Interns on Interning
Gianfranco Lentini interviews fellow New York Classical Theatre interns and gets their words of wisdom.
The amazing crew at NYCT! (From Left to Right) Top Row: Rebecca Etzine, Me, Zija Lubin-West Middle Row: Norah Scheinman, Sydney Davis Bottom Row: Kyla Williams, Marta Roncada
A while back I asked all the actors and stagehands at New York Classical Theatre for their number and one piece of advice to theater students. The result I achieved was fantastic. Now, despite it already being 3 weeks since our last show, I decided to turn to the amazing interns I worked next to everyday for their words of wisdom.
Listed below are the ages, majors, and the positions held this summer with NYCT for each intern. Hopefully, while reading their answers, you'll be able to connect to one person specifically and find the answers you may have been looking for about what it's like to be a theater intern! Enjoy!
Marta Roncada: 20 years old B.A. Honors Theatre (concentration in design and directing) Stage Management Intern
Kyla Williams: 19 years old B.S. in Theatre (performance emphasis) Production and Costume Intern
Zija Lubin-West: 20 years old B.A. in Theatre Arts Production Intern
Gianfranco Lentini: What is the most important thing you've learned through interning? MR: Attitude and maintaining positivity is everything. KW: I learned exactly what to expect when I set out into the professional field. I was able to see things from first person rather than hear it second hand, which is completely invaluable. ZLW: There is no guarantee of a good internship or a bad internship when you take the position, but no matter what you get the job has to get done, and it has to get done well, and you gotta have a good attitude while doing it.
GL: What do you believe is the most important quality/feature/possession to have in order to obtain an internship? MR: Relentlessness. KW: Enthusiasm for the company and the willingness to work very hard for little reward. The reward you gain is knowledge and experience. ZLW: There are two things I think someone needs... The first is a resume that will [catch] the eye of the person hiring and it will make them want to read your resume. [Second], being calm and collected and answering in full sentences is important, but also being yourself and a little fun, 'cause this is theater we're talking about.
GL: Any tips on the interviewing process? MR: Have a professional appearance, and always send a follow up email a few days after the interview. KW: Really express your excitement and interest through the phone or via email. They want people who want to be there. ZLW: Interviewing can be really nerve wracking because it means they are seriously considering your application at that point… Remember that you are qualified for the position… Don't have any doubt in your mind that someone else could take that job from you.
GL: What advice do you have for those looking to intern in your specific field? MR: No job or internship is too small; in Stage Management it's important to do everything. Show initiative and keep asking for more duties (but don't bite off more than you can chew). KW: Look into regional acting internships. And even though this was a production internship that I took, don't count those out. You learn so much from watching the professionals work as well as gain appreciation for other jobs involved in this art form. ZLW: [In] the lighting field you need to be able to show the employer that you know everything they need you to know and more… They require knowledge of other skills; they want someone who isn't just doing lighting their whole career.
GL: With the interning experience you've obtained, where do you hope to go with your career in the future? MR: I hope to become a professional stage manager and to be able to support myself and make a future out of doing what I love. Also, I would like to be challenged by the shows I work on, and I want my career to keep pushing me to grow as a person and professional. KW: I really hope to have another internship next summer that either is strictly acting or that pays more. In the distant future, I know that I will often refer back to experiences that I had this summer in order to make decisions later on down the line. ZLW: I have had such a variety of internships at this point in my career, and I still have a job that I've had for about 2 years that involves lighting and props work, but I still want to pursue stage managing. It's a passion and a goal of mine to be an Equity stage manager.