I love solving problems! Data Science allows me to utilize advanced mathematics and sophisticated algorithms in tackling complicated problems. Areas like big data, machine learning, and predictive analytics are particularly exciting in their ability to comprehend massive ecosystems of data, in real time.
Why be a Producer?
I am drawn to tackling societal issues. Theater which is both entertaining and societally relevant (ex. Wicked) has the power to change people in profound ways. Furthermore, I enjoy shows which include: magic (dark or white), strong plots, complex characters, moral complexity, mental illness, and/or balanced comedy.
As a comment, I was formerly tackling illness and disease in the biological sciences as a medical researcher at Columbia University Medical Center. Subsequently, I’ve come to see entertainment as medicine for society. With theater, one can experiment, iterate, innovate, and get products to market with far less investment and red-tape and at a much more rapid rate than medical innovations.
Why be a Data Scientist AND a Producer?
My role in analytics and the arts is a unique one and allows me to straddle two vastly different worlds, both of which I'm passionate about. As I come to further navigate these two fields, I've come to recognize the importance and perhaps necessity in understanding both industries from their insides in order to apply them to each other.
This translates to utilizing transparency and harnessing fan engagement in heralding the advent of dynamic pricing in Broadway theatre. Similarly, this translates to improving the communication and accessibility of advanced analytical practices to business leaders within entertainment and the arts.
To highlight the importance of this dual role, a dystopic example is provided: In an environment where theatre producers and leaders were not invested in data science, it would not be difficult for a giant firm with steep financial interests to create a product which offered sophisticated and profit wielding revenue optimization for theatre which could (and I suspect would) undermine the appeal of live theatre through the formation of non-friendly and perhaps non-ethical pricing tactics. (One only needs to read about the scandals involving Ticketmaster to comprehend the extent of this.)
In response to this purely fictitious nightmare, I suppose it falls upon forward thinkers within theater in collaboration with individuals like myself – those who exist in the arts + data science – to adapt such powerful technology with ethical obligations. The long term wellbeing of the artistic environment and fan experience of Broadway depends on this!
To sum it all up, entertainment can change the world and data science can, and has the responsibility to, help it succeed in doing so!