Inside the Institute: An Intern Gets "Intense" with the Institute
February 15, 2013

Check out the next installment of blog entries from Milan, a junior from Boston Collegiate Charter School, who interned with the A.R.T. in January. These are her observations made while learning about the way actors train by joining A.R.T. Institute classes and shadowing students.

Entry #2: Today was my first day as an official intern! It was a chill day. I met with Brendan, my awesome site mentor, who is taking the time out of his very busy schedule to help me out. I was so ready to get to work this morning. My mom drove me because I am HORRIBLE at taking the bus or train. At least she got me here on time, right?

I talked with Brendan and we went over my schedule, then I started reading scripts for the Shaw One Acts the second year graduate students are going to perform, as well as the Guide for the A.R.T. Then, I read about what the A.R.T. stands for, and what a student goes through in this graduate program if they are stellar enough to get in.

I even got to help go through applications, making sure that the people applying were not missing anything from their application. Some people had a bunch of papers and others had too little. All I could see were stacks of folders everywhere that needed to be checked and eventually alphabetized. So many people apply to the A.R.T. program, and the best of the best get in. The program is challenging and eye-opening to the world of theater that the prospective students want to pursue. It is a privilege to be accepted into the program and be able to work with the amazing teachers at hand. If you are an aspiring dramaturg, vocalist, or actor/actress, THIS is the place to be. Do not be afraid to apply because if you get in, it will be the best decision you ever made.


Entry #3: Another day at the A.R.T! Don’t I have the best internship E-V-E-R? Today you get to hear about fun in acting class and sitting in on a very cool tech-rehearsal.

Acting class was with the first years (my student mentors Marissa and Justin) for three hours. It was SO cool. I have NEVER seen a group go so in depth when giving feedback. The students were in pairs and they had to perform their partner scenes.

 The pairs were Billy and Rebecca, Samara and Erin, and Justin and Martha. Rebecca was trying to make sure she didn’t smile, which is very hard for us bubbly people. Billy and Rebecca worked really well together and found a way to change the ending of the scene so it wasn’t too quick in making the audience see that Billy’s character didn’t love Rebecca’s character. Next up was Erin and Samara. Their scene was hilarious. No one could stifle their laughter once Samara had her accent and fed grapes to Erin. Erin’s face was so funny. Then we had Martha and Justin. They were playing a couple with a mentally unstable wife that had bought a gun to shoot her husband because he wouldn’t call his mom. Then the mother would yell at the wife for not making sure the husband called. Again, the scene was hilarious because Justin kept on ignoring Martha, and for the whole first half of the scene until she pulls out the gun, Martha was talking to herself. The conversation was joke after joke.

 After each group (we only got through three today), there were about twenty minutes of feedback. The feedback was not only from the professor, Marcus Stern, but from the performing students and their classmates. Everyone gave helpful suggestions and analysis of the characters and their situations that made the pair performing think about how they could make a correction or do or say something in a different way to make the audience feel something new. The acting class was so much fun that I stopped to write in my notes “BEST CLASS EVER! CAN WE BRING THIS TO OUR SCHOOL?”

After lunch I watched the tech rehearsal for the Shaw One Acts. I loved seeing all the lights and music being added in. The actors and actresses were great at being quiet so everything went smoothly and they didn’t cause any interruptions. They were also the second year students, so maybe they are just used to knowing when to be quiet and when they can talk. Either way, their costumes were amazing, and Margery, their director, (I believe) kept everything under control. Everyone got down to business once she called out. I even learned a new phrase. When sets are being moved and it is tricky to navigate, if something gets caught or messed up, the director yells, “hold!” Everyone stops what they are doing so the problem can be fixed without people moving around.

See you all later!


Entry #4: Intense. Crazy. Hard work. You have not worked out if you have not been in a conditioning class. As Joel says, “It’s called conditioning for a reason.”

The hour and a half conditioning class stretches the students to their limits, literally. I stopped after about ten minutes because I couldn’t take it anymore. Granted, they had all been doing it since September, but that’s still a LOT to get through. Everyone was ready in their workout gear. Conditioning class is actually the only reason I know Benjamin’s name. HE was the one getting called out the whole time. All I heard was “Benjamin, stop talking. Ben, WHAT are you doing? No, all of you stop talking to Ben.” Halfway through I started rooting and cheering for them because it seemed like they were all really exhausted. “If you can’t feel the burn, clearly you haven’t learned.” That is my horribly made up saying for this class.

I then followed the first years to their voice class, where they stretched and worked on articulation. Nancy, the head of the voice department and their professor, asked me to join the class, because it made no sense for me to just sit and watch. I got to work with a really nice student named Martha who helped me with resonance and sending vibrations through the body. After that, it was time for lunch and seeing Pippin after getting my notes together for the day.

See you later, my friendly alligators.


Entry #5: Guess what…MORE ACTING CLASS!

I was a bit late today, but luckily I arrived when the first pair was performing. I waited outside the door so they could finish. An awesome student named Justin Packard (my home slice) was nice and let me in with enough time to see the feedback and watch the second pair go. Marissa my super pretty and amazing actress mentor performed with Ped (funny guy) when I came in. Then we moved chairs for the next scenes.

The acting class was on point as usual, and once it was done, Brendan was awesome enough to help me get back to the A.R.T. before I got lost, and he treated me to pizza. Woohoo, PIZZA! After lunch, we worked on my notes from class and discussed what I have been noticing about the first and second year actors and actresses. Just to keep you interested, I’m not going to spill what I said until next time.

Milan A.
Publication date:
February 15, 2013

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