So Long, Farewell….

Well my friends, it was great fun while it lasted, but it is time for me to go.

I’ll admit I didn’t dedicate as much time as I should have writing blog posts. But the life of an MFA student with a full-time job and deadlines to crash into is not an easy path to take. I hope that what little I have written made you giggle, think, and maybe do a face of utter bafflement.

There are a lot of things that I’ll miss in Gotham. The people who work here are bright and funny and they believe in something-in writing good stories and the opportunity to do so-and that’s not something you find a lot. Especially now.

These past few months have been difficult. Puerto Rico, my home, is still without electricity, the world is sort of falling apart, and it’s below 20 degrees Fahrenheit (Layers make me sad. And stiff). But there were a lot of good times, and most of it was thanks to Gotham.

I guess that my final say in all of this is:

Gotham Writers,

You challenged me to be better. You made me laugh. You introduced me to wonderful people I’m happy to call my friends, and you made me face my fear of talking on the phone.

And you introduced me to Cosmo, your beautiful sassy fluffy dog.

Thanks to my fellow interns, Catherine, Katie, and Sara; to Dana and Alex for giving me the chance to intern in Gotham; to the staff, Steph, Mel, Charlie, Justin, and Kelly.

I’m a woman of few words (mostly because I’m flipping languages in my head like a trapeze artist caught on fire while juggling tennis balls.) but thank you. Gracias. Obrigada. All that jazz.

It’s time to face new challenges.

Gaby.

Kiss Gotham Goodbye…

You never know how attached you become to something until it comes to an end. Four months ago, I started working as an intern here at Gotham Writers Workshop, and over the weeks, the job became a part of my routine. Everything fell neatly into a pattern: listening to voicemails, responding to emails, answering phone calls, feeding Cosmo crackers, enjoying various snacks in the kitchen myself. Thus I spent the weeks, working studiously alongside my fellow interns Gaby, Katie and Catherine, not to mention the awesome Gothamites who work here every day.

The new year is almost upon us, and as I go forth into a new adventure as a member of the Disney College Program, I realize now how much I’ll miss this place. It has been so wonderful being a part of a business that literally runs on creativity, where people thrive on the stories they are able to pluck from the air and transform into beautiful compositions for the world to enjoy.

When I depart Gotham, I will take with me new friendships and fun experiences, but I will also bring with me my new appreciation for the customer service industry. I won’t lie, dealing with complaints and repeating our customer policies countless times is very challenging, but I’ve learned that when faced with a difficult situation, in the immortal words of Rafiki the mandrill from The Lion King, “…you can either run from it or learn from it.” I like to think I’ve chosen the latter in most cases.

It’s strange to think that I’ll now fall under the category of a “former” Gotham intern, since I’ve become so adjusted to having “current” as part of my title. Sadly, as much as we’d all like to stay exactly where we are for the sake of comfort and security, eventually we all have to move on and explore new avenues. This is not the end for me here at Gotham, however. I know I’ll be back to visit, hopefully to participate as a student again, and I’ll always carry all of the wonderful experiences I’ve had and lessons I’ve learned here as I go through life post-Gotham.

A huge thank-you to Dana, Steph, Melissa, Alex (and Sahara!), Charlie, Justin and Kelly, my awesome co-workers; big love to Gaby, Katie and Catherine, my fellow interns; and of course, thank you, Cosmo, for being the cutest office doggy ever! I hope to keep in touch with all of you, and I hope you’ll visit me in the Happiest Place on Earth!

This isn’t goodbye, just so long.

-Sara

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I’ll miss you, Gotham

11facbe8759d183fb0278e604ec925ce.gifWell, today was my last day at Gotham. And, as evidenced by all the past intern blogs, this means that I need to write a farewell post. So here it goes. 

When I started at Gotham, I was at one of the most confusing points of my life. With an empty year laying in front of me, I was nervous. Nervous about wasting my time away, nervous about growing bored and unmotivated, nervous about making the wrong decisions. But, sure enough, working at Gotham eased these nerves, and made the first four months of my gap year fly by. 

Along the way, I learned tons of things that weren’t in the job description, like how to be a better communicator, that I strangely enjoy working the mailing machine, and that being an adult with an office job can actually be fun. 

