Today’s Guest Post is by Amy Merlino Coey, VPA ’94
I’m from Philadelphia, where my maiden surname belies my blood ties to some notorious organized crime figures, so being “connected” for me was always a dubious distinction. Nevertheless, “connected” in the mafia-sense of the word means something positive. If you’re connected to a powerful mobster you might get a V.I.P. table at a restaurant or dodge a speeding ticket, or obtain even bigger and better rewards. But it has been my connections to Syracuse University that have truly shaped my career path and my adult life.
In my business, which is the business of Broadway, the Syracuse “Mafia” is well-known and regarded. Powerhouse Producer Arielle Tepper Madover ’94, Producer and Merchandising wiz Michael Rego ’90 and Bona-fide Broadway diva Julia Murney ’90, are just a few of the illustrious alums who are making their mark on the Great White Way.
Being connected to these and other SU grads has been about more than sharing an alma mater, though. A colleague from Syracuse got me my first job in commercial theatre (well, he set up the interview…I like to think I got myself the job!) I was at a crossroads—I knew I was meant to be in the management side of theatre, but I wasn’t excited about the non-profit world. My SU friend not only intuited what the perfect job for me would be, he introduced me to the people who could make it happen!
Recently, I was chatting with colleagues from a rival “mafia” (another University well-represented behind-the-scenes on Broadway) and we were reflecting on the fact that you never quite know when you choose a college, how very important that decision will be. My Syracuse connections got me my dream job, which led to a thriving career, and my career led me to my husband, and hence my son. I believe in Fate to a certain degree, and if Fate exists, then Fate first and foremost brought me to Syracuse. Happily, all the rest just followed.
Amy Merlino Coey served as the Company Manager of the original Commercial Off-Broadway productions of FULLY COMMITTED and THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES. She was the Assistant Company Manager for the Broadway stagings of THE GRADUATE and the 2002 revival of MAN OF LA MANCHA. She has company managed both LITTLE WOMEN: THE MUSICAL and WICKED on Broadway, as well as the 1st National Tours of THE GRADUATE and BILLY CRYSTAL’S 700 SUNDAYS.
Now the mother of a young son, she works part-time as a Management Associate for 321 Theatrical Productions, a General Management firm currently represented on Broadway by WICKED and NEXT TO NORMAL. She is a member of the Association of Theatrical Press Agents and Managers (ATPAM).