Greetings! It’s been awhile since our last post and a lot has happened since summer has ended and fall has begun. One particular new thing is that BalletMet has a new Marketing Intern (me), and I am going to use this post to introduce myself, give you an intern’s perspective of BalletMet and tell you about my first day on the job.
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Abby and I am currently a senior at Ohio State majoring in art history and minoring in business. I have interned in museums, galleries and arts councils in and out of state and recently finished an internship at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City where I served as a Development and Special Events Intern. As I began making preparations to graduate this December (scary, but very exciting), I decided I wanted to further expand my knowledge and broaden my work experience with one more internship. Though I study the visual arts, I grew up performing with my city’s children’s choir and high school choruses. Before I found my niche with singing, like many little girls, my dream was to be a ballerina. I begged my mother to enroll me in ballet and gymnastics classes at our local YMCA. However, it didn’t take too long for me to realize that I was not the best at ballet. I wasn’t the best at gymnastics either, I recently read one of my weekly gymnastics performance reports and saw that my teacher had written that I “had difficulty with skipping” and that my somersault “needed work”. I quit ballet. I kept the cute pink tutu.
Though I wasn’t the best at ballet, I still loved to watch my local company perform. My mother and I went to our local theatre’s family series and to our local art museum on Sundays. She took me to The Nutcracker when I was 8 and I fell completely in love. My mother loves to tell people that when the curtain fell, I stood up on my seat, clapped as loud and furiously as I could, and shouted “bravo!" just like I remembered seeing on Sesame Street, over and over again. Just as my mother loves to tell that story; one of my favorite stories to tell is that the first exhibition I ever saw in an art museum was Edgar Degas. After loving the Nutcracker, my mother thought I would like to see his ballerina sketches and Little Dancer sculptures. I did. I love that my appreciation for ballet and for Degas has somehow led me to BalletMet.
A long time supporter of the performing arts, I thought working for a world class performing arts organization such as BalletMet would provide me with insight into how a professional company is managed. When I was offered an internship position here in marketing, I knew an opportunity to learn another facet of the arts industry to which I have not yet been exposed was simply one I could not pass up.
I am in the middle of my first week here and I am in love with it already. My friends would all tell you that I called them after my orientation day gushing about the projects I will be working on this quarter. I am especially excited to have been given opportunities to write, help coordinate a Nutcracker volunteer orientation, and help with The Nutcracker Ball. I got a taste of working in special events this summer and can’t wait to get back into it with this particular fundraiser.
I am also particularly excited to work with the marketing team and learn new skills there. I am already noticing major differences between working for a visual arts organization. For example, in a museum, you put on a few big exhibitions a year. These exhibitions tend to run for a few months, giving museum staff much more time to plan, have events and market the art currently hanging on your walls. In a performing arts institution such as BalletMet, you have many more shows that each only run for a week or two. Because of this, working in the performing arts can put an employee or performer in a very fast-paced environment. It’s fast and sometimes extremely stressful, but also exciting, rewarding and very fun.
You may be curious about my first day at work. So I’ll now begin by telling you about how I got lost on the way, spilled juice all over my shirt, and spent my day making hundreds of copies and got coffee for everyone. Just kidding, none of those things happened. While a first day can give anyone jitters and all interns fear spending their days simply making copies and fetching coffee, my first day was great.
Everyone here was very welcoming and positive when I first met them; further indicating that BalletMet is a great place to work. First, my supervisor, Communications Manager Jennifer Sciantarelli, gave me the grand tour of the place. I didn’t realize the school and employees’ offices were all in the same building. I played it cool, but I was so excited to see dancers rehearsing! Jennifer showed me some of the studio spaces and where the costumes are made. I can't even begin to tell you how exciting it is to see little things like this. I love seeing how everything works behind the scenes. In the past, when I’ve done museum work, I always loved going to the storage facilities to see where the art is kept, or seeing the crates of art being prepared to be hung. It always made me excited to be a part of something so big and so rewarding to so many people.
Of course a first day of work never goes 100% smoothly. We had issues finding a computer for me to work on (something that is not new to me at all). However, once we got that under control, I began my first project, which is to write an article for Outlook Magazine. This is so much more than a typical internship;I have a feeling I’ll be doing a lot more than making copies and fetching coffee! On my way out, I saw some young children preparing for their ballet class. It reminded me of when I was little and made me so happy to see. Though it very different than running into curators, art handlers and people listening to audio guide headsets, I have a feeling I’m going to love seeing ballet slippers, hair pulled back into neat ballet buns and love hearing Mozart, Vivaldi and Tchaikovsky every day.
Today, we found a free cubicle in the office and I have happily been typing and working away since this morning. I’ll end here by saying that I am very thrilled to be a part of BalletMet this quarter. If any of you are in the office, stop by the building or see me around please say hi or introduce yourself. I’ll be the one with the red hair and high heels (I'm always in heels).
I’d love to get to know as many of you as I can! Until next time…