INTRODUCING…SAM HOOPER, HIRE ACCOUNT MANAGER
Since joining Hawthorn at the age of 17 as warehouse operative, Sam has worked in a number of roles across our departments, gaining valuable experience, developing his technical knowledge and nurturing an in-depth understanding of what it takes to deliver a world class customer service. Sam is now a key member of our Hire team as Account Manager for our concert touring and corporate dry hire customers. Let’s get to know him a little better!
How did you get started in the industry?
Like many people, my interest in the technical side of production started at school where I was part of the backstage crew, setting up lighting for small shows. When I left school, I joined Youth Arts Leicestershire and completed a two month course with them, which gave me a really good understanding of everything it takes to produce a theatre show, from lighting, sound and staging to running a box office.
During the course we had the opportunity to be part of a team producing a show at the Edinburgh Festival, which was led by none other than Simon Wood and Dave Slater who worked at Hawthorn! When the course ended, this experience and connection with Hawthorn created the chance for me to join the company as a warehouse stores person, so that’s where it all began really.
It sounds like you’ve really progressed your career at Hawthorn?
I have. There have been lots of opportunities for me to develop my career and I think when Hawthorn acquired Rex Howard drapes back in 2013 really stands out. I moved to London for three years to be part of the team on the hire desk, supporting the team through the transition process and making sure customers received a seamless experience.
When I moved back to Hawthorn HQ in Leicestershire, I became account manager for our corporate dry hire and concert touring customers. Lighting, live music and theatre have always been a great passion of mine, so to work with artists like Mark Knopfler, Steven Wilson and OMD is amazing.
What’s a typical day look like?
Typical day? I don’t think those exist! Typical tasks however include reviewing and preparing specs for concert tours, looking after corporate event equipment requirements, getting trucking quotes, scheduling jobs, making sure equipment is prepared…the list goes on! Like most roles in this industry, this isn’t a 9am – 5pm role and I’m on call out of hours to give on-site support for my customers and to help with any emergencies. I like keeping busy, so this job suits me!
What do you most enjoy about your job?
I think seeing the end result of any project is always pretty satisfying. One of the recent jobs I’m really proud of is supplying 200 lights and infrastructure support for Mark Knopfler’s ‘Down the road wherever’ tour. I was incredibly proud to see the lights in action. Being on the job from specification to stage and seeing Mark Henderson’s lighting design come to life using our equipment was fantastic!
Finally, what do you like doing out of work?
There’s nothing better than going clay pigeon shooting and being out in the countryside. I have a seven month old puppy and I’m training her to be a gun dog, but she mostly just zooms around in the fields at the moment!