Go Deeper

Now For A Brief InternUption

Posted September 8th, 2015

PurgatoryMany of the people who make the Fringe Festival happen are interns. I know, because I, your humble blog manager, once was one, hired into a grant-funded seasonal intern position in 2009 to overhaul this blog and envision what it could be for moving forward. Somehow, I’ve tricked them into letting me do it ever since. Interning and working here, I’ve had the chance to see transcendent work (Dance, for example), meet great friends and colleagues (like our information manager Josh McIlvain, who’s written some of the funnier stuff I’ve seen on stage), and convince people to share their ambition and fear and excitement and exuberance with me, and thus with you (like Adrienne Mackey, who just wrote a beautiful piece for us on what it means to be a theater artist). And me? I was able to write the article of which I’m perhaps the most proud of anything I’ve ever written: Contemplating audiences and terrorism, I had the revelation that by coming together, again and again, in public, to share and to celebrate and just to be together with performance and each other, performance spaces have a heightened sense of communion and indeed have become de facto radical spaces where we can, and do, resist the death cult of the American gun. But enough with my tendentiousness. Let’s just say the experience has left its mark.

After the jump, two of our interns, who are beloved at least as much as this skeleton, share their experience executing a Scratch Night. I can only hope that their time here will be as formative as mine has, and that the passion that brought them to us sustains them in where they head next. And as we always do, to give credit where credit is due, the title for this post came from Marly Logue, our development intern.

Traditionally, the term “intern” doesn’t always have the best connotations. Thankfully, FringeArts doesn’t do traditional.

Recently, perhaps out of audacious faith or collective insanity, FringeArts relinquished control of one of its infamous Scratch Nights to its interns. From stage management to artist coordination to marketing, the interns were in charge of everything for one special night.

Of course, from the audience perspective, the focus was six captivating performance previews from this year’s Fringe Festival; every single act we hosted got on my “must see” list. I am thrilled to say that if it we hadn’t introduced ourselves as such, no one would have been able to tell that the entire evening was run by interns. I was not surprised we handled it with relative ease; as I look around the office, I realize most of us are promising, emerging artists, and we’ve still only scratched the surface of our potential.

On a personal level, Scratch Night reminded me that there all no small performances. To operate on the scale of FringeArts, even simple undertakings take an incredible amount of human capital. No set, no props, and only an hour of programming and still we found our hands full after our normal, day-to-day responsibilities. As an artist, I can never be too aware or appreciative of the hard, often-thankless work that happens around me.

I am thankful FringeArts presented us with this opportunity; not many employers would look at a group of temporary twenty-somethings and ask themselves what they can do to empower us. In my opinion, it’s a great example of the good that can come from an organization that keeps its ideals close to its goals. I’m glad to work in a place that takes interest in its interns; after all, this project has proved that I am in very capable company.

–Jacob Merinar, Admin Intern

My name is Marly and I’m an intern at FringeArts this summer. When I signed up for this internship, I had no idea that I’d be running a night of mini performance previews like this. Running a Scratch Night by ourselves was an exciting new challenge, and I really learned a lot about the different parts of producing a show, in a much smaller and easier to manage situation.

My whole experience at FringeArts has been wonderful. Everyone at FringeArts cares about what they do, and are eager to share what they know with us. Those relationships are probably the best thing about being a Fringe intern. The weekly intern seminar lunches, where we had the opportunity to learn from these professionals, were another favorite thing about this internship. Each lunch was dedicated to an area integral to running a non-profit theatre organization. Staff also shared their own personal life advice, like this gem: “Nobody’s going to tell you this but, everyone takes an awful job washing dishes to support themselves, it doesn’t make you a failure.”. This specific bit assured me that I am on the right path to do what I want to be doing, but that it can come with struggle too. I’ve learned a lot about the world of nonprofit arts during my time here, and I hope to learn even more by the time I leave this internship at the end of the Fringe Festival.

At FringeArts, I’ve also gotten to experience the bundle of joy that is Scooter, from famed #ScooterFriday adventures. There is nothing that cheers you up like that adorable dog coming up to your desk and sitting with you while you do your work. (This really has nothing to do with my learning experience, I just thought that you all should know how great Scooter is!) After this week’s InternUption, I have gained a sense of ownership over my time here at FringeArts and I am so proud to work for and with this incredible company. I am so very lucky to have been welcomed into this group of arts enthusiasts and creators with open arms. I have been given an incredible opportunity for growth and my experience here has been invaluable. This has been the best possible way to spend my summer and I will miss working here after the Festival concludes.

–Marly Logue, Development Intern