Rachel Shapiro, senior at Northwestern University and TMU contributor
I was fortunate enough to speak with Clint Bond who has been a marketing director, associate producer, merchandiser, and publicist for over 16 years working on Broadway, The West End, and on the road. Before running his own marketing strategy firm RIALTO, Clint founded and headed up the Sales & Marketing divisions for DreamWorks Theatricals, Stage Entertainment (Las Vegas) and the Araca Group as well as overseeing the theatrical marketing division of The Karpel Group. He was also the Creative Director for Araca Merch, launching the merchandise line for Wicked.
1. What advice would you give to graduating students? I have a lot of interns, and I think one of the things I always like to say is that if you want to come work in the theater business and make a commitment to it, you should be prepared to try new things because it's an industry and a world where people with curiosity and passion can really go far. It's a small community, and you can make a big impact even in internships, and your first jobs as you meet people that you'll have the chance to work with for twenty years. So, be open, be curious, be passionate, and you can do well.
2. If you could go back in time and speak to your college self, what would you say? I think I just would have told myself that there are even more opportunities than I knew about. I was lucky enough to work in a couple of places where I got to meet a lot of people and learn about new things, but I kind of, in the very beginning, took it as it happened and I didn't know enough about what all the different opportunities that might be there were.
3. What was your biggest mistake in your career? I think it was times when I didn't maybe think something through - I didn't take a second, pause, and think it through.
4. Where did you get your first job in the theater, and what was your big break? My first job was as an Assistant Stage Manager of an Off-Broadway musical at the Cherry Lane Theatre. It was with Richard Frankel Productions, then, out of that, I got an internship with his office. In terms of my "big break," it hasn't been a single moment, it has all been built upon experience and relationships.
5. What are three habits that contributed to your success? I think passion, collaboration, and curiosity. It kind of goes along with what the advice I gave earlier was. What I wanted to do most was be a part of the theater community, and I've always wanted to work on Broadway, so that has afforded me a lot of opportunities. I haven't just said I'm going to be one thing, and I think that's really helped me be successful. And then there's nothing more important than the relationships you make. They contribute to success because knowing people is how you get opportunities and how you make opportunities.
6. How did you get your first job? It was actually from a friend from University of Michigan [where he went to college]. A good friend of mine, who was an actress, and I were coming to New York, and I was looking for jobs and her dad was a lawyer, and one of his clients was Richard Frankel. He asked him if he had any jobs and that was one of the jobs that he had and I applied for it and got it.
7. What are you working on now? I am working on a lot of plays right now, which is fun because I've been mainly doing musicals for the last five or six years. It's really exciting and fun to mix it up, to work on musicals and plays. I also oversee the marketing of Shrek: The Musical in London, so it's been really great because I go to London every couple months, and I've been getting to work on the West End, which has been thrilling.