Staff Highlights: Ashleigh Tucker Pollock
For Ashleigh Tucker Pollock, The Music Hall has always been a part of her life, from performing on stage as a kid to crewing and hosting the greats, to her new role as Chief of Staff. And I appreciate her book recommendations!
How’d you find your way to The Music Hall and what roles have you had here?
My first memory of being in the Historic Theater was in the late 80s performing in Ballet New England’s The Nutcracker. My way back to The Music Hall first came as a crewing gig backstage and the rest is history. I interviewed and accepted a job as a Front of House Manager shortly after The Loft opened. After almost 8 years, and probably that many different positions, I’m excited to take on a new role and adventure as The Music Hall’s Chief of Staff.
You studied ballet in New York—what is one of the best pieces of advice you learned as an aspiring dancer?
The professional dance world is cutthroat and you have to be willing to sacrifice a great deal. But the rewards are so worth it! The biggest piece of advice that I took away from my career, and that I still try to apply today, is to always strive to be better than the day before. And of course, remember to point your toes!
You danced on our stage as a kiddo and attended School Days Series shows back in the day. What importance does The Music Hall have for local kids and families?
I know I’m not alone in saying that The Music Hall provided the gateway for me into the world of the performing arts. We are so privileged to have a historic theater right in our community that caters to so many artistic tastes and ages. It provides audiences alike with the chance to not only see something artistic onstage, but also to really contemplate the art that happens backstage—the glowing lights, ornate costumes, and the thrill of live music. Whether it’s your first time at a theater or you’ve created a tradition with your family attending annual shows, there is something for everyone and we all benefit from live art.
You are an insanely talented event planner. What is the best part of organizing events like Kitchen Tour, our Online Auction, and more?
Planning events not only allows me to be creative, but it also acts as a vehicle for joining groups together, usually in celebration. Whether it’s our beloved Kitchen Tour event, a member reception, or an intimate onstage dinner for eight, uniting people is what we’re all about.
What has been your favorite show? What are your favorite moments from over the years?
Growing up, my favorite performances included touring dance companies that graced the historic theater stage: Paul Taylor Dance Co., Parsons Dance Company, and even the great Russian ballerina, Galina Mezentseva. Once I became staff, my favorite moments include Tony Bennett (the second time he was here!), songwriter Feist, and author John Irving. A favorite moment was in 2013 when John Prine was performing in our Singer Songwriter Festival. At that time I was assisting with artist hospitality needs and his one request was to have a hot slice of pepperoni pizza waiting for him in his dressing room after he finished his set. I thought that was so cute.
You’re an avid reader! What are you reading and enjoying now?
Reading is one of my greatest enjoyments! And I am so grateful for our literary programs at The Music Hall including our monthly book club gatherings. Most recently, I just finished up Barbarian Days by William Finnegan, Beheld by TaraShea Nesbit, and Jessica Chiccehito Hindman’s memoir, Sounds Like Titanic that even includes a chapter about The Music Hall.
Recently, I’ve been revisiting some favorites including Frank O’Hara’s Meditations in an Emergency and Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton. My “to be read” list is constantly growing and cued up right now, I’ve got Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker and The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel. My pup Zeke is my favorite reading buddy.