You’re guaranteed a warm welcome – and some light entertainment – at the entrance to The Darling Sydney thanks to commissionaire Murray Iredale.
Tell us about your career path to The Darling…
I did full-time training as an actor when I was 20 – I had parts in TV shows Home and Away, Water Rats and Fat Pizza, as well as touring with a stand-up comedy show, while also pursuing various roles in customer service. When Sydney Lyric Theatre opened in 1997 I joined as front-of-house staff, then in 2011 the job as commissionaire and doorman at The Darling came up. Because of my natural affinity for talking and interacting with people, I was suited to the role.
What’s involved in the job?
The bare bones of what I physically do might not seem like much – you’ve got a car pulling up and you’re getting people’s bags – but it’s more about that first impression. My role really is the welcoming, making guests feel special, bringing them through to reception and making sure everything runs smoothly – bags are collected and delivered properly and the car is looked after. Since I’ve been doing it I’ve expanded the role and made it my own, and I’m even considered the face of The Darling.
What do you love about it?
I still get to perform as an actor from time-to-time through my agent, but this role gives me the opportunity to use the driveway as my stage. Everyone gets an individualised welcome with me. Because I sing and write songs, guests get their own signature tune that I develop on the spot for them. I suppose, for me, it’s a case of being able to perform all the time. The guests are part of that; they do genuinely get a thrill. It inspires me, and it’s the reason I continue to do it.
Have you had any unusual experiences with guests?
There have been some funny stories. There was a gentleman one time who was waiting for his wife; they were running late for a flight. The wife comes out and says she’s got to pick some stuff up from Gucci. She’s in her gym gear so I make a quick assessment and say, “It’s on the other side of the complex, but you look fit, so let’s run.” We blaze a trail, cutting through the food court, getting around chairs, bouncing here and there. She gets her product, we pace back, and they make their flight.
What’s your work motto?
You get energy by giving energy. The more energy you give out, the more people want to give you in return.
Book a stay at The Darling, Sydney and be greeted by our one and only – Murray Iredale.