Theatre & Film Internships
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- UPCOMING INTERNSHIP SEMINARS
- INTERNSHIP COURSE INFORMATION
- OBTAINING AN INTERNSHIP (sites, guides, tips)
Location: Center for Performing Arts Lab Theatre - PA 1039
Cost: No charge
Get Course Credit for Your Internship
The Department of Theatre & Film at The University of Toledo recognizes the educational value of the use of Theatre and Film/Video studies outside the traditional classroom, allowing for professional application of theory and practical skills. The Department therefore provides credit and guidance for registered majors who engage in internships related to theatre or film/video/television.
You are not required to obtain an internship to graduate. You may be interested to know, however, that many students who obtain and succeed in internships not only gain valuable real world experience, they also develop contacts and relationships that lead to employment after graduation.
The course number for film is FILM 4940, for Theatre it is THR 4940. Internships earn 3 credit hours, which requires a minimum of 120 hours of work over a semester with the company or organization offering the internship.
Before enrolling in the course you need to complete the required paperwork (see links on this web page), and obtain permission from the internship faculty adviser (the instructor assigned to the course for a particular semester). To find the instructor for the course each semester, simply perform a course search for FILM 4940 or THR 4940 from your myUT, or ask in the department’s main office.
- Be a declared major in the department
- Have junior or senior standing
- Have at least a 2.5 GPA
- Have the approval of the internship faculty adviser (course instructor)
An internship is a serious responsibility. Only those who are truly dedicated, hard working, and reliable should attempt an internship.
Always keep in mind that when you have an internship, you are representing the department and the university – and your classmates. Poor performance will adversely affect how students from the department and University are seen in the industry – and future internship and even employment opportunities could be lost to not only yourself, but to others as well.
Conversely, good performance can significantly aid the department, the University, and future students in finding internships and gainful employment.
Regardless of the size of company or its reputation, some internships pay, some do not. Some provide travel and/or room and board, some do not. You will simply have to look through them and decide what you can do.
Regardless of whether they are paid or unpaid, you could consider the cost of doing an internship as an investment in your education and future, much like paying for tuition and living expenses at college.
Students who want internships are required to search out and find their own internship opportunities. That said, every year students in this department obtain high profile internships and do very well. Have confidence in yourself!
There are many ways to find and apply for internships. The following describes a number of these that have worked for students.
(Please note: any web sites or organizations contained herein are provided for students to explore when searching for internships. They are listed for the convenience of students. The University of Toledo Department of Theatre and Film makes no guarantee regarding the reliability, accuracy, legitimacy or quality of any web sites or the companies or organizations found there.)
There are many sites on the internet that list multiple opportunities for internships (as well as employment). These can be found by either searching by keyword for internships (see “Internet Searches by Keyword” below), or you can try the links provided, which have been recommended by industry professionals and students who have obtained internships.
Some sites charge for you to apply to ads, some do not. You’ll just have to look. Mandy.com does not charge, and is one of the most recommended sites by film and television industry professionals.
www.playbill.com/jobs/find/category_listing/7.html (Playbill.com is an excellent resource for theatre related internships in New York)
www.mandy.com (click on the “jobs” tab, then choose a location you are interested in, “all skills,” and “paid + lo-no;” scroll through the listings – “internship” or “intern wanted” will appear in the postings).
www.entertainmentcareers.net (then click on the “internships” tab, but browse other tabs as well) this is very different from entertainment careers.com, which simply provides a bunch of other links, though they may also be useful).
www.creativemindsincannes.com (subscribe to their newsletter if you find a link, it often lists internship and job opportunities, otherwise look at the opportunities they themselves offer).
http://www.plsnbookshelf.com/classifieds/ (The Backstage Employment Network is an active employment community targeted for the Live Entertainment Industry. We are not just a static website where your ad just hangs around. Our staff personally handles and researches all of our job and resume postings to help you find the job/employee you are looking for.)
http://www.backstage.com/ (Backstage Jobs is designed to help the "behind-the-scenes" people in the live entertainment industry find work, and to help entertainment groups fill their job openings. Always free to use!)
A general internet search by keyword can be daunting and time consuming, but can be fruitful if you are patient and diligent. You will find sites about internships in general, internships in your field, internships offered by individual companies, and sites that list many internship opportunities.
Keywords to try:
- internship entertainment
- internship theatre
- internship stage
- internship backstage
- internship film
- internship video internship television
- internship motion picture
Narrowing searches – if you are interested in particular kinds of internship, add to any of the above theatre words like:
- set construction
For film/video, try additional words like
or any other you can think of that relates to your field and interests.
