Monday, May 17, 2010

We Love Our Interns!

Every summer we take on an intern (or two) and enjoy watching them learn the ropes here at the Straz Center. They are usually conflicted by two profound emotions - How AWESOME it can be to work here and how BORING it can be to work here. Let's face it, we have Mary Poppins loading in even as we type this, yet that doesn't mean that those Club Jaeb flyers are going to go down to the photocopy machine and create themselves! We try to give them an honest view of both sides of our industry.

For a short period of time we have Intern L. She rocks a whole bunch and currently she is rocking a social media project that is going to put the Straz Center in a very good place in a very short period of time. So we like that lots. We asked Intern L. if she wouldn't mind sharing with you what it is like to be an intern here - this is what she submitted (and she was not paid to say how cool Kari G. is - we promise!).

As many of you may know, a senior’s last three weeks of high school tend to turn into something of a joke: Classes are winding down, AP exams are done, and you don’t even care because you already got into college! To rid their halls of teenagers affected with the potent “Senioritis”, and to give us a taste of what the real world is like, my school’s administrators came up with a creative, effective way of keeping us prep-school rabble-rousers out of trouble: Internships. So, every year when May comes around, the seniors of the school are rounded up and shipped off to prey upon businesses and offices all around Tampa Bay until graduation.

A lot of us are stuck working in the offices of mortgage brokers, or babysitting at our old schools, but some kids are lucky enough to land spots at places like Radio Disney, NBC, and, of course, the Straz Center. As you could probably tell by where you’re reading this blog, I was one of the lucky ones.

I’m proud to be my high schools’ resident “theater geek”. I’ve been in all of the school plays, and was even the Production Manager this year! (a.k.a. I got the director coffee and took notes). My iPod is full of Broadway musicals, and if you ask me about anything you think a normal teenager would know, like, “What is My Morning Jacket?” my answer will probably be, “A jacket your wear in the morning.” (If you’re like me and don’t know, it’s actually an American rock band known for their eclectic mix of music genres. See you just learned something new!). I’m also eager to learn about advertising and running a business (living the American Dream and all that good stuff), so the Straz Center’s marketing department was pretty much the perfect place for me to work for three weeks.

Now, you’re probably thinking “What on earth could anyone get done in just three weeks?” I’ll admit I was wondering that too, until Kari G. introduced me to this crazy thing called Social Media, which is all of the social networking sites (like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter etc.) that many companies use as marketing tools. However, there is no one place where someone can go and see what all the other major theaters in the country are doing with social media—until now.

Kari G. bequeathed upon me what we have come to call “The Mother of All Social Media Projects” and for the last week I have been compiling a data base for her and all the other fine folks at the Straz Center that has links the Facebook-esque pages and blogs of American theaters. Pretty cool, right?

However, the end of this internship is rapidly approaching, and before I’ll know it I will be off to the University of Central Florida in the fall (Go Knights!). Thanks to Kari I was fortunate enough to meet a successful UCF grad, Courtney M., the other day. As an aspiring performer, I’m ready to learn all I can about succeeding in theater. Kari and Courtney gave me valuable insights and tips that will definitely be of use to me in the next few years.

As a recap: I’m a crazy theater fanatic doing an awesome internship with the lovely Kari G. at the fantastic Straz Center, and then I’m going to college, and then who knows what?

Wish me luck!


Anonymous said...

love you, Leah! Ms. Penny

Janet said...

Good luck, Intern L. I know you will go on to absolutely wonderful things!!

janet z