High School

Senior Internships

Weekly Updates

List of 4 items.

  • Ava - 4/26/23

    The past couple weeks of my internship have been dedicated to social media and marketing, College Connection, accessibility, and alumni relations.

    Starting with social media, social media has been a throughline and constant throughout my entire internship with Stagedoor Manor. Posting regularly on all the platforms has challenged me to stay creative and learn a lot about trends and the algorithm. Working with social media is a really important learning experience and tool for me to have because in the acting industry today, casting directors are more likely to hire those with a social media following. As someone who is looking to be an actor and earning a BFA in college, it is imperative for me to understand social media, marketing, and the algorithm because we are our own product that we are selling. With my work, the Stagedoor Manor TikTok account gets over 50 profile views a day, and this is separate from videos coming up on people’s ‘for you’ page. Profile views means that over 50 people a day are actively searching for the Stagedoor Manor account in their search bar and checking out our profile. 

    In a previous blog post, I talked about creating a separate platform for College Connection. I run this account entirely by myself and come up with posts regularly, using digital design and practicing collaboration by reaching out to Stagedoor campers who, like me, went through the college audition process. This account grows every day and College Connection is getting more recognition.

    On the topic of accessibility, my internship advisor and I discussed the fact that Stagedoor has to recognize that not everyone has equity in the classroom, especially when it comes to the arts. Statistics show that regions with a wide percentage of people of color are way more underfunded than predominantly white regions and school districts. Often in these situations, the first programs to get budget cuts are the arts. Hayley and I brainstormed ways to give out scholarships for students of color to attend stagedoor for free to continue DEIA.           

    I am mainly responsible for our alumni relations. This includes reaching out to alumni, supporting their careers, advertising their accomplishments on our social media, and asking them to do Instagram takeovers. This is a good experience for me to have because collaboration in the arts industry and maintaining relationships and connections is highly important. 

    A challenge I am facing is trying to make time to work with the artistic directors to learn about how professional theater companies get rights, choose shows, and cast shows. What I have been doing has been keeping me incredibly busy, and I want to make sure I am able to touch base with the artistic area because I am interested in directing in college, and I want to learn about that process.

    It’s bittersweet that I only have one blog post left with three weeks of the internship program remaining. I have really enjoyed this internship, but I am excited to go back to being a camper for my last summer.
  • Ava - 3/31/23

    These past two weeks have been very thought provoking as we approach the halfway mark of internships. I had a preconceived idea of what exactly I was going to get out of these two weeks, and to my surprise, my expectations were exceeded in a really fascinating way.

    As I stated in my last blog, there is a branch of Stagedoor Manor called College Connection. College Connection functions as a college audition coaching company specifically for kids who are a part of the Stagedoor Manor family. Having just gone through the BFA application and audition process, I was really excited to work on College Connection and on ways to improve it.

    I had a lot of meetings with Hayley who is not only a co-owner of Stagedoor Manor and my internship advisor, but the coordinator and founder of College Connection. I was able to give her a lot of insight and information on my experience and how to apply my feedback for the kids who are going to go through it next school year. I made my own marketing and advertising plan for College Connection which included starting its own social media platforms that are separate from the Stagedoor Manor media’s. I did this because even though College Connection is a Stagedoor Manor brand, it's its own entity and should be looked at as such. I raised the point that putting College Connection posts with the regular Stagedoor posts is letting it get muddled in the chaos and therefore people forget about it. Starting my own Instagram page for a company has been an incredible learning experience, and I’ve also been able to gain experience in digital design. 

    Something I have been thinking about as I am touring the programs I have been accepted to in between working on my internship is how to incorporate that into my internship, which I think could be exciting and unique.

    As I have been in very close contact with Hayley throughout working on College Connection, I was able to learn a lot about what she does when she is not working with Stagedoor. She is a learning specialist and teacher at a behavioral management and special needs school. I found this to be really interesting because there are a lot of kids who I go to Stagedoor with who are on the spectrum or have various disabilities. She educated me on what she does, and we thought about ways to make the Stagedoor learning environment a successful environment for every student. It was a really cool conversation; I got a lot out of it and I found that I have an interest in performers with disabilities. There are plenty of actor’s with disabilities, more than people realize.

