Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Endstation Family

I vividly remember my first day as an intern here at Endstation Theatre Company. After Maria Hayden, our company manger, greeted me and gave me a tour of Carson Hall, where almost all of the Endstation members are staying for the Summer, she suggested I stop by the theater and meet Dan Gallagher, our wonderful lighting design for 2011 Blue Ridge Summer Theatre Festival who I have the pleasure for working for this summer. After sitting around and talking with the other interns for about an hour, I decided to head over. As soon as I arrived at the theater, everyone there was quick to introduce themselves as well as ask me about where I am from, how was my drive to Sweet Briar and the like. Eventually I found myself in conversation with scenic designer Krista Franco, who asked me what I had planned that night. I answered that most of the interns including myself were heading to The Briar Patch, a local restaurant, for dinner and karaoke. After hearing this, Krista commented "Wow, it took no time for all of you interns to hit it off." Without missing a beat Kara Gowler, stage management intern for Assassins, walked by and said "Eh, I'm not sure how I feel about Skyler yet" with a smile. I teased that I wasn't sure if Kara should be invited to karaoke with an attitude like that when it hit me - I had been here less than two hours and it already felt like home. From that moment on the idea built upon itself: that all of us here at Endstation may be technically considered co-workers, but we're all part of a family as well.

A big part of being in a family is that you're always there to look out for each other. Earlier this week our acting intern, Spencer Meeks, had a callback in New York City for the Green Day musical American Idiot. All throughout the day before he left everyone made sure to find him and wish him a break a leg in New York and on the day of his audition nearly every person at Endstation had changed their Facebook status sending good thoughts and well wishes towards Spencer as he had his callback. While most of us have only known Spencer for a few weeks, we all made sure to let him know we're here for him.

Despite the hard work and dedication from everyone working here, we all need help from each other every once in a while and again, everyone is always ready to lend a hand. Most days Chad Larabee, director of Assassins, can be found sitting at his makeshift desk in the audience of the theater, listening to the musical's soundtrack on repeat and making notes for that evening's rehearsal. On several instances though, Chad has been more than willing to come up on stage and give a hand carrying lumber in from the delivery truck or helping with carpentry. It's really a cool moment when the director of the musical you're working on takes the time to come up on stage with you and help out. That’s not the only instance though, throughout the day anyone working in the theater has had no problem taking time out of their day to give another department some help, whether it be the lighting intern asked to take publicity photos, a stage manager giving an opinion about lighting placement or a carpenter putting down their power drill and picking up a paint brush:

While all of us here at Endstation work hard to make each production a success, whether it be working hard to get the set built, the lights hung, lines memorized or tickets sold, we all find ourselves with at least some free time at night. For the past two weeks since I've moved in, hardly a day goes by that many of us do not do something after work. Whether it is dinner out at a restaurant or all sitting around watching a movie in the lounge of our dorm or our trip out for karaoke on Wednesday nights.

As I’ve said, we are only two weeks into the summer and everyone already feels so close to the point where we can really depend on each other for anything. As the festival season, and the summer, moves on I look forward to strengthening connections with the incredible people I have met here. I know I can speak for all of the interns when I say we are all looking forward to tomorrow’s first intern lunch of the Summer not only for the food (which I’m sure will be delicious!) but getting to spend time with each other as well.

Skyler Broughman
Lighting Intern

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