Karen Koren: Craig and Chris started in box office

Craig Hill. Pic: Kate Chandler
Craig Hill. Pic: Kate Chandler
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THE office is in the middle of recruiting for the Festival and interviews are happening every day. It is important to hold interviews before the end of the university year and before the students rush off on their summer holidays.

Most Fringe venues employ students, this gives them a great experience and they can manage to have a good summer holiday before they come along and work for the month of August.

The Gilded Balloon has employed so many different people over the years. We go from six full time staff to more than 100 for the four weeks of the Festival. Chris Addison, a stand-up comedian who has made it, worked front of house for us when he was still a student. Craig Hill also worked in our box office before he was lured into comedy. He was great in the box office as he would chat up the customers and get them to buy tickets for shows that they had no intention of seeing.

Anyone over the age of 18 can apply to work at the Gilded Balloon. We employ front of house staff, where you have to be confident, able to handle customers, tear their tickets on entering the venue and seat them so that there are no odd empty seats. It is an art in getting an audience seated in record time. We only have 15 minutes between each show and if you have performers like Patrick Monahan, who likes to talk to all his audience after his show and hug them all, then diplomacy also is an attribute that helps.

We also employ box office staff, where an outgoing nature is probably your best asset and the ability to count money. Then there is distribution, where a team of young people go out with flyers for shows and approach prospective ticket buyers. This is a very delicate operation as, we have all experienced flyers being thrust into our hands in the Royal Mile during August.

We ask our team to talk about the show to everyone they meet and this works. All of these jobs gives great experience for the future.