By James Haro
Goodbyes suck. Even the sweet sweet embrace of a cupcake can only do so much to lessen the blow. More on that later.
As many of you know, this summer I was lucky enough to make a little home for myself in the tech booth of the Boston Court Performing Arts Center. And no, I don’t mean that I shacked up in the booth for lack of proper housing elsewhere. My parents were more than happy (I think?) to let me take over my old room WITH Star Wars figures still on their proper shelves in all their 4 inch glory (“4 Inch Glory” is actually a name I…oh, never mind). What I meant was that the spacious booth was where my desk was located during my 3 month gis as Boston Court’s Production Intern. From there I had a great view of the stage, with varying amounts of dirt and paint and lumber and actors on it (something I’ve written on before). My office/booth mate was Pete, our TD, who on occasion took me under his wing to learn techie stuff. Through osmosis I ended up learning Trekkie stuff as well, but I digress. Out the door of the booth are two offices (former closets). The first belongs to my supervisor, Production Manager, Cheryl. She made sure I had something to do everyday and didn’t just spend all my time blogging around or defending the merits of LiveTweeting (I won’t go into THAT again). Next office closet belongs to Brian, the cardigan (but never Hard-igan) wearing Marketing Manager who hired me to write for you fine folks. Yes, it’s his fault. Down the stairs is the lobby where I sat in on staff meeting after weekly staff meeting. Going down the hall on the right is the storage room where I spent a good amount of time lifting and reorganizing and being allowed to take home various costume pieces that fit me. Further down the hall is the green room and the backstage area and the shop where I just started to figure out where everything was. Going through the shop leads out to the parking lot where a lot of building takes place, mostly in the sun. This is where I spent time building my first platform, shaping and molding and painting fake rocks, sanding down and drilling plexiglass, sifting through tire bit/fake sand, and many other sun lotion filled activities. Across the parking lot and around the building is the entrance to the building where the other offices are. This is where Michael Seel (Executive Director), Hillary (Managing Director), Michael Michetti and Jessica (Artistic Directors) are have offices. This is also where fellow intern Emily sat with Brandon (Membership Coordinator) and Meg (former Events Manager). Everyone at Boston Court had an impact on my time there and I just wanted to quickly say thank you. It was a pleasure to be a part of your family for a while, I always felt welcome and safe and included. I was fond of everyone’s personality and humor. I look forward to coming back and seeing you all soon.
The impact of an intern is something I’ve contemplated this summer. I can’t say I shook things up very much at BC, but I was an extra pair of hands and eyes. I did a lot of odd jobs, things that let other people focus on more important things. I was always involved. I suppose I also was able to do things that maybe other people couldn’t have done. I built this site for example which displays all the technical specifications for Boston Court. I ended up being pretty handy with a drill gun, and on a ladder, and crumbling roofing paper into rock shapes. I have to say that this is the most production experience I’ve had thus far and it’s exactly what I wanted this summer. I got to sit in on budgeting meetings and first read throughs. Rehearsals and cue-to-cues. I got to assemble light boxes and secure rebar columns. I was there for build and I was there for strike. I met actors and directors and designers and playwrights and electricians and carpenters and stage hands and stage feet (kidding). I got to see what and who it took for a theater company to simultaneously operate in the present, produce, and plan for the future. So even though my impact might not have been very large in scale, Boston Court’s impact on me is pretty freaking huge.
Wednesday was my last day. I came in, said hi to Hillary (who was the only one in her office at the time) who wished me a good last day, walked up to the booth and saw Pete, Brandon, and Rob (carpenter and fellow La Salle High School alum) on the stage talking through getting the platforms from the parking lot into the theater. I settled in and checked my email then went downstairs to help bring in lumber. I spent most of my 4 hours helping attach legs onto platforms which entailed driving bolts into holes and fastening washers and nuts and driving screws into wood. Then everyone was summoned into the greenroom for cupcakes in celebration of my departure (good riddance, or something like that). I had two (one cookies and cream and one red velvet) and rode a sugar high into the later afternoon. By the time 4pm rolled around it was time for me to head on out. I said goodbye to everyone one by one thanking them for having me. And then I was gone, out the gates, less than 30 hours from my flight back east.
I’ll still be writing for this blog so my affiliation with Boston Court continues past my internship. I choked back a tear or two as I was leaving. It’s those moments, whether it be the last day of an internship, or a last day of a production, where you realize that theatre is all about the people involved.
Thanks Boston Court!
(Oh, and by the way, the dinosaurs are toys that were in Cheryl’s office. I rearranged them accordingly.)
James Haro is a Los Angeles native currently attending Drexel University in Philadelphia, seeking his BS in Entertainment and Arts Management, Theatre Concentration. He co-operates a blog at AngryPatrons.com and produces/co-hosts the podcasts on ANGRY PATRONS RADIO. Episode #Tres of Rant&Banter is NOW UP! (Click here) OR, subscribe to us on iTunes. New feature, the Starving Artist Interviews, are also available HERE.