Featured Staff of the Month (Oct. 2020): Sarah Sabet

Sarah Sabet joined AVLS as the Marketing Coordinator in April 2020. Sarah has established marketing expertise most notably in the performing arts industry, having worked for a variety of arts organizations in Chicago including Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Joffrey Ballet, and TimeLine Theatre Company. Outside of AVLS, Sarah is an active freelance violinist and performs regularly with the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Philharmonic, and 5th Wave Collective. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Musicians Club of Women and the Executive Board of Picosa Music, and is a regular volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Association Illinois Chapter. When she’s not working or performing, you can find her running, knitting, binge-watching The Golden Girls, or in the frozen aisle at Trader Joe’s.

What is an accomplishment of yours at AVLS that you’re proud of?

Having only started my role at AVLS about seven months ago, nothing sticks out to me specifically. This being said, however, I’m pretty proud of the confidence I’ve gained during my time here so far. I joined the AVLS staff after having spent the past two and a half years at a significantly larger organization with almost 20 staff in the marketing department alone, where it was pretty easy to blend into the background. With only 13 people on the entire staff at AVLS, there’s no place for me to hide. I think there is still definitely room for improvement and personal growth on my part, but I try to celebrate the little victories as well as the big ones.

What is the most satisfying thing you get out of your role at AVLS?

It is extremely rewarding to come into a work environment everyday where I am given credit and appreciated for the work that I do, and where everyone is supportive of each other, both professionally and personally. I positively adore my manager (hi Amanda!), and my role allows me to utilize the skills I have gained throughout my career so far, while also allowing me opportunities to learn new things.

Is there anything you’re currently trying to make a habit of at work or at home?

Staying active! I started running a few months ago as a pandemic coping mechanism after Chicago’s stay-at-home order began making me restless, but now the runner’s high has me hooked! The distance between the AVLS office to my apartment is just over the length of a 5K, so I like to run home from work a few times per week. I also have a Peloton membership and a ballet barre in my living room that I fashioned out of PVC pipe, which allows me to revisit my professional ballet days.

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given, and who was it from?

One of my musician colleagues and mentors – Dr. Renée-Paule Gauthier – has a great blog about mindfulness in practice and performance, but I have found that a lot of these lessons can be applied to life in general as well. I tend to be really tough on myself, so I often repeat her lessons on self-compassion to myself regularly. These takeaways were especially helpful to me after the first wave of COVID-19 shutdowns cancelled all of our performances and we were dealing with the emotional toll of being forced out of work so suddenly and without any estimate of when our performance schedules would resume.

On a lighter note, I would be remiss if I didn’t credit Bea Arthur with this solid wisdom from The Golden Girls – “The bottom line is, if you take a chance in life, sometimes good things happen, sometimes bad things happen. But, honey, if you don't take a chance, nothing happens."

If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would you choose?

Leslie Knope! She’s quirky and awkward (same) and she deals with so much nonsense, but her confidence is unwavering and she never lets anything stop her from accomplishing her goals. She is dedicated to her work and to the people she cares about. She is truly something fierce.