For the past five years, I have volunteered at Outfest, Los Angeles’ annual gay & lesbian film festival. This year, the festival begins next Thursday, July 6 with a festive Opening Night screening of Puccini for Beginners at the Orpheum in Downtown LA. It continues for the next nine days with a variety of shorts, features, documentaries and panels — and even a West Side Story singalong on July 12 at the Ford Amphitheatre in the Hollywood Hills.
One reason I continue to volunteer for Outfest is that the folks at the festival have shown genuine appreciation for those of us who help out — much more so than for the other gay groups where I have volunteered in the past. Not only does the staff thank the volunteers in words, but they show their appreciation by hosting barbecues for us and allowing dedicated volunteers to see festival films for free (on a space available basis). In short, one thing which distinguishes Outfest from these other organizations (at least in my experience) is the way the paid staff treats its volunteers.
If you have some free time between July 6 and 17, please join me in volunteering for this fun festival. Not only will you help promote gay and lesbian cinema in Los Angeles, but you’re sure to have a great time as well — and meet other interesting gay people who enjoy movies. (And if you play your cards right, you may even get to meet me as well.) Click here to sign up to volunteer or here to learn more about the festival.
If you don’t feel like volunteering this summer, but enjoy gay movies, the staff and the volunteers, particularly the Theater Managers like myself, treat the patrons as well as the staff treats the volunteers, so click here to find out what’s showing and to get tickets!
See y’all at Outfest!