Posts tagged "Playbill"

Meet Felicia Fitzpatrick!

When you combine a savvy social media eye, a love of story-telling + an addictive enthusiasm towards all things theatre, what do you get? The unstoppable Felicia Fitzpatrick! This millennial girl on-the-go has built a digital footprint showcasing her writing skills as well as her true appreciation for the performing arts. Currently, Felicia holds the fast-paced position of Social Media Manager of Playbill in NYC + creator of Call and Response podcast where she celebrates black performers in the arts.

Felicia graduated with a BA Theatre and a concentration in African American Performance from the University of Texas at Austin. She held a social media internship with DoSomething.org  as well as becoming the Editor-in-Chief of  Her Campus Texas!

Being a contributor to BuzzFeed and Femsplain, Felicia was able to continue to expand her writing and share her voice through different outlets. She has also consulted on freelance social media projects for Wet Seal Inc.,  University of Texas’ African and African Diaspora Studies Department, and the Maryland Leadership Workshop.

Let’s get to know Felicia a little better!

Photo credit: Lauren Khalfayan

Being the Social Media Manager of Playbill is an amazing position! How has your theatre background allowed you to connect with their thriving online community?

Growing up on the west coast with a single mom, trips to New York City (and seeing a Broadway show) were not an option. I was involved in the performing arts community in my town, but I secretly longed to be a part of the New York City scene. I would sit on my couch after my mom had gone to sleep and watch every YouTube video about Beauty and the Beast. I remember one video highlighted their opening night and I thought “WOW. How cool would it be to go to one of those?” Now, being Playbill’s social media manager, I cover every Broadway opening night and get to make Broadway accessible to those same kids who live outside of NYC and are longing to be a part of our community. That’s what I’m always thinking about when I’m making content for our online community. I remember what it was like to not only be pursuing dance and musical theatre myself, but what it was like to be a fan and want to have a community to talk to about it.

Being able to create social marketing strategies to covering star-studded events like The Tony Awards is a thrilling day! How do you create balance + win at time management throughout your daily sched?

Having a job in social media means you MUST be able to multitask. You have to quickly shift from analyzing data for your weekly social media report to tweeting breaking news to answering emails about an upcoming Snapchat takeover to animating an Instagram Story back to the social media report and then to running to a Broadway theatre to produce Facebook live-stream. It’s a rush! Being a social media team of one, I’ve learned that I HAVE to have a to-do list to keep my mind organized, otherwise it’s too easy to let things slip through the cracks. And in any job, I think you have to learn to prioritize. Some days you just can’t get it all done, so you have to ask yourself “What are my priorities today? What do I need to tackle right now because it supports my overall goals and strategies?”

Photo credit: Jemal Countess

Transitioning from a senior in college to landing a dream job can sometimes be a rocky journey, what advice would you give to current college students + graduating seniors to making it happen?

My advice is to trust the process. Every twist and turn your journey takes is for a reason. There’s a quote that says “God has three answers to prayers: ‘yes,’ ‘not yet,’ and ‘I have something better in mind.’” You may be set on a certain path, but sometimes the universe takes you on a detour to where you’re suppose to be, and eventually you’ll realize that’s where you want to be. For example, I always wanted to be a dancer in Alvin Ailey or a Broadway musical, and when I auditioned for NYU’s dance program, I got cut the first round. Then I applied to be a social media intern at Seventeen magazine, and I didn’t get it. I went to the University of Texas and eventually found my way back to NYC and now I get to combine my love performing arts and social media. I had to cultivate these different experiences that would lead me to this place.

You have your own podcast called Call And Response that explores + opens up the discussion of blackness in the world of performing arts. Why was it important for you to create an empowering platform to celebrate the power and beauty of black performers + artists?

There were three catalysts that inspired me to start the call and response podcast:

One, stems from the lack of racial diversity in the industry. Yes, Broadway is a very white industry to begin with, but I learned during my first year at Playbill that there are so many black artists in the industry who aren’t getting the visibility they deserve. I got dinner with Christian Dante White (currently in Hello, Dolly!) and we agreed that if you’re frustrated about a situation or circumstance, you can’t just complain, you have to proactively find a solution.

Two, soon after the 2016 Presidential election, I was having a conversation with a longtime friend about activism in the workplace. He asked how I was pushing for diversity and representation in the Broadway industry. I mentioned how I use Playbill’s platforms to highlight artists of color—whether it was simply choosing a photo of an artist of color for an Instagram post or asking an artist of color to host a Snapchat takeover. After that conversation I realized I wanted to do more. Being Playbill’s social media manager has afforded me a lot of resources and I wanted to distribute my access even more. How many young people would love—and need—to hear candid conversation and honest stories from black artists?

Three, this is the most selfish reason: I simply missed talking about black arts and humanities. I was a theatre and dance major with a concentration in African American performance, and I knew this would be an opportunity to flex my mind and revisit the theories and ideas I loved discussing in college.

It was after an Alvin Ailey performance that I knew I had to share the stories of black artists. I initially thought it could be a blog, but since the goal was to amplify their stories, why not literally give them a mic to amplify their voices?

Photo credit: Marc J. Franklin

You’ve written and shared your stories on numerous platforms! How can storytelling impact the world? How can social media be a tool to aid in storytelling?

Storytelling can make people feel less alone—you can say “Hey, I’ve gone through this experience, too, and it’s valid.” It can also provide a new perspective that gives people a chance to look outside their own bubble. Social media goes hand-in-hand with storytelling because it is a space with borderless connections—you can find people similar to you as well as be exposed to new ideas.

Being young, juggling responsibilities while walking towards your dreams can sometimes get to be a bit overwhelming, how do you regroup and motivate yourself when you’re feeling a little defeated?

Some people think it’s cheesy, but I love to journal. I’ve been writing in a journal since fifth grade and still have all of them. It helps me understand and process what I’m thinking/feeling/experiencing. Having all of my journals, I can easily flip back and reflect on more challenging moments to remind me if I got through that time, I can charge forward now. It’s a clear reminder to trust the process.

We are all about empowerment, what does EMPOWERMENT mean to you?
Being empowered means knowing your own self-worth. That you can be unapologetically yourself. That you have to tools to achieve your goals. That you are strong enough can push through any challenge. That you have a seat at the table and can speak your truth.

Time for faves! Celeb Crush? Artist? Food? Movie?

Ah! I don’t know if I can choose just one celeb crush! How about Sterling K. Brown, Janelle Monae, and Milo Ventimiglia as my top three? They’re all so driven, so talented, and attractive as hell!

Choosing my favorite musical artist is hard because I often just listen to musical cast albums… a few I’d recommend are In The Heights, Ragtime, The Last Five Years, and Spring Awakening. If not musicals, some of my go-to artists are Norah Jones, Bruno Mars, Beyoncé, Michael Bublé, and Nina Simone.

This one is easy…my favorite food is pasta! Any kind! I could eat it everyday!

Surprise, surprise, it’s also hard for me to choose my favorite movie! It’s constantly evolving…but some that I could watch over and over? The Devil Wears Prada, The Parent Trap, and The Breakfast Club.

Follow + keep up with Felicia here!

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