Barney Byard has a lot of change in his life just now.
In addition to returning as theater director at the Orpehum Theatre, where he worked from 2000 to 2003, Byard gave up smoking in July. He said it’s a good thing because he’s having to hold his breath a lot lately while under water – if only figuratively.
Byard said he doesn’t want anyone to think that he’s whining, but, “There is just so much to do right now.”
The Orpheum has a new partnership with SMG to bring in shows.
“The biggest problem we have … is one of the biggest problems that any venue would have,” Byard said. “That is making sure you are bringing shows in on a cost-effective basis that the city of Wichita will respond to. It sounds pretty simple when you state it like that, but it’s not without its challenges.”
In between previously working for the Orpheum and then Century II, Byard had his own promotions company.
“There’s something inherently stressful about having every penny you make be the direct result of having a much larger stack of pennies at risk.”
There were many times along the way he tried to give up smoking.
“I’d start to gain a little weight, and my vanity would kick in,” Byard said. “Well, that’s it. I’ll just go buy a carton of Camels. Noble experiment failed.”