Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Apprentice Alumni Spotlight: Marcus Berdeguez

The New 42 Apprentice Program creates paid employment opportunities for a diverse group of high school, college and graduate students across the city. Apprentices are assigned to a department depending on their personal fields of interest and work alongside theater staff and technicians throughout their tenure. They gain first-hand experience in performing arts administration and meet weekly with members of the New Victory Education Department to review the program’s curriculum.

By Laurel Squadron, Fall 2014 Operations Apprentice

Today, we're catching up with Marcus Berdeguez, a former apprentice with the New Vic Operations Department! Marcus was an apprentice in the summer of 2012, and joined the New Victory Operations department as a full-time staff member in the summer of 2013. See what Marcus has to say about his experiences at the New Vic!

How did you transition from being an apprentice to working here as a full-time staff member?
When I was apprentice, I loved it here; I kind of fell in love with the New Vic. Actually, my first ever theater experience was with the New Vic when I was younger -- my school was part of the Education Partnership Program, so we saw a few of the Ed shows. I remember one show with a clown… anyway I liked all the shows we saw.

Later on, when I was in college, I found and joined the Apprentice Program as the Operations Apprentice, I did a lot of administrative tasks. I also got to shadow and learn more about the company. And while I was here I let my mentor know that I wanted to work here – I basically said, "I want to have your job." Not that I wanted to take their job… but I told them that I would be interested in working in a similar position.

After my apprenticeship here I had a social media internship for a theater. I really didn’t like it. I was ushering at The Public when my former mentor’s position opened up, so I applied and interviewed for it, and I got the position!

How is working here full-time different from working as an apprentice, and what did you learn as an apprentice that you still use now?
I have a lot more responsibilities as a full-time worker than I did as an apprentice. However, having been an apprentice gives me insight into how to be a good mentor and how to make sure that my apprentice is getting the most out of the experience.

What is your favorite part of your job?
I like how every department helps each other out. In this department, I see a lot of people and get to build relationships with a lot of different people. It’s nice to be able to be reliant on others and know that you have that safety net of supportive colleagues. This department works like a machine, it has a lot of moving parts, and it’s really interesting working in that kind of environment.

As you know, I am interviewing you for the Alumni Project. When you were an apprentice, what was your group project, and what did your group do?
In ye olden times there was no Alumni Project. The group project used to be to make a lower lobby display-- those were called "FYIs." Operations was responsible for them and it usually involved building something. During my semester as an apprentice, the show we were assigned to work on was Urban by Circle Colombia, so we built a small Colombian village out of cardboard in the lower lobby. We all had to come up with buildings. I was really happy I had taken a set design course. Another apprentice and I even went to Home Depot and bought stucco to make the buildings. We painted the village, decorated it outside, wrote graffiti on the walls of the buildings we created and stuff like that. It was awesome.

Who’s your favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle? (Question suggested by the interviewee.)
Michaelangelo.

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