Life as an Artistic Intern

By Alison Ruth, Artistic Intern

I’m Alison, one of two artistic interns at Cal Shakes!  Every day is different in the artistic office, which is really fun. My favorite project has been helping Jessica Richards, the casting director, with the understudy casts. It’s been interesting to see what the process of casting is like. My background in theater is in acting and I had always heard that if you don’t get a part, it’s not personal, maybe they were just looking for a different type, and I am here to report that it is definitely true. When finding understudies I’ve been told to look for very specific types. I’ll look through tons of headshots to find people with the right physical appearance – before even considering their acting. So it’s very reassuring, from an actor’s perspective, to know that sometimes you really just cannot help it, you are simply not what the casting director is looking for.

Another big (and wonderful!) part of my intern experience has been living in one of the intern houses. Each day when I come home I get to hear about everyone else’s days and it’s really cool to listen to my housemates’ experiences at the Summer Shakespeare Conservatory and street team. Even though I don’t go to conservatory every day (though I will be doing the lights for a few conservatory performances next week) I feel like I know what’s going on there and like I’m a little bit a part of it. Listening to them talk about lesson plans and theater games to teach the kids over the dinner table (during our family dinners, which are the best) is really entertaining and fascinating.

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