It's All Over

Today was the final day of my internship. It felt pretty poignant: I really love the people I work with and have had so much fun working in the theatre, but I think I'm ready for a new adventure now. I'm getting itchy feet.

These 4 months have been pretty life-shaping. I have gained a huge respect for the work that goes on behind the scenes of an arts institution, I have acquired a greater understanding of the pros and cons of the German theatre system (the concept of an secure ensemble, state funding that allows the theatre to take huge risks, however not all these risks are particularly audience friendly and hardly ANY young people go to the theatre). I have also met some very special friends and have become acquainted with the work of Falk Richter (my new theatrical hero) I have been inspired to write, had the chance to work with some awesome young people and have had the chance to observe and reflect on the rehearsal process. However, the thing that has struck most of all is that simply working in a theatre environment is not enough for me, it doesn't satisfy the longings in my heart. I need to perform, I need to act, I need to create.

It's made me realise that I need to be brave, that I need to pursue this dream of mine to the end of its course, wherever that may be. It's made me insatiably hungry to learn, I want to study the craft and explore the theories until I can become the best actress I can be. I want to practice empathy and understand people better so that what I produce on stage is real and honest and true. The prospect of auditioning for drama school next year is become a bit of a 'no brainer' for me now and I refuse to be timid about it and try to justify it to people who don't believe in me. I'm going to work really hard and I'm going to try and try and try until my heart tells me to stop.

Like all good things, this internship has come to an end and like all life-shaping things its going to take a while before the impact of this experience will truly start to sink in. One thing I can say with absolute certainty is that I am so glad that I took a leap of faith and tried to find work in the theatre for my year abroad. Linguistically it's been an absolute treat, I have met lots German people and watched German plays and written German emails. However, the year abroad was always going to be more than just language learning for me, it was also about meeting life-long friends, knowing myself better and gaining a greater awareness of other cultures. The theatre is also a centre of culture and it was actually a German theatre workshop at the Oxford University open day that inspired me to study German in the first place. So it felt like a nice, round, completed circle. 

Another thing that I'm pleased about is that, despite my internship being over, I still have one more month left in Germany. I think I'm finally learning to slow things down a bit and not just leap frog exhaustedly from one huge life-change to the next. I intend to travel, to write my essay and to spend time with my new-found friends before jetting off to Italy at the the start of February. I'm hoping that not working full time will really give me the space to focus on my German and make the most of the cultural hot-pot that permeates this country. I've already planned a week long trip to Berlin and intend to spend the rest of my time in cafes reading or at the cinema with friends.

This afternoon my boss and I pushed aside the paperwork, donned red elf hats, decorated one of the plants so it looked like a Christmas tree, drank the Canteen's sparkling wine in white china mugs and played darts to various German tunes. I don't think I've ever had a more bizzarre, hilarious, fun and challenging four months. My boss was an absolute legend, the rest of the staff were so welcoming and kind and the rest of the interns are now some of my closest friends. I'm hoping to reflect more on the whole experience when I'm at home in England, because right now I'm just about ready to drop. This was a bit of a ramble, but I couldn't let this day just pass me by without taking time to reflect on its significance. 

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