Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Back in the U.S.A!


That's right folks, I'm home! 


Well, I've actually been home for about 3 weeks. I dove head first into wrapping up academic stuff for London, prepping for the fall semester, and applying for internships here pretty much immediately upon landing.

I know the blog has been radio silent for awhile. I realized about half-way through the summer that I needed to jump in and fully experience London and the Bush first, then take some time to think about the experience as a whole before I could write about it effectively.

Also, as fun, exciting, amazing, and incredible as it is, living in a country that is not your own, away from family and friends is exhausting. Getting homesick is one thing, I knew it would happen and it did. What I didn't anticipate was just how intensely draining it can be to complete simple tasks, even in a country as culturally similar to the US as the UK. I didn't realize how much more mental effort it takes to buy peanut butter and crackers when you're not sure what aisle the peanut butter is in, what anything should cost, and are both cookies and crackers really called biscuits? Thanks for that, England.

It's not the experience of buying said peanut butter and crackers on its own that's so exhausting, it's being barraged with moments like these every day that can cause pretty severe ego depletion. There's actually a name for it, and you don't need to leave home to feel it. It's called Decision-Making Fatigue, and The New York Times wrote an interesting piece on it awhile ago. Let's just say it was a good thing I wasn't sitting on any parole boards while I was abroad.

But now that I've had some post-London R&R, it is indeed past time to start writing again. Some of you might be looking for some more insight into my internship experience at the Bush, and to you I say never fear, I shall not disappoint.

Looking ahead, I'm really excited for the fall. I'm nerdily excited about all of my classes, and  my work experience for this semester will hopefully inspire thoughtful and interesting posts. Here's the low-down on what I'm up to:

Classes

Marketing the Arts - Professor Wende Persons not only has an impressive marketing background, but she's also a fun and engaging teacher. She's structured the class around real-world projects and papers that I'm actually looking forward to working on, and that will add to my marketable marketing skills. 

Artist Management - This class is a part of the Music Business program at NYU Steinhardt and I'm taking it as an elective. Since I volunteered to serve as the business manager for my acapella group, I thought it might be wise to learn exactly what that means. Since right now other than herding cats to rehearsals and performances, I really don't know. I think that I'll get what I'm looking for out of this course, especially since the final project involves helping an actual artist or artist manager with something they're trying to do - either work through a particular problem or meet a goal. 

Digital Marketing - I haven't actually gone to this one yet, since the business school doesn't start up until the end of the month. Also an elective, I wanted to take it because it's about how to increase shareholder value through digital media so it will focus heavily on new technologies and how to make the most of them. Definitely up my alley. ;-)

Work

Despite having fewer classes this semester, I'll still be keeping myself busy helping out two pretty awesome arts organizations. 

I started at PAGE 73 this week as the Development Fellow. It's a small organization whose mission is to nurture and develop the work of new and emerging playwrights. If you're noticing a common theme with NYTW and the Bush, it's not a coincidence. New plays are the future of the theatre, I want to help them thrive. 

P73 is transitioning from an outside team of development consultants, and as the Fellow I'm taking on primary responsibility for managing grant applications, donations, and fundraising events. The first grant application is due Friday, so I'm definitely jumping right into the thick of things.

I've also volunteered to help a classmate with marketing for his company, MADArt Creative. MADArt is a multi-disciplinary performing arts company that focuses on engaging under-served communities in the arts. Like TimeWave, a number of MADArts upcoming productions will integrate technology into performance in new and innovative ways and I'm excited to help get other people excited about their work!

Next Up...

A post on the Bush will be coming your way soon. In the meantime, leave a comment and let me know if there's anything you're dying to know about my experience in London! 

Are you considering interning abroad yourself and you want the no-holds-barred inside scoop? Do you want to hear amusing tales of cultural difference and the resulting social foibles? Or would you rather see some more photos with punny captions? I'll do my best to accommodate audience requests and inquiries. ;-)




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