Julianne Mason (pictured far right), a sophmore at Boston College double majoring in Theatre and Psychology and minoring in Dance, spent her summer learning the ropes at the Avalon Founation. She shares with us some of her experiences:
This summer, I spent a lot more time in the Avalon than I ever had before. As a theater lover growing up in Talbot County, it is no wonder that I went to many camps and saw many shows here. I found myself home this summer, and I decided that I needed a way to supplement my part-time job as a nanny, and what better way than to work really hard for free at the Avalon? Thus, I became an intern.
My first day was the Taj Mahal Trio concert in June. I had been introduced to most of the staff before that day, but had already forgotten most of their names, so I ended up using a lot of generic pronouns instead. Hopefully no one noticed. Regardless, I was whisked into the organized chaos of getting ready for a show. I had been to concerts here before, but this was my first time actually setting them up. As the intern that no one knew very well, I was given a bunch of tasks that were pretty hard to mess up – vacuuming, setting up chairs, putting away tables, etc. In return I witnessed some pretty cool things, like hearing the band do their sound check. Also, the drummer of the trio, a man introduced to me as Smitty, needed a cappuccino, and I was sent out to get it. I’m not a coffee drinker, so I went to Rise Up for the first time ever, ordered a size that seemed right, and put honey in-like he asked-hoping that I didn’t put too much or too little. Once I got back, he said thank you and insisted that I take a tip of $2…The only money I got on this job the whole summer.
Once that show was over, the Avalon went on a break from musical performances for the month of July, and I wondered what I would be doing for a whole month if there was nothing going on. To my surprise, it turns out that the Avalon Foundation runs many things in the community like outdoor concerts, the Farmers’ Market, the 4th of July Carnival, and most importantly, Plein Air Easton. As I went into work the following week, I was handed a 20-page program for Plein Air Easton. Suzy asked if I would please proofread it and bring it upstairs to her meeting. Being the good little nerd that I am, I excitedly accepted. I brought it upstairs, as asked, and went home for the day. That sealed my fate. I was then asked to proofread almost everything for the competition, and to learn the database so that I could check all of the entries there as well. Once the week of Plein Air Easton finally rolled around, I felt that I knew everything about it, and I felt I knew the artists too because I had printed out their headshots and bios many times.
Luckily, during the week of Plein Air Easton I didn’t have to nanny, so that meant that I got to be a part of almost everything, and I loved it. I for some reason had never attending any of the events of Plein Air Easton, and this summer I quickly memorized all the artists names, and was driving them all around an estate on the edges of Easton. Unfortunately most of them didn’t remember my name, but I was known as ‘golf cart girl’ and ‘water fairy’ as I drove around handing out water bottles. I also was lucky enough to attend the collector’s party at the end of the week, and got to help sell the awesome paintings that I had seen being made all week.
Overall, the internship was not really what I expected going into it, but it was a great experience. I did a lot of small menial things, and I also did some really big and really fun things. I am now an expert at printing large posters, I can use the database pretty well, and have somewhat figured out Excel spreadsheets. Also, I now know the entire staff, so the generic pronouns are at a minimum. They have gotten to know my sarcastic and strange sense of humor, and seem to still like me despite of it. I think it was great to be able to work closely with all of them to see how the Avalon is run, even if I only made $2 the whole time.