Staff Profile – T.J. Tasker, Director of Marketing and Communications
I’ve had a very long relationship with Soulpepper having started at the Young Centre in Patron Services back in 2005. I’ve been in my role as Director of Communications since 2010 (almost 3 years already!). One of the best things about my job is that it is varied – every day is different. I get to lead a fantastic team who work on all aspects of getting the Soulpepper message out to the world. Together we plan, design and execute ad campaigns for print, online, radio and outdoor media, secure publicity and PR for all of the shows we produce, design brochures, house programs and all other print material, maintain websites, as well as produce video and other web content. I also work closely with the senior management team to set sales goals and monitor them throughout the season. I can go from hours of working on spreadsheets to standing over our graphic designer’s shoulder tweaking brochure design (he loves it when I do that) to managing a production photo shoot all in one day. See what I mean? It’s varied!
What has your job consisted of lately?
Lately I’ve been focused on our summer shows. Each production has slightly different requirements in terms of planning so we build targeted campaigns which serve to complement our overall season plan. For example, right now for the first time you will see Soulpepper featured on the sides of many TTC streetcars around town. Most recently we participated in the 2013 Pride Toronto parade, which took a lot of planning and featured our production of Angels in America with close to 100 staff, company members, friends and family celebrating the diversity of our community. It was an amazing day!
What kinds of shows/productions/events have you been involved in outside of work?
Too many to list! My previous career as a singer and actor took me all over the place and I had some fantastic experiences on stage. One of my most memorable experiences was working at the beautiful 4th Line Theatre in Millbrook. Being able to perform outside as the sun sets on rural Ontario is such a magical experience, one shared by performers and audience alike. I also do a bit of volunteering for a fantastic baroque ensemble called i Furiosi.
When you’re not at work, what are you doing?
I like to keep active, whether it’s through sport or the arts; I’m rarely sitting on the couch watching TV (but, let’s be honest, that can be pretty nice sometimes). I have recently discovered my love of contemporary dance seeing as many productions as possible. I also love Cabaret, so often you’ll find me at the Flying Beaver Pubaret or Buddies checking out what Sharron Matthews, Shawn Hitchins or the myriad other amazing performers in this city are up to. I love to bike around the city and, after a particularly dramatic soccer injury, I discovered the restorative benefits of yoga, which I now practice regularly. Oh, and I cook…a lot. There are few things I find as satisfying as feeding my family or a group of friends.
What do you love about being a part of the staff at Soulpepper?
Well, a company is nothing without the people who work there and I am happy to say that the people at Soulpepper are some of the best people I know. From the staff, to the crew and the artists, we’re a diverse group with so many talents and ambitions. Soulpepper embraces everyone’s unique capabilities and nurtures growth in the most spectacular way. We work hard but always have a blast doing it!
Photo: Nathan Kelly