Alex Hilkey is the new Marketing Director at Market House Theatre. She is a local gal who grew up in Lyon County. Her dog Georgia Peaches is her first love, followed closely by her boyfriend James - and she plays the French horn! iMeet this lovely lady who’s heart is in the arts.
Welcome to iMeet, Alex. Tell us about yourself...
I was actually born in Naples, Florida and when I was six months old, my parents decided to move to Indiana to be close to family. We lived in Indiana for a couple years before we finally moved to Kuttawa, Kentucky which is where I grew up.
I went to Lyon County Elementary, Middle, and High School. I played a couple of sports when I was younger, but ultimately I was in band.
What instrument do you play?
I played French horn (still do) and was Drum Major my junior and senior year. I loved everything about band and I hate the negative connotation that comes with being “a band kid.” To all those in school right now that are in band, or art, or drama - keep going after it because your talent is such a gift and so important! Other than French horn, I can also play guitar and sing as well.
Where did you go to college?
After I graduated high school, I went to Murray State University and started out as a Music Business major. At that time, the Music Business curriculum was still developing, so I ended up changing to Music Education.
I studied French horn for almost two years before I decided to completely change my mind and I joined the Journalism and Mass Communications Department with a major in Public Relations and minors in Advertising and Music.
Sounds like you had a varied and interesting childhood - what was your favorite memory?
I think my favorite part of my childhood would be my family vacations and all the traveling that we did. My dad’s family lived around eight hours away and we would travel up there a couple times a year. We are also a Disney family! I believe I’ve been to Disney World about six or seven times - maybe more, and I can’t remember because I was too small. My parents really valued experiences over things and we had some of the best experiences.
Tell us about your family...
I self-title myself a #crazydogmom. When I was a senior in undergraduate school, I moved into an apartment that allowed pets. I had visited the shelter a couple of times but I just wasn’t quite ready to commit. But one day I saw a girl posting on Facebook about some puppies that she needed to get rid of - I couldn’t exactly tell what the situation was, but my heart strings just knew that I could make one of those puppies have a better life.
The location of these dogs were out in the “middle of nowhere”,Tennessee and when I got there, there were two little puppies left. As much as it broke my heart, I knew I couldn’t handle two dogs; I could only take one. I walked up the little waggling butts and knelt down, and both were kind of scared, also kind of excited.
One of the puppies decided I wasn’t cool enough and ran away from me, but the other little sweet girl, with the biggest ears you’ve ever seen on a puppy, waddled right up to me and licked my nose. And that was it.
She came home with me and we’ve been inseparable ever since. Her name is Georgia, more affectionately known as Georgia Peaches, or Georgianna when she’s in trouble… she knows the difference. I’ve had her for a little over two years and she’s brought me so much joy. Anyone who knows me knows that I love my dog first… everything else comes after that.
I have two wonderful parents: Kevin and Kathy and my big sister, Dani. I love my family more than anything! My boyfriend’s name is James and we do just about everything together - I wouldn’t want to co-dog-parent with anyone else!
You have recently been hired at MHT. Tell us about your new job…
I am the Marketing Director for Market House Theatre. What makes MHT so great is that every employee gets to wear so many hats and really take ownership of the work that we do. So, at the Theatre I am responsible for all aspects of marketing, advertising, public relations and brand management.
The bulk of my responsibilities comes down to designing all of the show artwork and publicity materials - ads, posters, billboards, etc. I am also responsible for all photography that needs to happen for the theatre - whether it’s show photos, publicity photos, headshots, I’m the one behind the camera. I also manage all of MHT’s social media outlets and really take charge of the social presence. Whew, that sounds like a lot doesn’t it!
In this position I am able to do work that I love in an industry that I love - the arts. It’s an honor to be a part of their devotion to arts education - and I get to all of the design and publicity work that I love.
Where did you work before MHT?
I started my career working at an agriculture tech company out of Murray doing marketing and graphic design. It was a challenging, yet rewarding time where I was able to learn a lot about design, practice my skills and gain on-the-job experience while I was still in school. After that, I worked in the marketing department at Henry County Medical Center.
What's the best part of your job? What is the hardest?
I think the best part of my job is seeing first-hand the amount of reach this theatre has in this community. I get front row seats (see what I did there?) to all of the social communication where we really get to see what kind of impact the theatre has on people and their lives.
The hardest part is - which is also a good thing - is finding a way to keep up! The theatre has seen so much growth; there are always shows, event, classes or something going on that needs to be photographed and promoted.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I love photography. I’m enjoying playing French horn in the MSU Town & Gown Community Band this summer. I love being outside in James’ pool, or out on Lake Barkley on my dad’s boat. I try to spend as much time with my family as I can.
My project this summer is starting my little chicken farm! I’ve wanted chickens for a long time now and I’ve finally got the time (sort of) to put in to it.
On any given weekend, we go to James’ parents’ house which is a, roughly, 40 acre horse farm in Webster County. James has twin sisters, Jamie and Jessica. When not at home or spending time with my family, we try to be involved in their lives as much as we can.
If you were a flavor of ice cream, what would you be?
I would be confetti ice cream! It’s youthful, colorful, sweet, and not too rich.
Are you partial to sweet or salty food? Tell us your favorites…
I am definitely a sweets’ junkie. Some of my favorites are Sweettarts and Oreos. Oreos always remind me of my dad. We would take them on our nightly walks by Lake Barkley, but we waited to eat them until we got to the boat dock. While sweets are my thing, my absolute favorite food is cheese! Usually after I eat something sweet, I crave cheese to cut through the sweetness.