One Actor’s Attempt to Split His Brain Between Art & Tech

28 Apr

Having been accepted to the Internship program as a ‘freelance marketing intern’, I have had the pleasure of carving out my own little niche at American Ballet Theatre.

From the time I was ten years old, I have been actively involved in the performing arts beginning with vocal music, followed after by acting and dance.  Upon entering college, I decided to major in graphic design and animation so as to lessen the financial burden of my acting career (headshots, reels, voiceover recordings, etc.).  In the process, I became completely interested in using technology to create art, from club posters to documentary films.  I found that the art I was most truly engaged in was art that I could not only perform, but bring to fruition according to my own design.

Upon joining ABT’s internship program, it was decided by my mentor, Dennis Walters, that my graphic design skills were best put to use by taking on various projects that granted me almost complete creative freedom, so long as I did not stray too much from ABT’s branding style.  For the first time, I felt like I had freedom, but at the same time felt restricted.  Most of my studies had been dedicated to designing whatever I wanted, any way that I wanted.  Working for ABT proved necessary for my professional development since, as a graphic designer, I must learn to adapt my skills to the branding style of whatever organization I am working for.  As a marketing intern, I must do what is best for the image of the organization, and not just what I think looks good to me.  This proved to be a blessing in disguise, as I am now more flexible idea-wise while brainstorming and am inspired to create multiple designs for each project I am assigned to, instead of settling on the first thing that satisfies my interests.

The sheer diversity of the projects I have been assigned thus far have truly pushed the bounds of my creativity, while providing some much needed practice in the various design software I learned to use in college.  Business cards, I.D. cards, stickers, posters, flyers, and brochures I have created during my internship will prove to be valuable additions to my professional portfolio as I advance in my career.  I am certain that my remaining time with ABT will continue to push the bounds of my creativity and provide me with many more opportunities to harness my craft and network with professionals in the arts.

Michael Petruso

Marketing Intern

Spring 2016

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