I’ll miss Alex talking with me about Girls and telling me that I look dumb but I’m not, Dana being the helpful and yogalicious mama bear that she is, Kelly embodying Joy from Inside Out every day, Street being hilarious and overly grateful for office food, Melissa being so kind and bringing the gift of Cosmo, and Steph being so supportive and introducing us to her Russian pop star relative. 

Saying I’ll miss the Gotham office is an understatement, and you better bet I’ll be coming back to visit soon! 

Katie

 

Gotta Love that Mouse!

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I think it’s safe to say that the majority of people in the world enjoy films by Walt Disney. This creative genius became legendary in 1937 after releasing Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, the first full-length animated feature film. Walt is also credited with the creation of one of the most beloved cartoon characters of all time: Mickey Mouse, who remains the symbol of the Disney company to this day. With so much cinematic success, not to mention several lucrative theme parks all over the world, it’s no wonder that “Disney” is such a well-loved household name.

And starting in January, I get to work for Disney!

Earlier this year, I applied for the Disney College Program (DCP). This incredible internship gives undergrads and recent graduates the opportunity to work and live at a Disney park, and learn how the company functions from the inside out (no pun intended!).

Working for Disney has always been a dream of mine, and in typical Disney fashion, it’s actually coming true! From January to May of next year, I will be a Disney Cast Member, interacting every day with families from all over the world and providing magical experiences for everyone who comes to Walt Disney World (Not Disneyland, there is a difference)!

I am one of those self-proclaimed “Disnerds” who knows almost everything there is to know about the parks and the movies. The history behind the parks is fascinating, and I love learning about the effort and passion that goes into making each film.

So many decades of dedication and hard work have gone into creating these films, from a company that has helped shape the landscape of entertainment in our country and in the world. I eagerly look forward to starting my own Disney journey next year, and getting my foot in the door of the Happiest Place on Earth!

I guess Cinderella was right. Dreams do come true!

-Sara

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The Gift of Dunham

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With Thanksgiving coming up this week, I figured I should talk about something that I’m grateful for. After reading Not That Kind of Girl, I realized one of the many things I’m grateful for is the existence of that book’s author, Lena Dunham. So let’s talk about her. 

Lena Dunham is far from everyone’s cup of tea. She can be abrasive and unapologetic and has a tendency to address taboos… but that’s exactly why I love her. 

Now, I’m a hardcore Girls fan, so I have an obvious bias toward loving Dunham. But I have to say, her book, Not That Kind of Girl, really brings my awe to the next level. Her writing is authentic in a not-trying-too-hard kind of way, she discusses any and every topic with a casual elegance, and she’s funny. Like, laugh-out-loud funny. She somehow turns seemingly mundane stories into entertaining and thought-provoking page-turners, and I adore her for it. 

While reading her book, you’ll often find yourself stumbling upon pieces of wisdom that you never even knew you needed before. Take this excerpt from the chapter “Girls & Jerks,” for example: “When someone shows you how little you mean to them and you keep coming back for more, before you know it you start to mean less to yourself. You are not made up of compartments! You are one whole person! What gets said to you gets said to all of you, ditto what gets done. Being treated like shit is not an amusing game or a transgressive intellectual experiment. It’s something you accept, condone, and learn to believe you deserve. This is so simple. But I tried so hard to make it complicated.” I mean, come on. This one short paragraph carries such an important message… one that I had never heard before, yet one that I- and every other young girl- would be the better for hearing. And like I said, her book is riddled with excerpts equally as insightful and powerful as this one. The same can be said for her show, Girls, though less directly.

I find it hard to even articulate the reasons why I’m so in love with Dunham’s work, so my best attempt is this: she’s a brilliant mind with the ability to create content that not only makes you laugh, but that opens dialogues on stickier topics. Her voice is uniquely sarcastic and vulnerable and self-aware, and it’d be doing yourself a favor to check out literally anything she’s written or created so far. 

Getting Tipsy with Shakespeare

Screen Shot 2017-11-07 at 11.33.48 AM“I would give all my fame for a pot of ale and safety.” Henry V, Act III, Scene 2.

William Shakespeare

Last week, I had a strange and exciting experience that involved five shots of tequila, Macbeth, and a dance-off. I will note that the experience was secondhand and all actions were done firsthand by an experienced actor.

I’m talking about Drunk Shakespeare. An Off-Broadway play that honors the legendary William Shakespeare with a few drinks, good laughs, and questionable decisions.

