Volunteer Spotlight: Monty Mukerji
A Festival volunteer since 2006, Monty leads a double-life. During the day, he is a buttoned-up software developer; by night, he plays bass in his death metal band Mortal Decay. Monty ushers for theater companies all around Philly, including the Arden, Wilma, and Philadelphia Theater Company. He also tours with his band along the East Coast and throughout the Midwest.
Why did you start volunteering for the Festival?
In 2006, I joined the Arts & Business Council of Philadelphia. As a musician, I have always enjoyed the arts and I wanted to broaden my horizon beyond the music scene. I had been to Fringe events in the past and I figured, “why not volunteer and see the shows for free?” It was all a part of my master plan!
What volunteer roles have you taken on?
I have been an usher, ticket seller, and fire watch. I’ve also handed out guides on First Friday.
What has been your favorite show in the Festival?
The European Lesson. It was a documentary-style show where a host observed an Eastern European family, kind of like an anthropology project. Because of the theaters I volunteer at, I don’t see too many comedies. I loved using my imagination to translate the cast’s kooky foreign language. It was definitely an original concept.
Why do you keep coming back as a volunteer?
Because I am overwhelmed with Fringe e-mails . . . just kidding. I love volunteering for artistic events and giving back to Philadelphia. It’s also a great way to meet people and promote my band.
What are you most excited about in this year’s festival?
Any type of dance performance. I love going dancing and witnessing dance performances inspires me . . . and gives me an opportunity to steal some new dance moves. [Monty’s also a salsa dancer.]
What has been your most “Fringe” moment?
After playing in metal bands for 15 years, nothing is odd in my life! I remember I saw one Fringe show that had a lot of nudity, [Pig Iron’s 2007 production of Isabella]. It was about a man who worked at a morgue and all of the dead bodies came to life. I got a kick out of seeing two older women storm out 15 minutes into the show.
Photo courtesy of Monty Mukerji.
“Volunteer Spotlight” is a feature from Karina Kacala, the volunteer coordinator for the 2009 Philadelphia Live Arts Festival & Philly Fringe. Without the fantastic work of our volunteers, the Festival couldn’t exist. For more information on volunteering at the 2009 Festival, please visit the volunteer page of our website.