    In the next two weeks, I am going to navigate my way and transition to working with the performance and professionalism aspect of Stagedoor. I am going to meet with the head of the casting committee and the artistic directors to learn about how professional companies choose their shows and cast shows. I am also very intrigued by this because I want to direct pieces in college and outside of college as well. 
  • Ava – 3/15/23

    It is the middle of week four of my internship, and I am learning a lot throughout this experience so far, more than I anticipated. I have been involved with Stagedoor Manor since I was thirteen years old, which is why interacting with what goes on behind the scenes while campers are not at camp is fascinating, and it is hard work. As a result, I have a much deeper appreciation for everything that my camp does.
    In these past two weeks, I took a minimal step back from social media and marketing to dive into education. I met with the new head of the education department to go over the seventy classes that are being offered this summer. We discussed each class in great detail and brainstormed ways to make the classes the most beneficial but also fun to the students.
    I raised the idea that I am incredibly interested in teaching when I am older and in between acting jobs, and Nick, the head of the education department, taught me how he makes a syllabus for a class and how he generally constructs a curriculum, which I practiced on my own. Nick and I also discussed ways to make the education at Stagedoor more accessible and up to date, not only in classes but in the rehearsal room as well, so I found resources on intimacy training and how to properly deal with intimacy in the shows that we perform; a new concept for a lot of the directors.
    I found great success in these past two weeks and realized how interested I am in education, and most importantly, how much excitement it brings me. That excitement carries over into independent work, and I don’t feel as though it is necessarily homework or a chore.
    What challenged me this week was keeping up with social media at the same time. It sounds facetious, but social media is a huge undertaking. Stagedoor Manor uses four platforms. We not only have to check them multiple times a day, but we also have to post multiple times a day, and each platform has a different style of posting and caters to different content. Social media is extremely important because this is how we keep campers engaged and excited, and this is how we advertise our camp to newcomers. I was so busy with education that I pushed it aside briefly and lost some momentum.
    In the next two weeks, I am working with a new facet of Stagedoor Manor, a program called College Connection. College Connection is designed to help students with everything related to the BFA college audition process, which I conveniently just went through. I am going to help market College Connection as well as become an outlet to the students using College Connection; a tool since I just auditioned for handfuls of BFA programs. I am excited to work with this area of Stagedoor in the next couple of weeks because it is super fresh for me and a topic I am really educated on and feel passionate about. 
  • Ava — 3/1/23

    I am about to conclude the second week of my internship with Stagedoor Manor, and I am having an incredibly positive, productive experience thus far.

    I began my internship with a supervisory meeting on what it is going to look like. My supervisor and I mapped out my internship into sections: education, accessibility, social media, and performance/professionalism. In the past two weeks, I have been focusing on social media and accessibility because those are the two areas I am most comfortable and familiar with.

    I have been successful in the sense that I learned how to manage my time with trial and error. Social media is very independent, and I have been lucky to be trusted with all of the social media platforms and essentially “do my own thing.” I have been able to get my theater camp a lot of attention on TikTok and SnapChat so far, which is really exciting for me and the new campers that are coming this year. I also set up multiple social media takeovers with alumni who are in current Broadway shows, which has been getting positive feedback as well. 

    I spoke in depth with my supervisor on how to make Stagedoor more accessible with mental health awareness, learning disabilities (which is important to discuss when it comes to learning lines and being in a professional setting), and food (allergies, dietary needs, people who cannot find anything to eat while they are at camp, etc.) We brainstormed ways we can work on this and it is an ongoing conversation. I discussed having grab-and-go fruit available at all times, counselor check-ins, a yogurt parfait bar in the morning, granola bars as a nighttime snack, and more. All of my ideas were received very well and I am eager to continue going down that path.
    In the next two weeks, I will be moving on to the education department, which I am both nervous and excited for. I am nervous because the education department at Stagedoor is very intense and serious. I have no experience with education, but I am excited to access this area because I know that I am the voice and perspective the department needs to rely on. Stagedoor has rarely been in such close contact with a camper regarding education and how to improve it; this is very unique to not only me but to them, and I know the education department is looking forward to the collaboration. 

    The challenges I am encountering and anticipate is the fact that a lot of my internship so far has been independent. Loneliness aside, I am working on managing my time appropriately, not getting caught up in one aspect of the internship, and also finding time to take care of myself. For the most part, I choose my own hours which is both amazing and difficult. I get to decide when I work in between my acting classes, but I have very little given structure, and having structure is important for my sanity.