As a Senior Producer at Stagedge, Joey Toppan translates her past experience producing the magic of live children’s television into sharp, effective, and flawless live events for Stagedge clients. Her portfolio at Stagedge covers a lot of ground, from pre-production logistics for virtual and live events all the way to execution. Her chief role is as the main liaison between Stagedge’s production teams and the client. It’s a role that requires great organizational skills, ability to execute, and comfort with the unpredictable. We sat down with Joey to learn more about her role at Stagedge, and how her background in television helped her prepare for a career in event management.
Q: Tell us a little bit about your role at Stagedge
JT: I am a Senior Producer for Stagedge, and that means that every day looks pretty different. My main role is being our client's primary contact, their first go-to person. I'm the one that tracks and manages the intricacies of everything going on at their event. Part of the responsibility is to make sure that information is dispersed throughout my team as needed. I'm the one that keeps it all contained and organized and sends it out into the world in an organized fashion.
Q: That sounds like a lot to manage. What is the most important part of your role?
JT: Open communication is the most important part of my role, definitely. The temptation can be to keep everything bottled up and handle everything on your own. But you have to remember that there’s a team working with you, and to do their jobs that team needs to know that information as well. It’s crucial that I’m in touch with clients whenever new details arise, or changes are made, and then that I pass that information on to team members working with me to produce a successful event.
Q: How does someone choose a career like this?
JT: What initially sparked my interest in the field was my lifelong desire to work on Sesame Street. After high school I went to Emerson College in Boston to study TV production, which was amazing. During my senior year, I landed an internship at WGBH, the local PBS affiliate, on a little show called Zoom. It was so much fun! I was basically a production assistant, taking care of a million little things from learning how to make corn dogs, to helping the kids on the show, to organizing wardrobe—really any of the multitude of little things that make a television show function. After graduation, they hired me as their craft-service person for the summer, feeding a crew of 50 people every day.
Q: That sounds like a lot of responsibility right out of the gate. How did you learn to do the job?
JT: Going into it, I had no idea what I was doing, but I figured it out quickly and made a great impression. That first job was incredibly important for me—I use things I learned there every day in my current role at Stagedge. At the end of the day, organization is key—that, and keeping your crew happy (and fed). From there, I worked other shows at WGBH, mostly kid shows here and there, which led to more production work, which led to agency production work, which happily and eventually led me to Stagedge! I never made it to Sesame Street, but I did get to learn all sorts of production work while in children's television, which ultimately carried me through the TV world and into the live-event world.
Q: What is the best part of a career at Stagedge? What would you say to anyone considering a role there?
JT: I’m just going to say it—I work with the best people in the business. They are my colleagues, but they are also my friends and my family. I love my team dearly and respect them so much. Everybody knows their job inside and out, and they are always on top of their game.
The reason I got into this business is centered on my love for live-event production, but like the rest of the world, my entire work environment was turned upside down two years ago [by the Covid pandemic]. We were forced to quickly transition what we do in a virtual world. It was different, and frustrating at times, but we figured it out together. Working here at Stagedge, you know you’ll always be surrounded by the sharpest professionals in the industry.
Come work with industry leaders at Stagedge
Looking for a place to combine your creativity and ability to organize, problem-solve, and collaborate with the best colleagues in the events industry? Check out the careers page at Stagedge and take your creative career to the next level.