Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Unforgettable [Intern Intro: Rachel]

By Rachel Wendte

“Be respectful of the space. Pay attention so that you don’t miss anything, and remember to enjoy it all. This is a once in a lifetime experience!”

These words could be spoken to any child about to see a performance. Sitting in their seat, anxious for a show to start, one can imagine a parent giving this talk as the lights dim. In this case, the small speech was given to me and about 25 others, barely above a whisper. We weren’t sitting in theater seats. We weren’t about to watch a performance. We were about to be part of one.

One of the most unforgettable experiences I’ve had in my life can be attributed to singing. I grew up in an area with a great children’s chorus and was fortunate enough to be a member for eight years.  During that time I was exposed not only to beautiful and diverse repertoire, but unique opportunities as well.  In 2001 we were asked to be the children’s chorus that sings during “The Waltz of the Snowflakes” in the Joffrey Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker. I sang in seven performances that year, all of them at the Auditorium Theatre.

For each performance we sat on little black benches in the orchestra pit with the other musicians.  We couldn’t see much, save the occasional glimpse of dancing feet, but there was plenty to watch down below. Violinists bowed their instruments in perfect tandem, punctuating notes with astonishing accuracy. Percussionists rumbled on their drums, the brass sounded majestic and clear, and flautists tinkered and trilled above it all. My favorite instrumentalist to watch was the harpist, whose fingers glided over the numerous strings. Near the close of the first act, with the snowflakes poised to take the stage, a small door in the pit flew open.  Off we went through a complex maze, with chaperones at every twist hurrying us along. Once backstage, behind the curtain, we began to sing. It was thrilling to think that at 11 years old, I had a real role. I was not only performing, but collaborating with others to create something spectacular!

Continuing to sing in different ensembles throughout high school, I felt that the natural choice for college was to be a performance major. I loved the program, and singing all day was a dream, but something was missing. The opportunity to experience a different side of the arts came from an unexpected source.  My voice teacher needed a Box Office Manager for our university musical that year, Into the Woods. Was I up for it? I decided to dive in, not knowing how I would accomplish the tasks I’d been given, but determined to do the job well. I successfully managed student volunteers, ticket reservations, and box office records for five shows. That same sense of fulfillment I’d felt as a child helping a performance succeed filled me now, and I made the switch to Arts Administration. Having one of the Arts Administration internships here is a joy. While searching for openings in organizations, I was struck by the care and interest that the Auditorium takes in its intern program, and was honored to be selected. Doing something a little different every day is fun and interesting. Learning new skills and assisting in our mission is informative and rewarding. Working here is, in a word, unforgettable.

1 comment:

Angel said...

What a beautiful story! Your words represent Auditorium Theater well. I'm sure you are doing great work for them.

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