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Music man

This employee sings, dances and acts across Utah

Smiling man stands near a stage in a theater
Christian Johnston, a Salt Lake City customer relations coordinator, stands near a stage in a local performing arts venue.

My name is Christian Johnston and I’m a USPS customer relations coordinator in Salt Lake City.

When I’m not at work, you might find me onstage, performing in musicals throughout my native Utah.

Currently, I’m in “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” a darkly hilarious show that opened in January. I’ve also recently been in productions of “Sweeney Todd” and “White Christmas.”

I grew up in a very musical family. My mom and dad did shows together when they were first married. I grew up singing with family.

In high school, I had one of those teachers who ends up changing your life. She got me to audition for scholarships at the theater department of Weber State University in Ogden. I graduated from Weber with a bachelor’s degree in musical theater.

Last September, I got to put my vocal training to good use for the Postal Service. Part of my job here is that I’m looped into special event planning. They needed someone to sing the national anthem at the OSIRIS-REx stamp dedication ceremony.

Nobody spoke up, so I said, “Well, I have a degree.” Headquarters had me set up a video to make sure I could really sing. They were like, “Yeah, you’re good.”

One of my favorite composers is Stephen Sondheim, and my favorite musical of his is “Sunday in the Park With George.” I got to play the title role of Georges Seurat in my last show at school before graduating.

I approach musical theater as a job — that’s what I was trained to do — but it’s one of the most fun jobs you can have. It requires dedication and concentration, but it’s also, basically, getting to play pretend with a bunch of friends.

“Off the Clock,” a column on Postal Service employees and their after-hours pursuits, appears regularly in Link.