By Erin Doley
Laura Silverman says she has always been a people person. She loves meeting new people and learning what makes them tick.
It is what led her to a job promoting one of the biggest theatrical producers in the world, Cirque du Soleil.
A 2006 graduate of the public relations program, Silverman is a publicist for Kooza, a Cirque du Soleil show that features comedic acrobatic performances. The show is touring across the globe.
“I get to do the thing that I love while traveling the world,” she said recently. “I've also had the opportunity to do so many things I never thought I would.”
While touring with Kooza, Silverman said, she had the chance to climb the Great Wall of China, holiday in Cambodia, visit the Auschwitz concentration camp, chase the northern lights in Iceland, ski in the Swiss and Austrian Alps and hold a koala in Australia.
This spring, Silverman was in the process of moving from Switzerland, where she was ending an 8-month European tour, to Columbus, Ohio, where the show would start a new series of U.S. performances.
As the main publicist, Silverman works directly with PR agencies from around the world to market and promote the show. In the European tour, Kooza stopped in Britain, Germany, Poland, Spain, Austria, the Netherlands and France.
While a student at UM, Silverman interned at the Actors’ Playhouse in Coral Gables from her junior year until graduation. She was also a member of PRSSA and the sorority Sigma Delta Tau.
Silverman remembered one professor in particular who pushed her to apply what she learned in school to her real world experiences.
“[Laura] had me for several classes, both analytical and creative,” said Don Stacks, a professor in the public relations. “She was a good student, one who was able to figure out how to put the abstractions given her into concrete actions and behaviors.”
The Actors’ Playhouse, a producer of critically acclaimed dramatic and musical theatre, hired Silverman as their full-time public relations manager shortly after her graduation. Though she only stayed for six months, Silverman said the Playhouse introduced her to an area of PR that she would later thrive in: entertainment.
With a lifelong dream to live in Chicago, she moved out to the Windy City to pursue her developing love of entertainment public relations. By September of 2007, Silverman had been hired as the assistant account executive for The Silverman Group, a small PR firm, where she stayed for four years.
“I was fortunate enough to get into a small agency – and yes, the name is a complete coincidence – where I was able to move up in the ranks quickly,” she said. “By the time I was 25, I was a top supervisor for the firm, handling our biggest clients.”
The agency took on big names like the Black Ensemble Theater, the Chicago International Film Festival, the Chicago Tribune, International Kennel Club of Chicago, and Cirque du Soleil.
After promoting six of Cirque du Soleil’s shows in Chicago, Silverman was asked to join the company as a full-time publicist for their Michael Jackson Immortal World Tour, one of the top-grossing music tours of all time. She accepted immediately.
After working with Cirque du Soleil for over three years, Silverman is now one her second show, Kooza.
“The line between work and life has been blurred for the last few years, but that's worked out to be a great positive,” said Silverman, who joined Kooza in its seventh year of touring. “I've learned a lot about the world and myself.”