Virginia Fortune is the general manager of both the 1878 and The Premium Club — Private Members’ Clubs at 3Arena.
“I’ve worked in hospitality for over 20 years. I fell into the industry unexpectedly , I was sitting at home ‘between’ jobs and answered an ad in the paper (old-school style) for a front of house manager at the old Point Theatre and I got the job with very little experience.
“I really wanted to be a vet but I landed in this business instead!
“I’m quite glad I did as 3Arena is a lot more exciting than any veterinary clinic that I have visited. No day is ever the same.
“My team are fantastic and together we have built great relationships with our members which is so important to the success of the private members’ clubs. So, although it wasn’t a choice necessarily, I’m very grateful for the career I have and that my years of hard work have paid off.
“My work day really depends on whether we have a show that evening or not. If we have a show, the office will be frantic and buzzing. There are clubs to open, ensuring they are spic and span, caterers to meet, staff briefs, table plans to check, last minute requests etc etc. Then it’s doors open and I’m on duty for the evening.
“On a non-show day we are all dealing with show announcements, member requests, ticket holds, preparations for the next show and a lot of other ad-hoc tasks that can’t be addressed when we have a run of shows on.
“Right now, I am working on my 2020 budget and also spending a lot of my time refurbishing the club spaces, which is never-ending really.
“We share a lift with the artists, so a particular highlight has to be being in the lift with a rock star quite a few times — it’s usually very unexpected and you need to pretend you don’t see them as it’s very uncool to even show that you are aware of their presence.
“A bizarre conversation with Jay Z in the lift (that can’t be repeated…) and running into Will Smith one evening (literally) are among the unusual things to surprise me at work.
“The best part of the job has to be the crew at 3Arena that I work with every day and definitely being trusted to work independently and lead a team.
“A brilliant team certainly helps!"