Meet Joe Hartmann
Media & Technology Specialist
What do you do in your job?
This is always the hardest question for me, mainly because there are so many different things. I make it possible for all of our electronic content to get out into the world—emails, videos, the Muny website, our internal communications platform (that serves nearly 1,000 people) and more. I handle day-to-day IT management, take care of all the computers and our internal network, troubleshoot all the computer-related things for our staff and through this year of work-from-home have been helping with remote access as well. Basically, if it plugs into the wall or touches the Internet in any way, it’s my job to maintain it and make sure it’s running correctly for our team.
Joe filmed Footloose in 2019 for archival purposes from one of the newly created spaces in the Muny stage towers (this is the sound room in the stage right tower). If you look closely you can see a view of the stage on the screen right behind him.
How long have you worked at The Muny?
This will be my 8th season. I started as an intern in 2013, worked two more seasons and then joined the full-time staff after the 2015 season. To be honest, my internship was completely random. A college buddy and I were working on a class project. We were making a video to welcome a convention to St. Louis and needed to record footage of iconic area landmarks. We ended up at The Muny not knowing anyone. We talked with Lindsey (Grabish) who connected us with Kwofe (Coleman) who was then leading the communications department. Kwofe was great about helping us and happened to ask if either of us needed an internship for school. I became an intern, and here I am eight years later!
What is your favorite Muny memory?
My favorite Muny work-related memories are always of watching the community get excited about something we’ve done. One that comes to mind specifically is the video we made during The Little Mermaid highlighting Emily Skinner and her incredible Ursula costume. It just exploded online! I also love seeing the cast members and creatives who come back year after year; people are so excited to see each other.
What is your favorite Muny show (you can have more than one)?
I really love all the concert style shows like Jersey Boys and Buddy Holly; the ones that are a cross between concert and theatrical show.
If you weren’t working at The Muny, and you didn’t have to worry about moving or training or anything, what would you be doing?
Live event broadcast production—whether it’s sporting events, live theatre, major trade shows or conferences, if it’s live and it needs to be broadcast; that’s where I would be. In college I built a portable live streaming setup to stream sports games and eventually was streaming for ESPN3. I also streamed a lot of high school sports in college as well. [Editor’s note: Joe used this talent a LOT during The Muny’s virtual 2020 season!]
What’s one of your favorite accomplishments?
I don’t know that I would call it an accomplishment, but my faith is really important to me. I try to keep myself in the mindset of having a servant heart and helping anywhere I can. Hopefully, that is reflected in my work. I am involved in so many different areas of our operation mostly because I’m trying to make sure peoples’ needs are being taken care of. What I do isn’t actually seen on stage, but if I can make the tools possible then I feel like I’m impacting our finished product.
All that said, I’m really most proud of being McCartney’s dad. She is 100% my world, and it’s so much better than I could have ever dreamed having her would be.
What is your personal mantra/motto?
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” Theodore Roosevelt
What would you tell your younger self?
Just keep listening and don’t jump off course—the end result is awesome! You have a great wife, a crazy awesome kid, you’re helping a lot of people; it’s easy to doubt, but you’re being led down this path for a reason.
Where did you go to high school? Fox High School in Arnold, MO.
First Muny show? Spamalot in 2013. I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I didn’t really like musical theatre before I came to work here. I had never really seen anything other than really small productions, but when I started watching—and helping to promote—Muny shows, I got totally hooked!
Favorite St. Louis attraction other than The Muny? Forest Park; there’s something for everyone and you can do everything you want to do all in one place (plus there’s great food nearby).
Favorite season? Fall. The weather is awesome; watching the trees change in Forest Park; enjoying the calm after a Muny season; my birthday—it’s such a great time of year!
Early Bird or Night Owl? Night owl; although I have to be an early bird now that I’m a dad.
Coffee or Tea? Neither, but I do like a Snapple Peach Tea.
Righty or Lefty? Righty
Android or iPhone? iPhone, but I accept Android too.
Favorite St. Louis restaurant? Billy G’s in Kirkwood
Beach, mountains or desert? Disney World
Favorite superhero? I cannot get enough of Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool.
Favorite road trip snack? Chocolate Covered Cashews, but as a child I loved Swedish Fish.
Favorite holiday? Christmas—I especially love the candlelight service and have been able to run tech for all of our church’s services for a number of years.
Favorite Muny treat? Bavarian Pretzels with cheese