Friday, September 19, 2014

Interning at the Fringe festival

My summer internship was actually more of a fall internship, because I did it with the Ombelico Mask Ensemble and their Fringe Festival play that premiered on September 19th. I was supposed to have a three week internship that would've started on the 1st of September, but I ran into some personal problems and had to leave Philadelphia, so I wasn't available to start until the next week, on the 8th. My supervisor at Ombelico, UArts alumni Brendon, was nice enough to think things over so that I could start at the later date and still contribute as well as learn as much as possible.

I eventually became a sort of a “publicity intern”, working with contacting the press and other Fringe shows as well as distributing flyers and interacting with the audience to make sure the show received maximum exposure. This was for the most part fun to do since the show was not only free, but also very good, so it's not like I had to market a difficult product. The show was commedia dell'arte, meaning in the old Italian tradition of theatre with specific types of characters the partially improvised and masked comedy revolves around. As a big fan of both theatre in general and commedia dell'arte in particular, this aspect was one of the biggest reasons I wanted to do the internship in the first place and I greatly enjoyed seeing something like this performed live.

In terms of what I learned about this internship experience, I would say I understood how important it is to communicate clearly and honestly to avoid confusion or misunderstandings. As a non-native speaker this is always challenging to me both for lingual and cultural reasons, but having a two week opportunity to interact with people within the audience as well as the theatre company really helped me to see what I need to work on. I also now know a lot about what goes into marketing and promoting a theatre show so that all the work you put into perfecting the performance doesn't go to waste if there is no one to see it – after all, one of the main ideas of the Fringe festival is bringing theatre and performance to the people in some more unusual places like the park Ombelico performed in.

It was a challenging, but also very rewarding two weeks and as I embark on my second internship next week I know I can take a lot with me from this short experience that will make me a better intern than I would have been those two short weeks ago.  

No comments:

Post a Comment