One of my fond memories from my college days is ushering for shows at the auditorium.
Ushering at IU
I can’t recall how I learned about ushering, but I did it from the time I was a freshman there. The details are fuzzy, but I think that we could peruse all the shows presented and then choose the ones we wanted to usher at. There were a few exceptions, like everyone had to usher for a performance of the Nutcracker, and maybe at an IU Sing performance. But other than that, I was able to basically see any concert I wanted for free, just for helping people to their seats for a little while before the show. This was a great deal for a poor college student.
For ushering, I wore a very basic white blouse and black skirt. After the first ten minutes or so of the show, we were allowed to find a seat. I think we were supposed to sit near the back, but usually we found seats closer to the front and nobody seemed to care.
It was fun to look through my “school box” and see the programs from the various concerts I attended. I specifically remember being in the balcony when the Pointer Sisters performed. It was shaking, which was a little scary!
I also remember the Liberace concert. A friend was ushering too, and somehow we found out after the concert that Liberace would be leaving through a certain door in the back. We went there, and Liberace walked right past us — close enough to touch! I see now that he performed at IU in September 1984, and he died in February 1987. At that time, nobody talked about him being gay, having AIDS, etc. It was a different time for sure.
Many times since my college days, I’ve wished I could still usher for shows. It was fun to interact with the people coming to the concerts, and a great way to see more artists without breaking the bank.
Have you ever been an usher?