The play is held in a small lounge surrounded by books, the seats surround the small stage so the audience can enjoy the show at any seating (a rare treat!).  A throne fit for royalty stands at the end of the stage, where the guests are treated with champagne, foot massages, and a bell to challenge the inebriated actor.

How does the play work? The Drunk Shakespeare Society picks one member of their group and has them drink four shots of tequila (or whiskey, depending on the night), saving the fifth for a challenge during the play. They then begin the play, and raucous insanity ensues.

The play for the night? Macbeth.

In short? An amazing time. The actors blended the Shakespeare classic with contemporary themes, showing an ability to time comedic with dramatic and having fun. One of the best parts for me was seeing the actors laugh with the audience as one of their own recites in the voice of Elmo and another one tried to seriously recite his lines while dancing classic ballet. (Almost knocking his head against a lamp. He was very tall!)

At the end of the night, my face hurt from smiling so much and my throat was sore from laughing. If you need a stress reliever, you have to watch this show.

If you love Shakespeare, alcohol, and actors doing a Matthew McConaughey in an Ikea store waiting for his Swedish Meatballs order impression, you need to see this show.

3, 2, 1 Shakespeare.

The Room Where It Happened

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Broadway has been taken by storm by a musical from the already-legendary Lin-Manuel Miranda: Hamilton, the life story of Alexander Hamilton and the other Founding Fathers during and after the Revolutionary War. This has become the show lately, with ticket prices steadily skyrocketing and several notable celebrities including Barack Obama and Joe Biden joining the crowds flocking to the Richard Rogers Theater in New York City.

Hamilton takes the traditional Broadway musical and turns up the volume, using intricate hip-hop lyrics and stylistic dance moves to tell the story. Simple costumes and sets serve as the perfect backdrop to the passionate, high-energy performance. It also features colorblind casting, which gives actors of color the opportunity to play important historical figures, such George Washington and Maria Reynolds.

And you know what, folks? I GOT TO SEE IT!

I’ll be honest, at first I wasn’t into the idea when I first heard about Hamilton. Sure, it sounded clever—a hip-hop musical about Alexander Hamilton—but it didn’t sound like something I would like. I just didn’t get it.

Then I started listening to the music.

Within a few lines, I got it.

I became swept up in the Hamilton-Hype after that, listening to as much of the music as I dared (not wanting to hear the whole thing ahead of time just in case it spoiled the plot) and watching special behind-the-scenes footage from the show.

Despite my new love for Hamilton, I didn’t entertain the idea that I would ever actually get to see it. I was busy with school in Pennsylvania, and the high demand and soaring ticket prices made it seem like a pipe dream at best. For my 22nd birthday, however, my parents gave me the ultimate present: a ticket to see it in November!

I was going to see Hamilton!

The show was even more spectacular than I’d expected. Every member of the cast was so utterly devoted to their roles, you could feel the passion radiating from the stage. There were clever moments of humor coupled with intense moments of grief. I was bawling by the end of the show, and I tripped all over myself as I tried to rise at the end and give a standing ovation.

One thing that really strikes me about the show is how much the cast needs to remember. Nearly the entire show consists of rap, spoken in different rhythms and cadences. How in the world do they remember all of those lines, especially those cast members who play more than one role? It speaks to the amount of dedication that goes into creating a performance of this magnitude, and it underscores what makes Hamilton so popular.

I loved everything about this show, but one of my favorite things was how the relationship between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr was portrayed. The two characters are juxtaposed from the very beginning: Burr is a thoughtful, patient man who thinks carefully about his words and actions; Hamilton is young, brash and brave, acting on impulses and taking life by the horns. The comparisons between these two men are powerful, but there were also strong parallels drawn between them. They both wanted the best for their new country, they just had different ideas about how to make that possible. Probably my favorite duet in the show was “Dear Theodosia,” where both men were singing to their newborn children about how much they loved them and how they couldn’t wait to see them grow up in a thriving nation.

I am still in awe over the fact that I got to see Hamilton. I’d see it again every week of my life if I could! Some shows are more forgettable than others, but then there are some that break through barriers and show the world something so impressive, so larger-than-life, they’ll be around for years to come.

I get to finally say, with delight, that I was in the room where it happened.

-Sara