A New Year!!

Hello all you readers!

Wow..can you believe it another year has gone by! Here we are in 2012. 2011 went by so fast, there were many good thing in 2011, but also some not so good. I know that I am looking forward to a whole new year! How about you? What are you looking forward to in 2012? Well to start off the new year I thought I would do something that is a little different from the other blogs I have done. There are certain individuals that work behind the scenes and on stage to help keep this theatre going. Those would be our wonderful interns! They work very hard and many people don’t know who they are. Well I am going introduce them to you one by one over the next few weeks. I will have an intern of the week for the next 8 weeks. Our first intern of the week is Meredith Gifford and I will let her tell you a little bit more about herself.

What is your name? What department are you interning in?

Meredith Gifford, acting/administrative intern

Are you from the area? If not, where?

Yes, I am from Rochester, MI. I went to school at Notre Dame Prep High School, just down the road from here.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. (You don’t have to write a novel)

I didn’t start singing or acting till I was 16 and played Ado Annie in Oklahoma at my high school. I went to Viterbo University in LaCrosse, WI and got my BFA in Music Theatre Performance. I have performed with Prairie Fire Children’s Theatre, Timber Lake Playhouse, Santa’s Village Theme Park, Michigan Star Clipper Dinner Train, and the Granbury Opera House. I have taught acting and dance at Gyeonggi English Village and at the New York Kid’s Club. I also have a teaching certification through Harvard University’s “Teaching for Understanding”. I just moved back to Michigan after 3 years at Gyeonggi English Village in South Korea. I worked as a Edutrainer creating and performing original musicals that taught Korean kids English. I was also the General Manager of the department for almost 2 years.

Where is your favorite place to eat in Michigan? What about it is your favorite?

Kruse and Muer at the Village shopping center. Their bread is to die for!!

What are some of your favorite things to do? When not being an intern.

I love to play with my shih tzu pup, Frankie. I take him on lots of walks. I love taking Zumba classes at the gym and going to different bars or restaurants with my friends.

When I lived abroad I traveled a lot. I have been to 8 counties in Southeast Asia!

How did you find out about this internship? What did you do to apply for the job?

I am good friends with Renee Turner, the acting intern last year. I came to see her in Dracula and talked to her about the internship. She was having such a great time that I decided to apply for it. Then I chickened out because I was busy with work and didn’t think it was a very good season for me. When I was visiting home in May, I happened to be home for the cattle call auditions. It was my 1st time auditioning for them. I am non-equity and had to wait around all day to get an audition slot. During those 6 hours I was talking to the interns and friends that had worked at MBT. When I walked into my audition, I asked Travis and Terry if they still had a slot open for an acting intern. They said yes, I sang and did my monologue, had an interview a few days later, and got a call 10 days later that I was hired!

What was the interview like?

Very relaxed. I was shocked. I had practiced for hours what I was going to say!! Sarah Warren took me to her office and she asked me what I had been doing since graduating from college. We talked about the internship (the good, the bad, and the cleaning). She was very honest. At the time, they were wanting 2 male acting interns because the season was very guy heavy. Guess they liked me enough to have 1 guy and 1 girl!

What has been your favorite part about this season so far?

Cleaning the bathrooms and hallways every 3 weeks is definitely my favorite. Hehehe

What has been the coolest thing you have done since you started your internship?

Being on an Equity stage for the 1st time in Something Wicked This Way Comes. It really hit me during our 1st preview performance. During the curtain call, I almost started tearing up. It was such an honor to be on this stage!

What are some things that you have learned so far? What else would you like to learn?

I have learned lots about lights. As an intern, we are all required to do the light hangs for each show. When I started directing a few years ago, I knew nothing about lights. It was very frustrating for me. I’m still pretty new but I know so much more now. I’d like to learn more about directing and creating a vision. I should probably start picking Travis Walter’s brain more while I am here.

What is your favorite part about being an intern?

I love working in a theatre community. Everyone is so supportive of one another. The interns and staff at MBT have become another family to me. Actually, I see them much more than my family that I live with!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What do you want to do when your internship is over?

I am an older intern. I graduated from college almost 6 years ago so my answers might be a little different. I am currently applying to grad schools for a masters in theatre education. My top choice is Emerson College in Boston. In 5 years, I would be done with my masters and be a liscensced teacher. I would like to have a full time teaching job at a high school with a growing performing arts department. I would teach theatre, acting, dance, and maybe a theatre lit class. I would also be the head director/choreographer doing 2-4 shows a year. I would still be performing when I could, I would be married or close to it, and live in a metropolitan city. Of course, my dog Frankie would come with and he would have a little pug sister.

What can I say, I am a planner 🙂

So there you have it..thanks Meredith! I hope that you got to know her a little bit more and don’t forget to come see her in some of the shows this season. Stay tuned…

Casey S. Hibbert© – Guest Blogger


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