Saturday, February 14, 2015

Internship Diaries, part 1: Premieres

Please note: I've been asked to blog about my experiences by the personnel of Turun kaupunginteatteri.

In my Theatrical Bucket List, I listed working in a theatre (during a musical production) as one of my ten theatrical life goals.

I'm living in that world now. For three months this spring, I'm interning in Turun kaupunginteatteri.

Here's how I feel about that.

I haven't crossed the life goal off my list yet. I wrote I want to be employed, and that implies getting paid, so this internship does not yet count. But it's a good place to start. Even if I'm not quite there yet, I'm getting closer.

As an intern, I get to observe the everyday life of a repertoire theatre. How the plays are marketed, how the PR works, how the tickets get sold – sneak peeks at how new shows are born, even! I get to see what goes on in a theatre office, and even better, I get to help. For a theatre lover like me, every day spent like that is fascinating.

Some might thing being a theatre fan who doesn't want to perform is a weird mix, but I've found an internship that perfectly suits my interests.

What do I do, then? During my first five weeks, plenty of things – everything from calling and e-mailing potential customers to selling last-minute discount tickets, from editing text to livetweeting a discussion about online bullying.

No two days have been the same.

My favourite task is updating the theatre's Twitter and Instagram accounts. I'm a bit of a social media enthusiast. Or hooked on it, if you want to put it in more honest words. So it's rather handy that if I feel lazy and want to take a break from work to check Instagram, cheking it is a part of my job, too...

Seriously though, it's interesting trying to figure out what kind of content interests people in social media and what doesn't. I could spend ages going through Twitter Analytics for the theatre's tweets. Social media is still such a new thing, no one knows for certain what works and what is going to trend. It's nice having a chance to observe and test its workings a bit.

Intern selfie! Selling actual theatre tickets at an actual
theatre box office. For me, that's reason enough to smile.

Then there is the glamorous part – premieres! During the first five weeks of my internship, the theatre has premiered two new productions, plays called Meganin tarina and Mörköjen yö.

My theatrical tastes in a simplified nutshell are as follows:

1) If it features a favourite actor and is within my reach, I will see it, no matter the genre and subject matter.
 2) If it's a musical and within a three-hours-by-train range (or especially interesting and in a neighbouring country), I will see it. I will like it best if it's an epic story filled with tears and death. If it's a comedy, let the humor be dark and clever.
3) If it's a straight play, I don't think I'm going, unless it's a comedy and playing nearby... or features a favourite actor, of course.

A heavy play about a teenager committing suicide and a musical romp for 5-year-olds about conquering your fears are shows I certainly wouldn't have seen if I interned somewhere else.

When I go to theatre, I want to enter a world that's different from the one we live in. I enjoy tragic stories if they're grand and unrealistic enough to feel like fairytales. But watching a young actor play a character based on a real girl who took her own life after being bullied online... A chilling experience. Here's the real girl's story if you're curious to find out more, but be warned, it's a really upsetting read.

I'm glad I got to see Megan's story onstage. Words can wound, and it's good to be reminded of that. Not a play that is fun to watch, but maybe one that's important to see.

The play about fighting your fears for 5-year-olds, then... I think I only saw one play for children when I was an actual child. Even though I've sat through a couple of children's plays as an adult, I've never seen anything aimed for such young kids. What's more, I'm a happily single 21-year-old, I don't have siblings, I don't even know any children. So, really not a play for me!

In any case, the kids laughed and seemed to have a good time. I guess when it comes to the focus group, the play works as intended. Maybe for someone, it even might start a lifelong interest in theatre?

A little girl sitting near me in the premiere audience was especially perspective when a monster appeared onstage. She exclaimed the following:

"There is only a human inside the monster."

Well put. I hope you'll become my theatre blogger buddy some day, little girl!

The monster is actually pretty endearing
– whether a human is hiding underneath or not.

All in all, the first five weeks of my internship have been super interesting. You know how sometimes a dream comes true but you notice it's not anything like you anticipated? This hasn't been like that. Based on what little experience I have now, I could definitely stay longer than what little time I have left.

So, here's to hoping my remaining seven weeks will be equally exciting – and that some day in some theatre, there will be plenty of weeks more in store for me.

Aiheeseen liittyviä linkkejä: lue lisää Meganin tarinasta ja Mörköjen yöstä. Turun kaupunginteatteri Twitterissä ja Instagramissa. Meganin tarina -livetwiittauskooste.

1 comment:

  1. Vaikuttaa kyllä kiinnostavalta harjoittelupaikalta :D Olen kade.