I was once told being an intern involved making starbucks runs, faxing documents, and getting
yelled at. While I definitely made some coffee runs and faxed documents, I think the only thing
yelled at me was, “Works going out!” to which I responded by yelling, “Thank you, works!” (A common theatre procedure/courtesy to give everyone in the theater a heads up before all the lights in the theater are turned off).
There’s a lot of hearsay and personal opinions that get tossed around about different
experiences when someone asks what so and so is like. I’ve learned to take all of everyone’s
opinions with a grain of salt and form my own. In the summer of 2015 I began my first internship
with American Coast Theater Company (ACTC). Having never worked the technical aspect of
theater, this was a wild ride. I had the opportunity to manage a box office, cover for our theater
manager for a few months, and become the props master for an original play. It was an intense
summer of “yes, sir”s, “my bad”s, and “thank you”s. Admittedly, there were some days when I
wondered why I had chosen to subject myself to a full summer of this when I could have just as
easily gone home and made money there. Thankfully I had convinced two of my friends to also
intern with me that summer so it was a blast through all the ups and downs. I had a great
enough experience that I decided to do it AGAIN.
Come summer of 2016 I decided to subject myself to another three months of working for ACTC
as an apprentice. The Artistic Producing Director had liked my work from the previous summer
and decided to offer me a position as Co-Company Manager. Let me emphasize exactly how
thankful I am that I was Co-Company Manager. This position comes with a lot of stress and
while I think it can be done by one person, making it a team effort allows you to stay sane (Shoutout to Samantha Fokos, my partner in crime) and still have fun. In fact this summer was even more fun than the last. I was surrounded by 8 fantastic interns who were all there with a can do attitude and passion for what they were doing, many of whom were already my friends and all of whom were by the end of the summer. Beyond that I also had the opportunity to perform twice throughout the summer. The first time was with ACTC for their first show of their summer season, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead as Alfred. Rehearsals had begun before the school year had even ended and gave me plenty of time to grow close with a cast of people who challenged me to grow as an actor and person.
The second opportunity was for American Coast Children’s Theatre (ACCT) in their production
of James and the Giant Peach. WHAT AN EXPERIENCE. I got to play Aunt Sponge, one of
James’ mean, nasty, and crude aunts. The best part of this show wasn’t that I got to be a
character role though, it was working alongside 30 something children who always inspired me
to have a blast. Which, in my opinion, is really what this internship was really all about. Yes,
there’s a lot of hard work and dedication that goes into producing amazing and worthwhile
shows, but if you can find the fun in even the most stressful of situations, then you will be far better
off. Ultimately what your experience will be like with most any situation in life will come
down to simply have a good attitude and not letting the bad times get you down. So have fun
even when it seems impossible and remember you’re creating something for someone much
bigger than yourself! If you’re debating whether you should consider this internship let me help you out – DO. It’s been a major part in two of my most memorable experiences during my undergraduate degree. Likewise, I have already received job offers as a direct result of this internship. Through the connections I made this past summer I am now the stage manager for a production of The Lion King, Jr. and have other job opportunities lined up as well!