I am here, in this internship program, because of a TV show.

15 Dec

I am here, in this internship program, because of a TV show.

Some backstory: Fall 2015 was one of my lowest points. I was in the midst of planning a semester off and potential transfer from a program I no longer had passion for. I was scared and uncertain and finding it hard to stay positive. In an effort to cheer myself up, I found something that combined two of my great loves, dance and TV, in the Starz series Flesh and Bone. After binging the series, I was struck with inspiration.

At this point, I knew that actually being on stage was not for me. But what about being behind the scenes? Working in the arts but in a different, administrative capacity? Being a former dancer, I of course knew of ABT, of Misty Copeland and Marcelo Gomes and Isabella Boylston (though I did not know of Sascha Radetsky’s connection until after looking on his IMDb page because of Flesh and Bone – apparently I am one of four former dance kids who has never seen Center Stage, but I digress). I knew ABT was top notch in the dance world, so why not start there? On a whim, I googled “American Ballet Theatre Internship” and lo! Success! I edited my resume, wrote up a cover letter, sent in the application (to ABT among other places), and waited.

Two weeks later, I get a call from Dennis Walters, inviting me to come to 890 Broadway to interview for an intern position in the education department. I couldn’t believe it! Maybe this weird plan was working! I went to the office, nervous, and did my 30 minute interview. I thought it went well. I thought maybe this was my life turning around. Another two weeks later, I get an email from Dennis – there were many qualified candidates, but unfortunately I would not be offered a position with ABT. Despite this bad news, I wasn’t mad or heartbroken – I was now more determined than ever to make this work.

So the following March, I applied again. And I waited. And waited. I thought they might have lost my application, or were simply ignoring me. Finally, in August, I get another email from Dennis, asking to set up another interview with the education department. Surely, this was my time. I did a phone interview and then I waited some more. By the time, I came back to the city for my Fall 2016 semester, I still hadn’t heard anything. I sent another follow up email and got a familiar response – they were going in a different direction for the internship.

At this point, I thought maybe it was time to look elsewhere, or maybe forget an internship altogether and focus my time on my grades and my new major. Apparently, that is not what was planned for me. Not two weeks after my second rejection, I get another call from Dennis, this time with good news – their outreach intern was no longer available to work, and I had come highly recommended from my interview. This, I truly could not believe. After a mild happy dance in Washington Square Park, I accepted the offer and came to the internship orientation the next day.

Since then, I’ve pretty much been living out my dream. I’ve worked closely with the Make a Ballet program and the Young People’s Ballet Workshop, bringing dance to schools all over NYC. I’ve been backstage at the Koch Theater, wrangling kids for the Fall Gala. I now know every single person that works/dances for this company after making all of their IDs. Our concertmaster follows me on Twitter! Jose Sebastian follows me on Instagram! I’ve seen my favorite dancers perform world premiere pieces, and had to hold back tears while watching.
So, ultimately, I owe my gratitude not only to ABT for this incredible internship, but to Starz and Flesh and Bone. Because of this show that came into my life at the right time, I’m finding my way and really figuring out what I want to do and what I want to work in. Finally, everything is falling into place.

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Lauren Montana with ABT/NYU Program Director (and Star of Stage and Screen) Sascha Radetsky

 

Lauren Montana

Education Outreach Intern

Fall 2016

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