Spy for a Day

The latest report from Marketing Intern Katie McGee.

OK, I’m about to unleash a few personal secrets.  1) I have always idolized Harriet the Spy.  2) I have a soft spot for Groucho Marx glasses.  3) Sometimes when I am in public I pretend I am an undercover investigator. Hmmmm… maybe that’s why I jumped at this week’s intern challenge: spy on some past PIPs. Did their Cal Shakes internship positively impact the growth of their theatrical career? Where to point my magnifying glass first? I had too many solid leads. Thus I lit the PIP beacon, Batman style across the night sky (not really, but I WISH) and soon life updates and anecdotes of Cal Shakes summers began to fly in.

As the evidence piled up, it became clear that this mystery was not going to be hard to solve. The program has been blossoming for five years and has seen some wicked talent. PIPs were eager to talk about their Cal Shakes experiences and were fired up about their current artistic endeavors.

Derek Smith

Derek Smith with a conservatory student; photo by Jay Yamada.

For instance, past Artistic Learning PIP Derek Smith helped make history last week as he assisted New York’s Signature Theatre Company in opening the doors to their new Pershing Square Signature Theatre Center. Although he is off on thrilling new adventures, he says that his time with Cal Shakes was, “the best summer of my life…because of my experience at Cal Shakes, I can enter any theater position confidently, understanding how my role within this company works, and how to work for the benefit of the organization as a whole.”

Sarah Spero

Sarah Spero getting down to props business; photo by Jamie Buschbaum.

Similar to Smith, Sarah Spero, furniture builder extraordinaire and past props PIP, has found her place in the professional theater world. She now works as the resident prop master and scenic artist for Town Hall Theatre in Lafayette, CA.  She credits her time at Cal Shakes for a lot of her current success: “PIP did wonders for my career. Not only did I learn more about props than I had from any other program before, but I also made fantastic connections. Cal Shakes’ internship program really brought my work up to a professional level.”

These are only a few examples of the many who expressed their gratitude and fondness for the PIP program here at Cal Shakes. It is evident that Cal Shakes’ PIP program provides an ideal catalyst for many young artists with a variety of emphases. I know I will look back warmly on the months I have spent here. I mean, who doesn’t like a place that lets you play spy for a day?

And there’s the beef, friends: Cal Shakes’ PIP program is the bomb dot com.

Next McGee blog issue: What the heck are the Cal Shakes Artistic Learning programs up to? I’ll be field trippin’ to find out.

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