Creative Beginnings: Angelique Powell

Angelique shared her advice about growing within your organization. We talked about the limited roles/jobs available in arts nonprofits, and how that can lead to high competition and discouragement for people trying to break into the industry.

Where are you from, and where do you live now? I’m from Latham, NY and I live in Albany, NY

Where did you attend school? What did you study? I graduated from Shaker High School and then graduated from Ithaca College with a BA in Psychology.

Family? I’m the oldest of six kids and really only grew up with my immediate family, but they all live locally to this day.

What Job titles have you held? I’ve been at the Palace for a year and 7 months. I started in the Box Office as a Ticket Seller and then after 6 months I was promoted to Part-Time Event Night Supervisor and 10 months later I was promoted to Development Manager and Community Events Coordinator as a part of the Development Department here.

What got you interested in performing arts and acting? I honestly feel like I was born this way. I am the oldest of a tribe of children and I always turned our play time, into full scale productions in which I did costumes, constructed the set, directed and was the lead actor, hahaha! Everything I was involved in, until I finally began to perform in middle school, I brought to it, this very dynamic, performance aspect to it until I finally found my home on stage.

Do you have a favorite role you’ve played? Which? Last March, I played Mrs. Mueller in DOUBT at Schenectady Civic Playhouse.

As an actor and an administrator, how does this impact your daily life and how do you find balance? I wish I could answer this in a more beautiful and inspiring way but the honesty and transparency is that I don’t always succeed at finding the balance. There are some days that I’m learning my lines frantically, backstage, as I’m awaiting my scene to approach. There are some days when I arrive to work two hours early because of the guilt of not being able to stay later the night before. There are days when I’m so exhausted, I feel like I feel it in the very tips of my fingers and toes and I’m just praying to get through the week and I ask myself, why do I continue to do this? The answer; I can’t NOT do this. On days when I am unsure about everything, that is the one thing I am completely certain of; I was meant to be an actor.

What does your job at The Palace entail? What do you enjoy about your job? I have a really big, community relations, aspect to my position here at the Palace. A key component to my roles and responsibilities is being the point of contact for all of our non-commercial events and help engage and potentially reengage the community in a way they may not have otherwise had a relationship with the theatre. I love the community. I truly and genuinely enjoy and am filled with immense gratitude to be afforded this opportunity to truly serve my community and through arts engagement. I have been so impacted by the arts and the ability to use the arts to connect, include, build, rebuild, and heal and to be able to share that with the community as both a professional and an artist; let’s just say the beauty isn’t lost on me.

Many people leave a job in order to grow and move ahead in their career but you’ve been able to grow and see opportunities for growth in your field while staying at the Palace. How have you navigated that? Well, I actually had a long-standing, retail managerial career that I left before I ended up at the Palace. I took a major pay cut and decided, that it was time to think about and take a chance on myself and what truly makes me happy.

Life is so unimaginably short and we only get one; what is the point if we don’t take every gift, privilege and opportunity afforded us and do something really amazing with it? My time, here at the Palace, has been relatively short in comparison to that eight-year career, but it has been so rich in experience and fulfillment. From working in the box office and getting to give amazing customer service and be a part of how excited people would get over their favorite artists or children absolutely beaming at the opportunity to see a movie or performance for the very first time in a theatre, to working in Development and getting to put together a film screening of, “I Am Evidence,” during Sexual Assault Awareness Month to call attention to the significant number of cases that have had justice impeded by backlogged evidence and then to take on the amazing, “Summer in the City” Program, to allow the community children a free movie series, incorporating their favorites, that allows them to enjoy the place that has really become my second home; this has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me.

I truly believe in the mission and vision of the Palace Theatre and what we have and will continue to contribute to the local arts community and now, when I’m at home, still working or thinking about something work related, it’s not simply to hit a sales goal. I have a real opportunity to make a difference, in my own, totally unique way. That being said, it’s easy to think of longevity here instead of moving on to another job, because here, I can create opportunities for myself and others.

What’s one thing you want the community to know about the local arts scene? It’s larger than you think and probably just a Facebook invite away.