Get to Know Us! MCT’s Ambitious, Theatre-Loving Intern

posted in: General | 0

Travis interned with Mixed Company Theatre from the end of February to mid-May. He’s thrilled with how much he was able to learn during his internship, and intends to continue to turn to MCT for advice as he develops independent projects.

We’re glad we got to know Travis, and loved his enthusiasm for his work. We hope you enjoy his story of inspiration and aspirations as much as we do.

1. Tell us about yourself.

I’m a 23 year old theatre student from York University. I was born in Toronto, but my parents are Jamaican. Singing is one of my favourite hobbies. I’m actually in a gospel group called United. Singing is a big part of me, and if I wasn’t in theatre, I’d probably be pursuing a career in music. My goal in life is to release at least two projects. Right now, I’ve started to write my own play.

2. How has your experience with MCT been so far?

I haven’t been at MCT for very long, but it’s been an enriching experience. The staff are eager to teach me what I want to learn, which I think is the coolest part. It’s not just a job where you’re told what to do. It’s really an educational experience.

3. What do you intend to gain from being an intern at MCT?

I’d like to get more experience working at a theatre company, and gain transferrable skills for my own company, which I’m planning to start soon. I also want to establish a really long working relationship with MCT.

4. What exactly drew you to MCT?

I learned about Forum Theatre and MCT over the summer. I wanted to figure out the kind of programs I’d like to implement with my own company, and a friend suggested that I check out MCT. I looked at their website and saw that they were offering internship opportunities. I was interested, so I reached out to Kristin, the Artistic Projects Manager, and now here I am.

5. Can you tell us more about the company you’re starting?

Right now the company is called Get It Together. It’s a working title, but the idea behind it is that as an at-risk youth, you’re always being told to “get it together,” but nobody has ever told you how to do that. So what I want to do is give youth the opportunity to do just that – learn how to develop the life skills that allow them to “get it together.” The life skills that will enable them to make a change in their own communities. This is something that I’ve wanted to do since high school, but I didn’t have the resources or knowledge to start at that point. I only started planning the launch of my company in May of 2015.

6. What inspired you?

I was inspired by my experiences in theatre and experiences in high school. During high school we had the opportunity to participate in the Sears Ontario Drama Festival. Our student troupe was able to share our story with audiences during the competition, and made it all the way to the regional round. It was great! It changed our perspective, the way we saw ourselves. I want to help others have that experience.

7. Finally, what do you like about theatre?

I love being able to go on stage and be a totally different person. You can grab people’s attention and convey a message without directly speaking to them – creatively addressing an issue. There’s also the feeling of camaraderie. Working in theatre is like being on a sports team, except without all of the competition. All sorts of people come together to create one collective piece. I think it’s also important to create art with meaning. Creating art for art’s sake is fine, but I think it’s great if your work of art can mean something to someone. I want to make a difference.

Get to Know Us! MCT’s New Design/Arts Admin Intern

posted in: Interviews | 0

Shellana has been interning with Mixed Company Theatre since February – you might recognize some of her work, such as the layout of the program from this year’s school touring show Half Full, or the poster for our most recent InterGEN workshop.

Many more of Shellana’s designs are going to be made public in the next few months, and she’s been helping a ton behind the scenes as well. We love her sense of artistry, and we wanted to get to know a little bit about the person behind the multifaceted creativity.

1. Tell us about yourself.

I was born in the Philippines, and lived there until I was about five years of age. My family and I then migrated to New Jersey, where we lived for about five more years. After that we moved to Toronto, and have been here ever since. Now, at twenty years of age, I am in my third year at Ryerson University, studying the creative industry. I have always been interested in drawing, and intend to go back to school to study graphic arts. In my spare time I like to stretch my talents towards amateur voice acting. I love to volunteer at arts and culture events in Toronto. One example is my experience volunteering at Inside Out, the LGBT community film festival.

2. Can you recall any memorable experiences within the arts?

I remember when I still lived in New Jersey, in the third grade, there was a National Poster Contest for school aged kids. Basically the contest holders were asking students to draw their own safety poster. I placed first in the country, and a photo of me holding the first place plaque was published in the paper. I also won a cash prize of $75! You can’t buy too much with $75 now, but back when i was in third grade I guess it was a big deal.

3. What exactly drew you to MCT?

I was in search of some arts administration experience, because that’s where I intend to focus my career. I subscribed to the Art Council’s volunteer board, and came across MCT’s ad saying they were looking for volunteers to handle arts administration, among other duties. I responded, and after a meeting with Kristin, the Artistic Projects Manager, I was named MCT’s newest intern.

4. What do you intend to gain from being an intern at MCT?

Mainly experience. As someone who intends to have a thriving career in arts administration, the experience with MCT could be really beneficial to my future. Currently, I am working closely with Ayla, MCT’s Outreach Coordinator. The different aspects of outreach are also something I’m interested in.

5. How has your experience with MCT been so far?

Pretty cool, the atmosphere is pretty chill. I love the fact that I get to return to doing what I love, which is drawing. At other places where I’ve volunteered we would literally sit at our respective spaces for there hours without talking. It isn’t like that at MCT.

6. Where do you see yourself in the next 2-3 years?

Graduated from university, I want to get out of that place! I would like to be working and, as I’ve mentioned before, I would like to go back to school to study animation or graphic arts. My mom tells me to try selling my art, but the selling is the hardest part of the artistic process.


Thanks for sharing, Shellana!

Mixed Company Theatre

Reflections by Carli Fink

Mixed Company TheatreSince wrapping up rehearsals for Life Gets in the Way, Mixed Company Theatre has kept me busy. Every day I’m here entails something different. I contribute wherever I can, involving myself in a little bit of everything over my few weeks. I’ve been part of discussions regarding the upcoming season, project plans, and marketing strategy; I’ve gained some insight into everything I set out to in my initial goals, including understanding the steps of project management from ideation to execution.

It has been especially interesting for me to witness the workings of a small administrative team, and how so few people are able to juggle so many responsibilities. Developing new material, determining logistics, contacting artists and audiences, and distributing information are part of every person’s daily work.

My three weeks here have been full of laughter and learning, a glance into the world of MCT and arts administration at large. I have enjoyed spending time in the rehearsal and office spaces, and soaking up the processes of these people and this organization. Until next time, thank you!

Carli Fink is a volunteer at Mixed Company Theatre and is currently completing her undergraduate degree in Psychology at Queen’s University.