On an Antaean Summer

It seemed as if we were waiting FOREVER for our LA Country Arts Intern to arrive this summer… and now, after a metaphorical blink of the eye, she only has one week left.  To commemorate the start of the “No More Holly” countdown, Holly Abel shares a few thoughts on her summer with us.

“Internship” is a scary word around college campuses. To most of my friends, the word seemed to represent one of two things: either it was something you were desperately seeking for the upcoming summer, or it was something you had the summer before that was, generally, a horrible experience.

So when I was hired to work as an intern at the Antaeus this summer through the LA Arts Commission, I was simultaneously exhilarated and terrified. Out of my thirty job applications for the summer (yes—literally), it was the one I had wanted the most—but as I was boarding my plane from Minnesota to California in early June, all I could think about were the horror stories that I had heard from my friends at school.  The long, underpaid hours they had been forced to work at their internships…the summers spent doing nothing but hauling ridiculously heavy objects around theatres in the heat and humidity…the contempt with which their supervisors regarded them: the lowest person on the totem pole, the gofer, the INTERN.

As you may imagine, though, this story has a happy ending. On the first day of my Antaeus internship, I was tossed into a Macbeth rehearsal, very quickly learned my way around the theatre, and attempted to memorize fifty-plus new names and faces. It was exhausting and overwhelming—but in a totally and completely awesome way.

As my summer’s gone on, I’ve divided my time assisting the lovely PSMs during rehearsals for Macbeth and A2’s Shakespeare’s King Phycus, and have also spent time working on various projects around the office (have you returned your library books yet!?). I’ve learned more about theatre, and more about myself as an artist, than I ever could have even imagined learning in just a few short weeks. I’m preparing to graduate next June, and thanks to my Antaeus internship, I’ve totally changed the path that I want to go down post-graduation—which is, much like my Antaeus internship was at the beginning of the summer, simultaneously very scary and very exciting. There’s only so much that working in college theatre can teach you, and the Antaeus is very quickly filling in the gaps in my knowledge.

Sadly, my summer at the Antaeus will be ending next week, but I’m eagerly anticipating heading back to Minnesota, spreading the knowledge I’ve garnered this summer to the handful of other Carleton theatre majors, and bragging to all of my friends that my summer internship was way better than any of theirs.

LA County Arts Commission summer intern, Holly Abel, reflects on her summer internship at the Antaeus.

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