Dan Torti: Operations Extraordinaire (Employee Spotlight)
How can one be so meticulous, juggling the laundry list of tasks to ensure a successful show, and still remain so laid back? We’re not sure how he does it… we’re just really happy he does. He’s driven and passionate about his job, constantly working to make every aspect of the show better for each patron and coworker alike.
Dan Torti, VP of Operations for Logjam Presents, is a true master of his craft — having now been honing his skills in the entertainment industry for over a decade.
Growing up in St. Louis, Dan attended the University of Missouri for one year before transferring to the University of Montana in 2005. As a student, he worked as Marketing Director for UM Productions and graduated in 2008 with a B.A. in Business Administration and a certificate in Entertainment Management.
After graduation, he took a job with Artbeat, a national performing arts promoter based in California. He managed all marketing and promotional efforts in over 225 unique markets throughout the US and Canada. In 2010, he started Stonefly Productions, where he promoted and produced shows throughout Montana as owner and talent buyer. In 2014, he accepted a position as student advisor at UM Productions and stayed in that role until FINALLY… he started working for Logjam Presents in 2015! We’re pretty lucky that this music maverick ended up with us.
Throughout his time in Missoula, Dan has been named one of the Missoulian’s “20 Under 40: Honoring Young Western Montanans Making a Difference,” he’s been nominated for Downtown Employee of the Year by the Missoula Downtown Association and he was presented the “Arts Missoula Star” award by local non-profit Arts Missoula in October 2018.
We don’t think we need to tell you, but simply put… Dan is a BOSS. He really is “The Man.” Keep reading to find out his favorite lyric, what his most embarrassing moment was, and more below.
What’s the best part about being VP of Operations?
The best part of the VP of Operations role is working closely with nearly all of the different roles that exist in our organization… from our cleaning crew to kitchen staff to bartenders, the accounting department, marketing department and so on, the role of VP of Operations requires communicating and coordinating all event details with a variety of great people who are a part of the Logjam Presents team.
What’s the most challenging part?
The most challenging part of the job is the amount of details and requirements that change for every event and artist. For me, this challenge also keeps the job fresh and fun.
Is there a certain type of of show or genre you prefer to work?
I can’t necessarily say I prefer certain types of shows or genres over others. Each genre has its own challenges and nuances but the variety of genres and artists we work with keeps things interesting and fresh. There are rarely dull moments in the concert business.
What makes Missoula special to you?
In addition to the people, I enjoy the wide array of outdoor activities in Montana. Fishing, camping, hiking, and floating are all on my list.
What’s your favorite thing to do outside of work?
Fly Fishing. Hanging out with my dog Moma.
What was the best concert you’ve been to OFF the clock?
Phish. I’ve attended nearly 75 Phish concerts since I started seeing the band in 2003. It’s hard to name which of the shows I attended was the ‘best’. Each show is unique and has its high points and is memorable for different reasons.
Interesting side note: attending Phish concerts around the country was one of the main reasons I decided that I wanted to manage venues and events…. Phish was the first band that showed me that there is much more to a concert than just attending and going home. It’s about the community and the experience. Oh… and at some point, I realized I had little to no musical talent so being a performer was not an option.
What was the best concert you’ve been to ON the clock (worked)?
This is a difficult question given the quantity of shows we produce each year so I’m going to give my top five shows I’ve worked: Glass Animals, STS9, Fleet Foxes, Tedeschi Trucks Band and alt-J. I’m fortunate for the caliber and variety of artists I get to work with and could go on and on with this question but, for now, we’ll just leave it with five of my favorites.
Who are you listening to most right now?
To answer this question, I deferred to my Spotify account stats. It’s always interesting (and sometimes embarrassing) to see what my top listened to artists are. The list is all over the place and includes the following: Phish, Wiz Khalifa, Kendrick Lamar, BØRNS, Grateful Dead, Hot Chip, TV On The Radio, Yeasayer, Nas, Sylvan Esso and alt-J.
What is your favorite book?
My favorite book is Bill Graham Presents: My Life Inside Rock And Out.
What’s your favorite meal at the Top Hat?
My favorite meal at the Top Hat is the the sirloin french dip with tater tots.
Which venue is your favorite to work at and why?
The KettleHouse Amphitheater is my favorite venue to work. Being outside on the Blackfoot River during the Montana summer makes that venue hard to beat.
Do you have a favorite lyric/quote?
The terrible thing about Hell is that when you’re there, you can’t even tell. As you move through this life you love so, you could be there and not even know. But you say, “So what, I’m doing just fine”. The irony is that it’s all in your mind. That’s why Hell is so vicious and cruel, but you’ll just go on an oblivious fool. –Shafty by Phish
Do you recall any embarrassing/funny moment at work?
There was this one time that I was a part of a failed balloon drop… When it happened it was extremely embarrassing, but over time has become increasingly funny. Needless to say, this is one I will never live down or forget. I have officially retired from the balloon drop business.
People would be surprised if they knew this about you:
I not only enjoy bowling but also have my own pair of bowling shoes and a ball.
If you could have a superpower what would it be?
The ability to see into the future.
What’s your favorite drink?
My favorite drink is beer, specifically IPAs.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Overall, these past three plus years with Logjam Presents have been a great experience. While looking back at what we’ve accomplished is fun, I am looking forward to the future experiences as we continue to expand and evolve as a company. I’d be remiss if I didn’t give thanks to the entire Logjam Presents team that make this all possible, as well as the Missoula community for supporting our events the way that they continuously do. Looking forward to the next show!