Magic is a Cup of Tea: What Our US Intern, Katie, has Learnt from Her Time in the UK

1400745_729630460400015_699132283_oFollowing an eight week internship with the Albany Communications Department, Katie Orong reflects on what she has discovered about working in the arts industry.

You’ve probably never heard of me. Or seen me.

But you’re probably familiar with what I do.

If you’ve ever picked up a brochure from the box office or the café, you have me to thank. If you have received the Weekly News Round-Up or Albany Life Newsletter, I made that especially for you! And if you booked tickets for an event in the Autumn season after you found a show posting online, you’re welcome for getting your attention.

My name is Katie, and I am the newest intern here at the Albany.

I’ve always been involved in the performing arts. In high school (think 6th form age), I was involved in theatre. I did plays at my high school, helped paint family crests for our Shakespearean plays, and even went to a thing called Thespian Conference (think 14-18 year olds all taking classes and auditioning for admittance into drama schools across the nation). So you could say that I know what it takes to be in the performing arts. I know it’s where I belong.

But in order to work in the arts sector in the U.S.A., you need to have work experience in the area first. Something I didn’t have at the time. I made it my mission to change that earlier this year.

When I first heard about the Albany, it was this past March. I was trying to find places to host me for an internship during the summer and I was given the contact details for Amber, one of the members of the Communication team. We talked for a brief 20 minutes, had an interview, and then I was offered the internship position right at the end of our conversation. From what I had seen online, the Albany looked like a very interesting place, so I was ecstatic when I was told to start filing the paperwork!

When I got here, I was amazed at how relaxed the Albany was. In America, theatres don’t have cafes like Albany. It’s quite rare to see anything more than bars and snack stands throughout the various levels to be honest.

So when I was offered a cup of tea, I thought it was the most magical thing to ever happen inside a theatre. Granted it was a small gesture, but there are so many small touches that make this place absolutely magical.

Like the hipster artwork on the walls. Or Meet Me At the Albany. Or the works-in-progress shows.

I just couldn’t believe that there was so much going on in a performing arts centre! The United States only uses theatres as theatres. No hosting performing arts programmes for young people in the area, no interview workshops for people who work in the arts sector, nothing. America is a bit boring that way.

But I’m very thankful that I was given the opportunity to work here. I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to work behind the scenes and how to market for shows. Thanks to the Albany, I know that arts marketing is my little niche.

I plan on changing the performing arts industry once I get back to the United States. Serving tea and lunch to passers-by, that’s step one. Wish me luck!

Katie Orong, Communications Intern, The Albany



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