Catching up with Salisbury graduate Christine Giordano
What is your full name?
Christine Elizabeth Giordano
When did you graduate from Salisbury?
Tell us about your life since high school.
Following graduation, I attended Dickinson College and majored in Psychology with a minor in Sociology. I played basketball and our team made the DIII NCAA Tournament my senior year, which was a really special way to cap off my sports career. After graduating and realizing my professional aspirations lay outside of Psychology, I moved to Washington D.C. for a job with the Washington Mystics, which led to a job with the New York Jets and the decision to attend graduate school at NYU where I received my M.S. in Sports Business. Through my program at NYU, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to intern for the NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee. The internship led to a full-time job at the company and it’s where I found my passion for Events and Experiential Marketing. We got to bring a mobile tour with, among other things, the Vince Lombardi trophy, NFL Hall of Fame memorabilia and different activities to multiple counties in New Jersey and throughout the five boroughs in New York to build awareness and excitement for the Super Bowl. It was nice to be a part of the team creating something families could visit together. The Committee was set-up to disband after the 2014 Super Bowl, but the experience I gained and the people I met was such a tremendous opportunity, I didn’t care that the job had an end date. I was just grateful for everything I learned.
I always wanted to live and work in New York City, so after the Super Bowl ended, I continued to work on various freelance, event-related projects while looking for my next opportunity that would allow me to stay there. One of those projects was the Pope Francis visit to New York City, which was another event where the hours were long, but the end result was so unbelievably worth it. After that, I started my position with The Broadway League which is where I still work today. We are the national trade association for commercial theatre across the county. Among our many initiatives, we co-produce the Tony Awards and a large part of my job is centered around our partnership fulfillment and event activations for that event, which is wonderful and so important to continue the advocacy of the arts.
While my career path zig-zagged a bit, I am very grateful for the people I have met and the opportunities I have been afforded. Just goes to show that to figure out where you are going, don’t be too hard on yourself if you need to take a few detours that you didn’t expect.
How has the pandemic impacted you and what have you learned from it?
Professionally, the pandemic has certainly impacted our industry in a substantial way. Given the nature of a live theatre experience, there is a lot of trepidation concerning when shows can reopen and what the future of the industry will look like. Furloughs have hit us hard and the uncertainty about next steps can overwhelm sometimes. In terms of my career, it is built around sports, entertainment and live events, all of which have a million question marks surrounding them right now. I’ve learned to just let myself have those moments of feeling a little down because we all need to allow for that during these times, but I also remind myself regularly that health is the most important thing, so if you have that, count your blessings. I’m fortunate that I’m able to stay home and that I can work remotely if need be. I am hopeful that everything else will work itself out and I realize how fortunate I am to think that way.
Personally, so much of living in the city is about being with friends, walking outside, day-tripping to different places and socializing, that it’s impossible for the day-to-day not to change substantially. All of that said, I’ve certainly learned not to take anything for granted. This experience has really helped prioritize things. In speaking with friends, the hustle and bustle and pace of the city is part of why we love it, but there is something to be said for slowing down and making time for the things and the people that matter to you. It’s not that I was not aware of that before, but this has magnified its importance.
What are your summer plans?
I stayed at home for about the first ten weeks of self-quarantine until such a point as I was able to get tested. I then came back to Salisbury to stay with my family for the summer. Our hope is to manage to go on our annual trip to the beach, but otherwise, any additional plans are put on hold. Being able to spend this additional time with family is a blessing, and one for which I am very grateful. In addition to helping out around here, I’m finally prioritizing work on my photography. It’s always been a side passion that I never seem able to dedicate enough time to. I’m also hoping to coordinate with friends to do some social distancing get-togethers at some point, but given how spread out everyone is, that could be challenging.
What was your favorite high school memory?
Wow. This is difficult because I LOVED high school. So much so, I hated the idea of leaving for college (ironic considering how much I then loved college).
One of my favorites would have to be Mr. Barna playing our AP Euro class Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ during our last week of senior year. I’m pretty sure we were all crying.
Another would be when our soccer coach, tired of hearing that I still had not made a decision about which college I was attending, put my hand full of choices on pieces of paper and drew a name out of a hat one day at practice. He picked Dickinson. So we like to kid around that he is the reason I ended up there. Thanks M.A.! And I hear congratulations are in order for a happy retirement!
Many, many others come from time with my teammates. I played three sports in high school and the amount of time spent on fields, courts, buses; in locker rooms and gyms; you experience a lot together. Those are just really special memories no matter what, but we were fortunate enough during my four years to have some pretty successful campaigns. So recalling our playoff and/or championship appearances in the Colonial League for soccer and basketball teams always brings a smile to my face.
What is your favorite movie or TV show and why?
You just want one! Impossible request.
My favorite movies are My Cousin Vinny, Remember the Titans, and The Shawshank Redemption. If you haven’t seen them, I highly recommend those movies. They are fabulous.
My favorite TV shows are The Big Bang Theory, Frasier and Friends. Can you tell I like sitcoms?
How is your family doing?
Everyone is doing okay. Keeping spirits up and focusing on the fact that we are getting to spend time together that we otherwise would not have. It’s nice to be together and I’m always grateful for my mom’s cooking! We have a large extended family and we usually end up getting together a few times in the summer for barbeques, birthday parties, etc...so it will be weird not to have those over the next two months. But fortunately there are ways to see each other virtually, so that helps.
If you could meet anyone (alive or dead), who would you choose and why?
Oh my gosh. Who don’t I want to meet?! It’s so funny. Some people can get asked this question and immediately have an answer. I have never been able to be so precise, as there are so many people that jump to mind. I prefer the ‘who would you invite to a dinner party’ question because it allows for multiple people. Admittedly, there are a lot of names on my guest list, but at the moment...
Betty White. As I mentioned, I love sitcoms and to sit down and speak with a woman who has been on, arguably, two of the most successful sitcoms in television history would be fascinating. I’d love to hear how she thinks the industry has changed over the years and hear some of her stories from sets.
Viola Davis. Every time I listen to her speak I am moved. Her acting talents are second to none. She encourages, she motivates and she inspires. I would be ridiculously nervous to meet her, but I’d like to believe I could muster up a few intelligent sentences.
And wouldn’t it be amazing to talk with Dr. Seuss! What extraordinary gifts he left us.
Who is your role model and why?
Again, another question where the answer is always more than one person. I think it is because my role model would be a mixture of qualities that I admire in different people. Without question, my parents are at the top of the list. I look up to them daily for their generosity and kindness to their friends and family, in addition to my mom’s creativity and my dad’s insatiable appetite for continuous learning. They both made sacrifices so that my brother and I would have as many opportunities as possible. There is no way we can repay them for all they have done, and continue to do, for us and all the love they have provided.
I always admired the compassion of my grandmother. She was one of those people who, when she asked, ‘how are you’ she really cared and listened to the answer. It was never a throw away question. She was the matriarch of a large family and she always found time for everyone.
Then there are people you never met who inspire.
Walt Disney for his innovation and unabashed pursuit of an idea that many people thought was not possible.
The Obamas for their constant ability to always see the positive opportunities that can come out of challenging circumstances.
Pretty much any Olympic athlete. I find their unstoppable ability to train four years for, in some cases, one race, unbelievably inspiring.
My list could go on, but ultimately, I think it is great to have multiple people that you admire and who have character traits that you hope to emulate.
There are so many fascinating people in our personal circles, and there are so many fascinating people in the world. I just think it’s important to try and meet as many as we can, hear as many different stories as we can and learn and contribute as much as we can.