The more time I spend at the Fountain, I’m not entirely convinced being an intern here is an internship experience that most college students are having.
This summer, when I heard about the L. A. County Arts Internships (which any college student interested in the arts should apply to), I was determined to get one. I didn’t care if I was working at a ballet, or a theater, or an art school. I just wanted to be near the arts. I wrote cover letter after cover letter, hoping for the best. But when I saw The Fountain’s description for an intern, I kept thinking, “This is the one. I’m perfect for this.”
I was interviewed and, much to my surprise and delight, hired. I still didn’t really know what it was going to be like. I pictured myself maybe doing some copying and coffee-making (prerequisite skills all interns are expected to have). Or I imagined myself writing grants and sitting on the sidelines as an already assembled team worked. I didn’t ever think I would really be a part of this theatre. A summer is hardly long enough to get a decent tan, let alone feel at home in a new place. Yet, in seven weeks I feel just as much a part of this team as I’ve ever felt as part of anything.
I realized I was really a part of the team at our first staff meeting. The Fountain staff consists of just enough people to fit around a kitchen table. It feels like less of a staff and more like of a family. Stephen would bring up each matter of business, and it seemed like everyone had something to say about it. These people valued my opinion and wanted to know how I felt about things. And just like everyone else at The Fountain, with many different job titles and responsibilities, I learned that I was no different as the Development Intern. Yes, I have definitely learned a lot about grant-writing and what being on the development side of things means. But that is just one of the many experiences I’ve had here. I have compiled press packets, organized auditions, worked the box office, read scripts, and even written a few blog posts. For a good portion of my time here I was doing something I had never done before. Maybe that’s what an intern is supposed to do. Experience a little bit of everything.
So far, this internship has been more than internship. I always thought of internship as trying on an outfit. You try something on for a few weeks and see if it fits. If it doesn’t, you move on to the next outfit. But if it fits, you can stop looking.
As a writing major, I don’t really know what I’m going to do with myself. There’s no clear job I know I’ll have. But this internship has given me some direction. It has shown me what working in a theatre is really like and made me realize it’s something that I want to do.
I know it’s only week seven. I’m only half-way through college. I could change my mind. But I’m fairly certain that it’s a good fit. And while other interns may be spending their summers finding the perfect cream-to-sugar ratio, I’ve been really spoiled working here and being a part of The Fountain.
I may just be their summer intern. But ever since that first staff meeting, I’ve really felt like a part of the family.
Jessica Broutt is a summer intern from UC San Diego. Funded by the LA County Arts Internship Program.