Comedian and radio host Em Rusciano has told a heartwarming story on Facebook about how she hired a girl from Kotara.
“It’s long, but it’ll put a fire in your belly, I promise,” wrote Em, who co-hosts the 2DayFM breakfast show with Grant Denyer and Ed Kavalee.
“One night, I was laying in bed and my assistant forwarded an email that she felt I’d love. She was bloody right.”
The email was from Gem Evans. Gem was soon to become Em’s assistant tour manager.
Here’s the email.
Dear Em (& team),
With a kickass 2018 tour in the works comes the need for a kickass tour intern/logistics queen with an epic work ethic and heart of gold! I am 23 years old from Newcastle. Safe to say I live life at 200 per cent. I have my Cert 3 & Diploma in Event Management, Bachelor of Business (Convention & Event Management) and moved to Perth to complete my internship at Perth Arena, while completing my final year of uni and studying three diplomas at the same time #overachiever. I have worked at Newcastle Entertainment Centre in ticketing for the past four years and as an event manager for the past 2.5 years. Currently balancing two event management roles and Ticketek – safe to say I LOVE the industry! My ultimate career goal is to work for Michael Gudinski (sure he might be retired by the time I get there, but I will get there!!). I have mild cerebral palsy, so basically an exaggerated limp (I am fully mobile and fully capable within a tour/venue setting). My CP has not stopped me from doing a single thing, including climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge. If anything it has made me work 100 per cent harder to prove myself. I am the crazy kid who loves what she does! Venues and live events of all genres are ‘my happy place’ (both personally and professionally). I have probably spent a small house deposit attending events (including you in Newcastle #amazing, to small local gigs to Madison Square Garden). I know I have found the right industry when I attend events for pleasure and I find myself distracted by the event logistics, access lanyards and the various elements that make the overall show! I am a sponge and absorb everything and any information, so would relish the opportunity to be a part of this tour! I would, of course, do this unpaid and understand all travel and work expenses would be my own! I would be happy to travel to Sydney or fly to Melbourne for an interview. I am happy to send my resume and give references to your team. I am a believer in finding what's good for your soul, working hard and taking risks. This is a decision you would not regret, I can assure you. I am happy to do absolutely anything that would assist within the tour setting!! I look forward to chatting to your team further! Warm Regards, Gem.
Em responded with: “Hey Gem, Yep. I'm gonna fly you down for an interview. My assistant Lucy will be in touch tomorrow. That was a great email. FYI – no-one works for me for free. That's not how I roll. Well done you, on backing yourself in. Em xx.
Em finished her story like this: “And the rest is history. I’ll never do another tour without her. Back yourselves in because you just never know!”.
Gem Evans told Topics that she had recently finished the two-month gig with Em’s Evil Queen Tour.
The comedy show took in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth.
“It’s been incredible. The team was so welcoming. They took on my experience and willingness to learn,” Gem said.
“Everyone was so welcoming without being patronising at all. I was a valued member of the team from the beginning. I felt like it was mutually beneficial.
“It was my first touring role. There was a lot of things to learn.”
Gem has previously spent a lot of time thinking about when to disclose her disability when applying for jobs.
“Do you disclose it in the letter and know that potentially you won’t get a callback? Or do you wait for it to be that awkward experience at the interview,” she said.
“I got to the point [with Em] where I laid it all on the line. I thought she’d either appreciate it, which she did, or I’d have nothing to lose.”
She said the job wasn’t advertised. She simply emailed Em, seeking an opportunity.
She wanted to join the tour because of her passion for the industry.
“I respected what Em did, her genuine approach, work ethic and career, but I wasn’t a fan girl. I knew from when I was a teenager that event management, specifically touring, was what I wanted to do.”
She said cerebral palsy has always been part of who she is, but she’s not defined by it.
She doesn’t want people to treat her in a token way because she has a disability. She wants to be treated in a genuine way. In the case of employment, she wants to be part of a team because she deserves to be – because of her qualifications and experience.
She said Em Rusciano and promoter Frontier Touring did exactly this “in the most authentic way possible”.
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