All the World’s a Stage

16 May

Five months ago, I started my internship at American Ballet Theatre. I had no idea what to expect. I walked into 890 Broadway, went up the historic and manually operated elevator, and Kristine (best mentor ever) showed me my desk in the main development office. Yesterday, May 15th, I had the chance to take a backstage tour of the Met Opera House so that I could learn how to give tours to our donors. These donors are the people who I have been contacting on the phone, meeting at studio visits and special events, and learning about slowly through entering their data into our database. Walking onto the stage at the Met was something I will never forget because it was a perfect culmination of the most rewarding semester and internship yet.

Most people know ABT as America’s National Ballet Company. However, most ballet companies have a home/stage of their own. ABT doesn’t, in fact; everywhere the company performs which includes the Met is considered a tour. Therefore, everyone at ABT must work incredibly hard to mount around 15 staged ballets to perform at the Met in only 8 weeks. That is incredible. This semester, I got to see how hard and diligent the people at ABT work, especially the employees in the relatively small development department.

One of my main tasks this semester was inputting ticket orders from our donors into a tracking sheet in our drive and also on Raiser’s Edge. Although this may have been tedious at times, it made me realize this seemingly small task does have an impact. The information that is in our database is our way of knowing which seats we assigned to the donors, what nights they are coming, and what location they are sitting in. Therefore, being able to work for a little period of time at the Met Season, I get to see the faces of the people I have been entering into our system.

I had a very hard time choosing what my favorite part of this semester was. Here is a list of my top three moments (other than touring the Met):

1) Attending and prepping for ABT at Hamilton where ABT dancers and AMEX representatives were able to see a Broadway show and then meet each other afterwards

2) Going with Alex and Chad to the site of our Junior Color Party which was stunningly gorgeous and made me feel like I was in Italy rather than NYC

3) Seeing numerous studio rehearsals where I was able to watch the joy on donor’s faces in seeing their favorite dancers rehearse and work on many different ballets.

Tomorrow, my college graduates at Lincoln Center and I am able to take graduation photos in front of the huge ABT  banner at the Met. I truly believe that ABT helped me to develop skills that I couldn’t have gotten anywhere else, and I can’t wait to come back to NYC and go to Lincoln Center remembering my time with ABT.

Meredith Beisel

Patron Services Intern

Spring 2019

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