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Nancy Waldoch: Internship to Career

waldochAs a transfer student to Augsburg, I can honestly attest that another college would not have prepared me as well for this potentially rocky transition that I now find myself in – the transition from student to working adult.

In my three years at Augsburg I acted, directed, stage-managed, built sets and props, installed lights, ran soundboard, helped out in the costume shop, and more. Through Augsburg’s Artists Series, I got to hear the stories of Twin Cities theatre professionals from a variety of specialties, which helped expand my theatrical focus. I came to love and appreciate every aspect of theatre.

In the spring on my senior year at Augsburg I held a technical internship with Theatre de la Jeune Lune in downtown Minneapolis. I worked on the set construction and installation of their opera Mefistofele. I also worked as run crew during the performances.

Going into the internship, I did not know what to expect. I had worked in the Augsburg scene shop for two years, so I had a fairly good skills foundation, and yet I was apprehensive about working with a company on a professional level.

On my first day I was thrown right in and given independent projects to work on. The care and attention to detail that was expected was amazing, and I questioned whether I was ready for this. Quickly I realized how thankful I was for my work in such a small, intimate space like Augsburg, where the details are taken seriously and where I learned that the magic of theatre wasn’t all magic – it was hard work.

Every day was a challenge, but every day I was able to complete my tasks. I made my fair share of mistakes, but I wasn’t afraid to ask questions and take my time with my projects to make them as precise as possible.

It was an amazing learning experience, getting a taste of what it was like to work in a professional scene shop and having the opportunity to work with and get to know some of the Twin Cities’ best actors, technicians, and theatre artists.

My dedication and drive to do the best job that I could paid off. In May, after I graduated from Augsburg, Jeune Lune asked me to stay on with them as an employee.

I am a carpenter on this season’s fall run of the two Moliere plays, The Miser and Tartuffe, and I will also be working on their spring Mozart opera series. Thanks to my internship, which Augsburg helped me to secure, I am constantly making new connections and discovering new avenues of work within the field that I love.

Of course I want to act – doesn’t everyone want to be an actor? But Augsburg helped me to learn and experience nearly every aspect of theatre.

This fall I am also working with the theatre company Ten Thousand Things as an assistant director and in an administrative position researching grant fundraising. There seems to be no end to the kind of jobs that one can find in theatre. My Augsburg preparation, however, made all the difference in getting me to where I am today.

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