An Intern’s Insight: Lexie Hoag
Every Friday morning I wander into Orlando Shakespeare Theater, and I take a deep breath. “OMG! I’m breathing the same air as the many wonderful, talented actors, technicians, and administrators who contribute to the success of Orlando Shakes! That basically makes me, like, the coolest human being ever,” my brain screams. I freak out and my inner fan girl jumps about crying tears of complete joy. But, out of courtesy to the staff, I attempt to restrain myself. I (try to) act cool, calm, and collected, but really every day I’m amazed to have the opportunity to be a part of an organization I love so dearly.
Some days the work sounds a bit mundane. When my best friend asks what I did all day, and I say I stuffed hundreds of envelopes for the United Arts ‘Campaign for the Arts’ mailing campaign, he says he’s sorry or that it sounds boring. But then I have to explain to him that he doesn’t understand at all! Never before have I found addressing mail to be so truly exciting. No matter how small or boring a task may seem, I take great pride in it. Just because a project may not sound super fun, does not mean that it doesn’t need to get done. I’m happy to do anything that the Theater needs, so to me it doesn’t feel like a chore. It’s an absolute privilege.
That being said, I don’t want to sound like my job is at all monotonous. I get to take on a variety of duties, all of which have contributed to my knowledge of the inner workings of the administration offices of a professional theater. From sitting in on meetings, to pitching my own ideas, to writing this very article, I’m constantly broadening my understanding. If I can get enthused about mail, just imagine how thrilled I was when I got to interview Acting/Education Intern Sarah Caroline Billings for the first ever donor newsletter. My heart soared! I was even invited to sign the mural wall outside of the McLaughlin Rehearsal Studio, which bares the signatures of all those who have been a part of the Orlando Shakes company–including Sir Patrick Stewart!
Being exposed to both the onstage and behind the scenes efforts of a successful theater has really given me a sense of where I want to be in the future. As a young person, I never dreamed that the performing arts were something I’d come to be so wildly passionate about. I took theater as an elective in middle school, but that was mostly because I was uncoordinated and dreaded P.E. (Sweating like a pig in the Florida sun and forever picked last for kickball? I don’t think so.) It wasn’t until high school that I really got involved, and realized the world of theater was something I cared about pursuing. I took Drama I on the advice of an upperclassman who claimed the teacher was beyond amazing. (He is.) Next thing I knew, I’d found my niche in the universe. Theater has given me a sense of purpose and the ability to feel at ease in my own skin.
Of all the things that this internship has provided me, I’m most thankful for the assurance that if I seek out theater, it will always be a part of my life. Everyone wants their days to be filled with joy, excitement, and fulfillment. Through theater I believe I’ve found that for myself. No matter how many times I enter Orlando Shakes, I don’t think I will ever feel less delighted to just breathe.
Lexie Hoag is currently the Individual Giving and Special Events Intern at Orlando Shakespeare Theater, as well as a student at Valencia College. At the end of the semester she will complete her AA and then plans to pursue her bachelor’s degree in Public Relations. She can often be found rereading books, snuggling her puppy, and haunting local theaters.