#37 – Alex Donnelly: From Finance to the Stage

In This Episode

Alex Donnelly grew up a theater lover but believed had to pursue a “real career” and decided to get a finance degree. Although the voice inside his head told him to fully walk away from theater, he simply couldn’t do it. Fast forward years later and Alex is producing the Corkscrew Theater Festival. While securing in-kind donations for the festival, Alex is offered an unexpected turn (some may call it chance!?) in the form of a job with Production Resource Group (aka PRG), the longtime global live event innovation company that turns creative dreams into technical realities.

Alex decided to take this intentional risk and joined hosts Heather and Alan to share just how well it all worked out. It’s pretty amazing what having the courage to make a cold ask can lead to! Tune in to hear all about it plus some pretty cool behind-the-scenes tech stuff from our lovable mega nerds Alan and Alex.

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  • Alex Donnelly has an impressive resume. He’s a key innovator behind some of Broadway’s most iconic moments
  • His previous career was banking and it was complete chance that he joined PRG and then the theater division.
  • As a child attending theater was a reward for good behavior.
  • As many people think, Alex went to college planning on a degree that would lead to a “stable career.” In fact, getting into college was his main goal for the majority of his life – but what happens after achieving that goal!?
  • Asking strangers for money was easy for Alex and he excelled at it – this included helping his theater friends raise money for their own work.
  • Chance stepped in when Alex started the Corkscrew Theater Festival, and he was introduced to PRG assuming they would just be a lighting sponsor for the festival. Little did he know what awaited him.
  • There have been several moments where Alex is just in awe that his life has taken him down this path. 
  • Sometimes things simply don’t work out – it’s to be expected.
  • His approach to balancing is that you can only prioritize one thing at a time. Essentially you can have it all but not at the same time.
  • The way Fringe allows folks to do theater doesn’t lead to an artists best work, but it does open the door and help build a resume.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want and reach out to strangers – you never know what will happen!

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