As part of our annual update to our constituents, we put a few questions to one of PVLA’s Board Members, Gabrielle Sellei, to offer some insight into the personalities of the professionals who run our organization. An attorney and long-time volunteer with the organization, Gabrielle returned to PVLA’s board in the summer of 2019 after having served a stint on the Board many years ago. She currently operates her own law practice, Sellei Law LLC, having worked in the areas of employment, business and entertainment law for over 25 years. In addition to her work as an attorney, Gabrielle has frequently served as a speaker for numerous business, networking and arts organizations, covering legal issues and topics affecting artists, entertainers and entrepreneurs.

Tell us about your day job? 

I’m a lawyer and I work with entrepreneurs, professionals, and a large and very diverse group of clients in the arts, entertainment, media, and sports worlds. I’m fortunate that I’ve been working virtually since I launched my own practice over five years ago, so I was many steps ahead of Covid and already had a great assortment of sweatpants on hand. The absolute best thing about being self-employed is the total freedom to pick and choose who I work with, and the people I want to work with are creative, brilliant, and have a certain spark that makes me want to join their team. I believe that any endeavor, in its highest form, is by definition creative, and that is something I share in common with my clients.  

What does PVLA mean to you? 

To our clients, PVLA is a lifeline – a stepladder putting artists and arts organizations on an even footing with deeper-pocketed parties, and a means of providing legal knowledge and highly skilled representation that would otherwise be out of reach.  Imagine how powerful that is! To me, PVLA is a virtual law firm extending across the Philadelphia metro area made up of lawyers who have complementary skill sets and interests, all in the service of our talented and creative clients. It’s an amazing network to be a part of. 

What do you do when you aren’t working or attending PVLA Board meetings?  

Ideally, I’m outside, or cooking, or hanging out with my family, or taking in some good music or an art exhibit. 

What is your favorite form of art or creative expression?  

What a ridiculous question! But I have to say, I have a real affinity for my writer clients, because I write all day long. I write mostly emails and contracts, sadly, but especially with formal contract drafting, in my own way, I know the struggle of trying to reduce a complicated concept to a few lines of writing, in the most elegant and economical way possible. I know about structure, and laying down a roadmap for the reader, and how to introduce new concepts and characters in a way that makes sense. I know about staring at a screen wracking my brain in search of <le mot juste>. It sounds pretentious and ridiculous, but there it is.  

What are you going to do when Covid is over? 

Hug my mom.  Go to a concert.  Say hello to some old friends at the PMA, like Diana and poor Prometheus. And then I’ll be on the first flight out of PHL. To anywhere. Akron. Fribourg. Boise. Adelaide. Any. Where.  

What are you bad at? 

Waterskiing. Wind instruments. Patience.

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