TEA Connect Blog

21 June 2018

TEA Advantage: Trent Oliver, Blue Telescope

“So many people seem unware of this great opportunity that is available to them, and the themed entertainment industry is growing at a rapid pace.”

So declares Trent Oliver, in reference to the benefits that active members of the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) can use to build their professional networks and their businesses. Trent is Principal, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Blue Telescope, an interactive experience agency located in New York City. She also sits on the Eastern North America Division Board of TEA.

Now the proud leader of a certified Woman-Owned Business, Trent got her start in the Los Angeles theater scene and found an instant passion for the fast-paced and challenging world of entertainment. After all, working in theater was where she truly felt at home, thriving on the endless hours and welcome challenges thrown her way. Trent found her path as production assistant, coordinator, and eventually stage manager in the Los Angeles market.

It wasn’t until she moved to New York that she began producing, with one of the very first interactive videowall installation projects, located on Ellis Island. From this experience, Trent found a new interest in museum work. Her well-thought-out spreadsheets became the core organizational tool of every project's success. Her passion and drive threw her career into full gear, and she eventually helped create Blue Telescope in 2000.

Today, Trent is living her dream of being able to create a culture of excitement as part of a network of imaginative people, making connections among them to produce a unique creative vision. Her vision has led the team at Blue Telescope to be honored with some 100 awards, including an AAM Muse Award. In the museum sector, Trent has executive produced exhibits for the USS Intrepid Museum, BBC, and the Liberty Science Center, and many others.

Trent was first exposed to the Themed Entertainment Association while attending a museum event, where she met TEA International Board member Traci Klainer of SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment. Traci recruited Trent to bring Blue Telescope on board to sponsor a TEA mixer, to help the company gain visibility.

From that point on, Trent felt completely at home with the advantages that the TEA provided. She discovered that many in the themed entertainment community have career roots in theater, just as she had, sharing a common language and love for the craft. She saw the creative excitement in people’s eyes when they started talking about new projects or people they had in common, and the deep camaraderie of the community. Traci and fellow TEA International Board member Michael Blau of Adirondack Studios engaged Trent further in the opportunities the TEA offered, as she continued to explore the industry.

As a member, Trent has found that TEA provided her with valuable opportunities to make connections with members and companies that she otherwise wouldn’t have had access to. Now holding a seat on the TEA Eastern North America Board, Trent continues to create and maintain solid business partnerships. Additionally, she has taken an interest in helping to shape and influence the younger generations, and educate them on what this industry is all about. Trent has given presentations on the TEA NextGen program to students to help broaden their knowledge of the career possibilities that they could enjoy in the field of themed entertainment. “The small investment of one hour can have a huge payout to gain interest and educate people about the booming themed entertainment world.”

 

Story by Matt Kent, Director Global Business Development, Hotopp Associates (Matt also sits on the TEA International Board) and Alyssa Hostetler, Office Assistant, Hotopp. This article is part of the TEA Advantage continuing series produced by volunteers within the TEA Marketing & Communications Committee. They profile people and companies for whom membership in TEA was a significant boost and benefit to their careers.

Posted by Judy Rubin

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