A Day In the Life of a Broadway Intern

Special Features   A Day In the Life of a Broadway Intern Theatre isn’t just about performing. There are tons of jobs that make theatre happen from offstage. These interns explored the business side of the business and share their summer experiences.
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Ever wonder what it’s like interning for Broadway’s leading players? Is it simply coffee runs and merciless tyrants à la Miranda Priestly? Is it star-studded opening nights and drinks with producers? Hear it from the interns themselves.

Zharia O’Neal
Intern for the O&M division at DKC/O&M, a public relations firm.

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Zharia O'Neal

O’Neal is a rising sophomore at USC in Southern California, majoring in Public Relations and Narrative Studies, with a minor in Dramatic Arts.

What’s a typical day for you?
O’Neal: At DKC/O&M there is no typical day. I work with six or seven press reps, that means I could be doing things for multiple shows. Every single day includes collecting “clips,” which is when I get a bunch of newspapers and look through them for mentions of any of our shows that are running. We opened Cats this summer, so I sent out invitations to celebrities and their publicists, and I also help out with opening nights. At the end of the workday. I’ll go over to the venue and set up a step-and-repeat for celebrities to pose in front of, and I help out with arrivals. At the Small Mouth Sounds opening night I got to stand with a “face tip sheet” and spot celebrities, and then run over to them and ask to take their picture. It was kind of like playing Pokemon Go; it was a rush!

What’s you dream job after graduation?
O’Neal: I would love to do marketing and PR for entertainment, specifically theatre because it’s all about community. I don't think it would feel like work—coming in every day and promoting a musical or play. Working at DKC/O&M, I especially see that.

Kira Jones
Theatre Operations Intern at Jujamcyn Theaters.

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Kira Jones

Jones is a rising junior at Pace University, studying Arts and Entertainment Management.

What is a typical day like for you?
Jones: Theatre operations is really unique in that you get to work in the office, but you also get to work for the shows. Today for example, I got in the office at 12:00, but by 12:30 I was at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre to do something we call a “walk-in,” which is when I will go to one of our theatres and act as an assistant house manager. That’s been my favorite part because you get the practical customer service experience, and you get to meet all the patrons who come through the theatre—they could be celebrating an anniversary or even coming to their first Broadway show. At the office, one of the main things I do is coordinate lost and found.

What is the Jujamcyn office like?
Jones: We are right above the St. James Theatre where Something Rotten! currently plays. When you walk into our office, you have to walk through a hallway, which is next to the stage. During the matinees, you’ll see actors in their Renaissance clothing crossing through, or changing or sitting in the hallway waiting to go on stage. I remember Brian d’Arcy James would share candy with us. Depending on where you are in the office, you can hear the music from the show.

Spencer Gualdoni
Intern at Telsey & Company casting agency

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Spencer Gualdoni

Gualdoni is a rising senior at Oklahoma City University, majoring in Musical Theatre.

What do you do every day as an intern?
Gualdoni: Every day is different. One day I could be helping out with musicals, the next commercials, plays or films. I got to see the whole casting process from the very beginning to the end for The Producers at Paper Mill Playhouse. I went to the dance call, which was the first day of auditions. I collected headshots and resumes and made sure the creative team had their schedules, then I got to come back and sit in on the singing auditions. On the last day, we put all the headshots on the floor and the creative team cast the show right in front of us [the interns]. As a performer, I learned that you shouldn’t sweat the small things and just be the best “you” you can be. You always hear that the casting directors want you to be “the one”—they mean it. They want you to come in and be the person they’re looking for because then their job is done.

Tell me about one of your favorite moments at Telsey & Company.
Gualdoni: We’re currently casting Hairspray Live! on NBC, and I was there the day that they told Maddie Baillio she would be playing Tracy Turnblad. They brought her into the office, and we all stood up and gave her a round of applause. It was so rewarding because we just made her dreams come true. You feel like you’re a small part of that—making actors dreams come true. I really feel like I’m a part of this industry now and a part of the Broadway community.

Olivia Simas
Account Services Intern at SpotCo, an arts and live entertainment advertising and marketing agency.

Broadway Interns_Summer 2016

Simas is a rising senior, working towards a BFA in Theatre Management at DePaul University in Chicago.

What exactly is Account Services and what is your role in the department?
Simas: I was telling one of my professors about this internship and said the word “accounts” and they expected that I would be in the accounting department, but the accounts department is the liaison between the client and the agency—I’m not crunching numbers. I am the department’s only intern, supporting a team of over 30 [people] and I have two main responsibilities: creating and submitting ABC listings (which are small theatrical listings) in The New York Times and handling the trade tickets. Yesterday, I picked up trade tickets for one of our shows and I was carrying a huge opaque bag filled with tickets through Times Square. It was like a CIA mission.

And, what’s one of your favorite memories at SpotCo?
Simas: Last week I was “a body” in a commercial demo. The creative team was figuring out camera angles for an upcoming commercial, so I was the guinea pig that got to walk through what the commercial is going to be. And the office is incredible! There’s a nap room, a snack room, a pool table, and cold brew, matcha and kombucha on tap on Fridays. I feel like I’m in one of those movies where Anne Hathaway works in a cool office. Interning rocks and I would definitely recommend doing one or two internships to get your feet wet. Everyone, get an internship!

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