Individual Organizations - Theatre and Film
http://disneyauditions.com/ (For internships in all Disney areas, and to apply online, follow this link, keyword 'internship')
http://disney.go.com/disneycareers/internships/home.html (For internships with Disney theme parks and resorts - Disney World, Disneyland, and Disney Imagineering)
http://www.movingimage.us/about/employment (Museum of the Moving Image offers full-time, paid summer internships in Collections, Film, and Digital Media)
Individual Organizations - Theatre
- http://www.kazoocivic.com/internships/ (The Civic Theatre in Kalamzoo, MI employs five interns in three disciplines: Costume Design, Lighting/Sound/SFX Design and Scenic Design)
- http://www.setc.org (The Southeastern Theatre Conference is the largest and most active regional theatre organization in the country. SETC was founded in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in March, 1949 and incorporated under the laws of the State of Florida in 1962.)
- http://www.netconline.org/ (The New England Theatre Conference, Inc. is a non-profit Corporation, composed of individuals and organizations in the six-State region of New England, who are active or interested in the performing arts.)
- http://www.webster.edu/fine-arts/midwest-theatre-auditions/ (Midwest Theatre Auditions The auditions are combined (Equity and non-Equity). No specific unions sanction the Midwest Theatre Auditions. Over 600 acting auditionees and 100 design/tech/stage management interviewees come to MWTA over a three day period. 50 - 70 theatre representatives attend.)
- http://www.strawhat-auditions.com/index.php (StrawHat is an organization that supports the careers of non-equity actors and technical artists looking to start and continue their professional careers in the theatre. Its main activity is to produce the StrawHat Auditions, which are held in New York every spring. Over three days, over 750 actors and "techies" and staff from over forty theaters attend. Actors audition for available positions in the theaters' summer seasons while technical people post their resumes and portfolios online and arrange phone or onsite interviews.
- http://www.usitt.org/ (United States Institute of Theatre Technology provides an environment for professionals to connect, create, share, and communicate their craft. This is outlined in the Institute’s Mission and Vision and carried out through its Organizational Structure. USITT has 3800+ members throughout the United States, Canada, and 40 other countries. The USITT Office is located in Syracuse, New York.)
Major Studio and Network Sites
The major studios and networks, such as NBC, TW, Disney, and MTV, have their own sites for applying for internships. Even better, when you apply once by uploading your information, some of them send your application to all of their divisions, channels and affiliates.
One of the best ways to contact smaller companies, agencies and support companies is to purchase or subscribe to a directory or database. Some of the most comprehensive and respected of these are:
- LA 411
- Hollywood Creative Directory (and Blu-Book Production Directory)
- Search "Hollywood Blu-Book" for latest copies
- Entertainment Power Players
There are number of associations (such as guilds, unions, foundations, film festivals, and other agencies) that offer internships. For example, see:
- The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Foundation
- Creative Minds
- Actors Theatre of Louisville
- Search "Internships in Dramaturgy"
Use whatever source you can find, even a phone book, and find theaters, agents, studios, production companies, television stations, etcetera, and call or email them – just ask if they have internship opportunities, and if so, ask how you should apply. It’s that simple – hard work at times – but simple. This can work for any city you may be interested in working.
You certainly don’t have to have an uncle in the biz to get an internship, most of our students do not – but if you do know anyone who is in any way at all related to your field, ask them – do they know of anyone who might offer internships? Do they have any advice?
What do companies expect of an intern? What can you expect to be doing? How can you get the most out of your internship? Internships come in many forms. They can include actual production work, work in development offices or agencies, on a studio lot or stage, on location or strictly in an office.
The majority of internships put students in positions similar to production assistants or even personal assistants. Do not be surprised if you end up bringing people coffee. If you do well, you could move up quickly, and you will gain invaluable contacts and experience.
Some tips to keep in mind when in an internship. Be on time – always. Keep an eye on the person you work directly under – but don’t hover. Keep your distance, but try to anticipate their needs without smothering them. Know how to stay out of the way – but not too far. Be cautious about initiating idle conversation with people you don’t know – but when asked something, don’t be shy! Be attentive, and mostly, be interested and interesting.
Cover Letters and Resumes
Have a general cover letter and resume prepared for applying to internships – but always tweak them for each internship, prove that you have done some research into their company (like looking at their web sites), and cater the letter and resume to the particular company and the kind of position they are seeking.
Some internships applications require letters of recommendation (between one and three usually). Your instructors in the department are here to help. You may also want to collect some generic letters from a previous or current employer or two.
Help Your Friends!
If you find other sites, information, or have advice, let us know and we’ll update the internship web page.