying the experience and you get your first full night of uninterrupted sleep in months, the work pays off!

I look forward to seeing you at this years exciting 80th Anniversary of SF Ballet’s Opening Night Gala on January 24, 2013.

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