Where: Cape Town Opera Company, Cape Town, South Africa
Position: Production Department Intern; then Props Coordinator
When: January – April 2013
I was very pleasantly surprised when I got the offer to go halfway across the world for 4 months of intensive, hands-on work. For the first week, I was pretty much a paper pusher, organizing and packing old files and such, since they didn’t really know exactly where they wanted to put me, but that changed very quickly. The Production Manager, my supervisor, started assigning me small daily projects to complete, like ordering lengths of fabric and keeping track of daily expenses for the office. Once I proved competent, she assigned me progressively larger tasks until I was managing the props for their production of Otello.
That role took over my life. I never knew that there were so many separate steps to procuring props. Sourcing, more sourcing and re-sourcing, buying and, in some cases, building, arranging transport, and keeping inventory (because, unfortunately, some things did like to sprout legs and skip merrily to freedom in the middle of the night). I spent a lot of time on the company’s construction plot, exploring their 3-story, 200-foot long warehouses stuffed full of interesting curios and set pieces that had been used in various shows throughout the years. My favorite parts were the drives through the Western Cape when we went to visit our various suppliers. I’ve never seen a more beautiful landscape in my life.
I’m very satisfied with the experience. Even though it was very stressful and trying, I did not sink! I learned to cope and to keep my mind on the work at hand in order to get things done. And I do hope they’ll remember me there at the Cape Town Opera Company; because if they ever need a full-time or seasonal Prop Master, I surely wouldn’t turn down another offer!
Where: The Walt Disney Company Spain & Portugal
Position: Intern, Disney Character Voices / Voiceover Department
When: May 2013 – Mid-July 2013
When I got accepted at Disney to do a summer co-op in the Voiceover department, I was very proud and excited, but I didn’t know it would end up changing my vision for the future.
When I first started, it was as though I had just joined a tightly knit family that immediately integrated and trusted me. I was mainly assigned to create a glossary for every single “Disney Classic”, from Snow White to Wreck-it Ralph. This consisted in creating a file for each movie, in which I would insert the Original version and the Spanish voiceover version of all the character names, names of places, and any word or phrase that was important or relevant to the story line. However, that was just the tip of the iceberg. I also got to do voiceover control on some TV show episodes, as well as witnessing the process of recording and putting together the sound mix for the movie Planes.
My entire life, I always said I could never work in a company where I was required to be in an office. I like doing something that is ever-changing, which is also the reason I first got into acting. This co-op helped me see that there are jobs out there that, despite being “office jobs,” offer infinite variety within the work. The structure is always similar, but the content and thought process of voiceover is unique to each movie, episode, or scene. Doing this co-op not only opened my eyes to different paths I can follow for my future, but also allowed me to make the connections that can help me open the doors to those paths.