What It’s Really Like to Be a Toronto Raptors In-Game Host

Written for FLARE‘s 9-5 series.

Age: Let’s say that I’m in my early 30s.

Education: Graduated from the Music Theatre Program at Sheridan College.

Length of time at current gig: This will be my sixth season.

Fans see you on the Air Canada Centre jumbotron or on stage in Jurassic Park, but what does being an in-game host for the Raptors really entail? When you come to a basketball game, it’s about more than just the game happening on the court. There are no lulls; it’s a continuous show. My responsibility is to fill the gaps and keep the audience entertained, whether it’s welcoming fans to the Air Canada Centre (ACC) with my co-host Mark Strong, running a contest on the court, hyping the crowd up if there’s a good play, or doing giveaways. Along with us there’s the announcer, the mascot and the Dance Pak—we all work together as a team.

This job requires a lot of energy, have you always been upbeat and outgoing or is that something you had to craft for the job? It’s funny, I was a super shy kid when I was growing up and my parents were always shocked when they saw me on stage (I was a dancer growing up), because it brought out a different side of me. I was super happy when I was performing, and they could tell, so that’s why they kept me going in that direction. What you see on the court, it’s 110 percent who I am, and I love being able to share that side with everybody. But away from game action, I’m actually a really private person. It takes me a minute to open up.

Read the full story here. 

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