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Jennifer Kratzer

Communication and Acting

SH Entertainment - New York, New York

Why did you apply to intern at SH Entertainment?
I knew of this internship through a mentor in the Purdue Department of Theatre and a friend who had done it before. I knew that Stuart Howard (casting director of SH Entertainment) had a great reputation and had been working for quite some time, so it really seemed like the perfect opportunity to get acquainted with the professional side of theatre and to dip my toes into the NYC side of things!

Describe your typical day as an intern.
My typical day as an intern involves contacting agencies to set up auditions, callbacks, and work sessions, as well as getting information on clients that we are interested in seeing. I do research on finding unknown artists, schools in the area we could possibly set up a relationship with to gain more performers, and finding out the most I can about performers we could possibly be interested in. If we are running auditions, I will sit in and observe to see how the process of casting really works on the other side of the table. I get to see what certain producers, directors, and casting agents are looking for and what really works in an audition.

What is the most challenging aspect of your internship?
The most challenging aspect of this internship is how chaotic and unpredictable the industry is. Things can get very hectic and stressful, but then there will be a long stretch of time where everything is very calm and under control. You really can’t predict what is going to happen, so I really have to be on my game and ready for anything to happen!

What is the most exciting thing about your role?
The most exciting thing about my role is learning, firsthand, how casting really works. From a performing standpoint, auditioning is nerve-wracking and we never really understand the process that casting directors and teams go through to cast a show. We never really understand why we don’t get a role or why they didn’t think we fit for the role, and now I understand some of the thought processes involved and that it really shouldn’t be taken personally. I am excited to know this and to get out there and audition with no fear.

What has surprised you most about your internship?
I am most surprised by how friendly people are in this industry. Everyone always paints this miserable picture of New Yorkers and the acting industry being unfriendly and mean, which hasn’t been my experience at all. I’ve seen directors take the time to work with actors, singers, and dancers who are struggling in their auditions and help them feel more comfortable and work with them so they can have a better understanding of what the show and their roles are about. I have seen a significant amount of kindness and encouragement that I did not expect to see. It has truly been inspiring.

Describe the most meaningful experience you’ve had as an intern.
The most meaningful experience I’ve had so far in this internship is being able to bond with other people who are in my position. I have made friends with a lot of casting interns and struggling actors who have helped my agency with running auditions. We have this beautiful shared passion for the arts which can bring people together and instantly form a bond. We are all in this scary, unpredictable business together and it helps to have support and encouragement from people who are in the same position. I’ve gained a lot of support just in the short time I have been here.

How has your internship prepared you for your career?
This internship has prepared me in so many ways. I get to work with casting directors, so I understand their mentality and what it takes to stand out to them and how sometimes your height, weight, or hair color can determine whether you get a role. I believe in myself and my work so much more now that I have been able to realize that I just have to persevere and do my best, and let the chips fall where they may. I realize that it is a long road and there is a lot of hard work that is involved in getting where I want to go, but to see an actor really connect with a role or to really be proud in what they do is worth it. I have developed a love for both sides of theatre, both casting and performing. I think this is a beautiful, hard industry, but this internship has proved to me that this is exactly where I want to be.

What recommendations do you have for other interns?
I recommend that interns try their hardest, each and every day. Being an intern is hard work. There are a lot of menial tasks and long days involved, but it does not go unnoticed. I thing being an intern is a wonderful opportunity to get a test-run for a career, so make the most of it! Don’t be afraid to ask questions and get the most out of the experience.