Bringing Legendary Shows to Life

Annie Goodroad ’19 was 12 when her older brother took her to a Beyonce concert. She was a huge fan of the popular performer and knew the words to all her songs. As Goodroad watched the show, something besides the singing and dancing caught her attention.

“She had so many dancers onstage and a band—there was so much production,” recalls Goodroad, a Minnetonka, Minnesota, native. “There were these stagehands running things out—mics, guitars. I was drawn to that. I couldn’t stop talking about the people dressed in black on stage. What are they doing? Why are they doing that? I wanted to know what was going on.”

In her role at Diversified Production Services, Annie Goodroad ‘19 served as the talent manager for Super Bowl LVIII’s halftime show starring Usher.

The concert unleashed Goodroad’s curiosity, which never let up. Her interest in event production led her to a career working on major projects as a staff member at Diversified Production Services (DPS), an Emmy Award–winning company with 14 full-time employees and a team of freelancers who produce live entertainment, including broadcasts and corporate events. DPS was the lead producing team for Super Bowl LVIII’s halftime show starring Usher, with Goodroad serving as talent manager for the big event.

“What’s cool about the halftime show is it’s an artist-driven creative project,” says Goodroad, who is based in Philadelphia but travels frequently for DPS. “Everything we do is based on the creative vision of the talent who’s performing. We work with the NFL, the artist’s team, stage producers, and creative designers. My side is logistics—making sure we can fit everything into a schedule. Once you get to the stadium, every movement must be planned.”

So, how does someone go from majoring in management to working on massive productions? By leveraging lots of stepping-stone opportunities, including at Luther, where she served as concert coordinator with the Student Activities Council (SAC), helping bring major acts—including Lizzo, Ben Rector, Parachute, and T-Pain—to campus. She was also a Photo Bureau photographer and KWLC radio student manager and pursued several internships, including as an assistant to the director of the 80/35 music festival in Des Moines, which helped advance her career.

After graduating, Goodroad took on various jobs—production assistant, production runner, artist relations coordinator—before landing at DPS. She says she’s grateful to be able to travel around the country working with some of the most famous and legendary musicians and entertainers alive today. When she tells people what she does for a living, one big misconception is that she’s hobnobbing with celebrities. But for Goodroad, it’s all about going above and beyond to get the job done.

“When I meet people for the first time, they’re like, ‘Oh, my gosh, are you hanging out with Snoop Dogg?’ I have to say, ‘No, I don’t hang out. I’m working.’”