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National Volunteer Week Day 3: Why (Not) Usher?

Wed, Apr 30, 2008

Our celebration of National Volunteer Week continues today with an interview between usher Ryan Pavolvicz and Patron Services Coordinator Helyn Dell.

“It's all for selfish reasons.” That's what Ryan Pavolvicz said when asked what motivated him to volunteer for the Wexner Center's usher corps. Currently a biophysics graduate student at Ohio State and aspiring mad scientist, Ryan signed up to usher as an undergrad in the fall of 2003. His brother Garrett and their friend Lynn Adinaro, who both volunteered, had invited him as a guest to the annual usher party that year. As Ryan tells it, the party had a fairytale theme with a lot of fun games he consistently won. Garrett had thought he'd receive the “student usher of the year” award, and when he didn't, Ryan laughed and bet his brother he could. So, originally, sibling rivalry swayed Ryan to join. He won the coveted award the very next year; since then he's volunteered over 362 hours and witnessed innumerable spectacles.

What has held his interest over the years are the human connections he's made, as well as the multitude of performances he's seen for free as an usher. At the Wexner Center, Ryan has found several bands he now loves, including Sigur Rós, Broadcast, Ladytron, The Books, and Andrew Bird (whom he had the pleasure of meeting after Bird's show). He enjoys sampling the Next@ Wex bands the most and jokingly observes: “Noise bands always had the best names but the worst music!” Through ushering he's been opened up to our film programming, especially documentaries, foreign films, and obscure or rare films that are not otherwise locally available. Ryan's even been inspired to make art of his own, primarily video collage set to music. Topping the list of what he loves about volunteering is “what I'm learning about myself.”

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