Magic is real.

I know it’s real because I’ve felt it,
and I bet you have too.

The earliest memory I have of the magic is foggy, but I was 2 or 3 and standing anxiously on my seat in an auditorium, waiting for Snow White and the Seven Dwarves to appear! In person! I have just a couple faint memories of the show, but I do remember the electricity, the anticipation, the awe that we were all about to see something special.

You know that feeling.

For me, it hasn’t changed much since then. Maybe it’s not Dopey I’m there to see anymore, but the feeling’s the same.

If I had to explain Goldstar in a few words, I’d say this:

“We are people who want you to go out to live entertainment so you can love that magical feeling as much as we do.”

Here’s a bit of our story. We started in 2002 with $1000 in the bank, put there by me and my co-founders, Rich Webster and Robert Graff. With a little help from our friends, we built the website ourselves and launched on Valentine’s Day.

To be in the ticket business, you need tickets to sell, and we didn’t have any. We knew nobody in live entertainment, but we changed that quick. With the help of people like legendary marketer Jim Royce (then at Center Theatre Group), Russ Stanley at the San Francisco Giants, and Wendi Lebow, then working for TMG promoting Broadway shows and now the head of our venue team, we built thousands of relationships with venues, producers and teams who gave us a chance to prove we could help their venues and shows by bringing them a new audience.

To do that, we had to build our own audience, and a little at a time, we did. I was the entire Customer Service department for our first year of business, and gradually figured out what it meant to help people go out more: making it easier, providing responsive service, offering more event choices, delivering great value, sending reminders of upcoming events, following up after the event to make sure things went well, and always looking for a way to help, to say yes, to remove the barriers to our members getting out of their homes and into venues to see great shows.

We’ve come a long way since then, with more than 8 million members in 26 cities around the country and over 100 employees in Pasadena and San Francisco, Calif., Portland Ore. and across the country. Things are very different than they were in 2002.

Though in some ways, things have hardly changed. The goal is the same: We want you to feel the way we do about live entertainment, and we’re going to do everything we can to make that possible.

I’ll tell you how I use Goldstar: Anytime I’m faced with a dull evening, I go to the app or site, put in the date, choose a type of event, and get a list of great options. Usually, I find two or three things I didn’t know existed, but sound great. From there, I pick one and I’m on my way. But that’s just me. We also send email suggestions, or you can go on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and ask for a recommendation. We’ll give you one. Seriously, just ask!

Very few people say, “I wish I’d stayed in and watched more TV or flipped through my Instagram feed.”

Take a moment and imagine that it’s 10 years from now. Now think of the people who mean the most to you — family, friends, children, spouse or significant other. Now imagine the times you shared the magical feeling of live entertainment with them over those years. I’m willing to guess those are some of the moments you’ll treasure most.

At Goldstar, we’re here to make sure those moments happen.

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