Guest Star: "This Eminem & Jay-Z Show Has Been In Progress For A Year"

Thursday, Sep 2, 2010 12:30PM

Written by SOHH for Marcy Szabo

[Behind-The-Scenes of the Eminem/Jay-Z Tour: Eastern Michigan University Assistant Director Marcy Szabo talks about producing today's Comerica Park concert]

I've been doing stadium shows for a long time. I was a promoter for 15 years, I've worked for Live Nation and I came here to Eastern University of Michigan to be the Assistant Director of the Convocation Center. Over at Live Nation, I was a promoter, so I still freelance in the summer for the bigger shows. When they have stadium shows such as Jay-Z and Eminem, I go and work.

Last year I went and did the same thing with Kid Rock. I was supposed to do the U2 show which got cancelled because Bono hurt his back. So I take vacation here and I go work there because that's what I do. At Comerica Park, we're doing this show for 40,000 people and you can tell because it takes a week to load-in for this show. A typical show load-in is usually the morning of at Eastern Michigan's Convocation Center and for this, I'm loading up a week before. We've got to build, get steel; there's a lot more that goes into a stadium show. I have folders upon folders of people that are working. I can't even guess how many are involved.

For a show like this, it starts way in advance but things change, things change, things change and people change so planning is in advance and last minute. For this event, I had nothing to do with booking Jay-Z and Eminem at Comerica Park.

This entire event is very exciting. How many people get the opportunity to come down to Comerica Park and say they were part of a team that produced Jay-Z and Eminem? But on the same flip side, I am so excited and for me, it's twofold. I'm going back to work with my team that I've worked with for a number of years and that I don't get to see everyday anymore. So there's people and relationships that I can't wait to see. I can't wait to see Liz in catering, I can't wait to see my boss Gary and my girl Julie, all these people that I knew for so long and got to see everyday that I don't get to see everyday anymore. So, for me, that's exciting.

And the work is exciting but it is very, very stressful. And no matter what job you do, a show on this level, doing these kinds of shows, you hit the ground running. From Friday, when we start taking orders, setting all the rooms up all the way until that show happens and then loads out. Once the show happens, there's this essential calm that let's you know there's still work to do and a couple days that we'll still be there, after the show happens. This Eminem and Jay-Z show has been in progress for a year. The planning and the pre-planning and the meetings and so, the average concert goer buys their ticket but there are so many people and work needed to pull this stuff off so that everyone can have a good time.

Marcy Szabo is the Assistant Director of the Convocation Center/Pease Auditorium at Eastern Michigan University and has freelanced to help put together stadium show's like this week's Jay-Z and Eminem Comerica Park concerts in Detroit, Michigan.

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