Hey everyone! My name’s Gabby and I am the Jobsite Theater intern this summer.
Back in February I was in the midst of midterms up at Villanova University where I’m currently working on my Bachelor’s Degree in Performance Studies when irrationally I started stressing about what I would do over the summer. Well, perhaps not so irrationally considering last summer after freshman year … during which I failed to get a job and spent most of my time on Facebook or annoying my mom. Nothing noteworthy about that.
I knew I wanted to come home to Tampa to spend some time with family and friends, so I immediately thought of the Straz Center as somewhere where I would like to work. I knew about Jobsite because I saw Race in 2012, so I decided to send David Jenkins, the Producing Artistic Director, a very general and out-of-the-blue e-mail explaining my love of theater and everything that I wanted to do all the while mentioning that I did not have a lot of experience — or concrete plans for the long-run for that matter. This is still true now, actually; all I know is that I am lucky to have found something that I am truly passionate about.
In high school, all I did was track and field and so theater was not something that I got started with early. I got a job at the Villanova Theatre costume shop as a freshman (this was completely coincidental … it could’ve just as well been a job swiping meal cards at the dining hall) and thanks to that I was exposed to some excellent graduate theater. Soon after I joined the student theater group and ever since then I’ve been seriously interested in learning all I possibly can about theater — from production to dramaturgy to acting. Fortunately for me I work for a theatre graduate program so this is all very possible.
So that’s the gist of the past two years of my life. Back to Jobsite! David responded very generously to my e-mail, saying that I was welcome to help out at Jobsite for the summer. This is really all that I wanted, you know, just to watch how everything worked, help out when I could and simply get to spend some time in an environment that I loved and that I could see myself making my career in the future.
That’s exactly what it’s been like up to this point. I feel supremely lucky to get to be a part of the Jobsite crew this summer. My work so far has had two facets; the first involves administrative work on the computer where I’ve been helping David out with a couple of things including the weekly newsletter … which has been awesome. My mom asked me, ‘so what are you doing for Jobsite?’ and I just told her that she’d have to go on the website and subscribe to Jobsite to find out 🙂
The second part of my work this summer involves being an assistant stage manager for The Lonesome West, Jobsite’s final production of the season. I AM SO EXCITED TO BE DOING THIS! You see, up at school I could never do something like this because stage management positions are always reserved for the graduate students. So, this is the first time that I have been at rehearsals for a professional production. It’s awesome because you learn A TON about directing just by watching the process. I hope to direct a show for the undergrad student theatre this fall and watching Paul and Ned in rehearsals has taught me so much already and the show does not open for another month!
As far as my ASM duties go, I have been helping Matt, the stage manager, do a couple of things. We taped out the stage (ed. note:
this is when an outline of the set is measured out and marked on the floor with colored tape
so that the actors can begin working in rehearsals before the set is built.) together one day (also something I had never done before). There’s been a couple of times when Matt could not be at rehearsal and I was there to fill in for him; this involved calling out the breaks, timing scenes, and then sending out the rehearsal report to the production team at the end of the night.
When the play opens in July, I will be present at every performance night running a couple of things backstage. Without giving away too much, I know I’ll have to deal with an oven at some point as well as help the two brothers change their costumes very quickly. Yay for the beautiful chaos of live theater!
The work that I have done thus far at this internship has, most of all, been very valuable to me. David offered that I do this for college credit, but honestly, that involves a lot of extra work on the university side and I’m completely content just taking part in it all. The cast and crew of The Lonesome West is a seriously great group … I’m so happy to be working with them! David, Paul, Matt and Ned have all expressly told me to ask them any questions I might have. It’s always a plus to have people aware that you are trying to learn, instead of just attempting to soak it all in.
That’s it for now; it’s nice to meet everyone! (Cyber-meet, anyway)
Gabby is GREAT! We’ve been so blessed with superb interns lately. We still miss Sara Rotunda, our last intern who just moved back to Tallahassee. If you’d like to know more about internship opportunities, check out our website and get in touch!