By Brittany Berke
“Door: Gold lettering on a black plate reads ‘Gotham Writers Workshop’
Do I have coffee breath?
Is my hair okay?
I know they said ‘casual’ but am I too casual??
There’s a glass door- Plexiglas?- and there are adults inside that I badly want to impress which is why I’m writing in this tiny journal I just bought at Penn instead of texting Jake cute emojis to try to make him smile in class.
Should I have warmed up?
The doorman was sweet. We shook hands. I told him I was headed up to Gotham. He told me “They’re some wonderful people”.
Should I put the journal away- is it weird that I have a backpack?
Okay a guy just walked out and I nervously went “helloooo” and he was like hi. Is he interviewing me? Is that Alex?
Do I have coffee breath?
Maybe coffee breath is okay? Coffee is a nice-to-smell thing.
AH the guy walked back into the room and went “Let’s do this thing”. Oh gawd.
Put the journal away.”
This is word-for-word my journal entry from when I was waiting for my Gotham interview on April 7th, 2015. Rereading it I can freely admit that I seem neurotic at best. It’s all true (and all embarrassing)- I really did buy a tiny overpriced Moleskine journal in Penn Station hoping the Gotham staff would be impressed that I was writing instead of texting. I thought they’d say “Oh look, this girl is writing! We like writing! Let’s pick her.” And I really did regret not warming up. I’ve spent years of my life auditioning and performing; I thought maybe I should have done some lip trills? Arpeggios? At least a few ‘cleansing breaths’?
Sure enough, the “guy” was Alex and I was called in for my interview shortly after putting away the journal. We sat in the conference room while Dana sipped tea and told me it was less of an interview and more of a discussion. We chatted about college, about theatre, about what we loved to read and write and hated to read and write. I couldn’t stop smiling and interjecting “cool” and “wow” into conversation. I left feeling like there was just no way any potential employers could be so wonderful.
When I received Dana’s e-mail welcoming me to the position a few days later, I was so excited that I forgot to answer her. She followed up- thankfully- making sure I was still interested which of course I wholeheartedly was and continue to be. And now I’m here. I’m sitting in a beautiful office in the middle of Manhattan. From the staff to the other interns to Henry the doorman I have the pleasure of interacting with only the best of people. I spend my days reading and writing and basically floating with joy.
As a Gotham Intern for the past two weeks I have also become a brain stormer, blog poster, phone answerer, spellchecker, format fixer, and absolute lover of all things at 555 8th Avenue. I often find myself checking the Gotham website just to look at all of the amazing classes we offer again. I want to write it all, learn everything, and soak in the magic that circulates in this office.
I’m grateful that Dana and Alex took a chance on a nervous and fervently journaling freshman who was so busy squealing with joy at an e-mail that she forgot to answer it. I’d like to think they chose me less because of my pre-interview activity and more because they saw something in me that they wanted hanging around the office all summer. That’s a great feeling. But if the journal won them over, I guess I’m okay with that, too. The gold lettering on Gotham’s door was the first thing I noted on April 7th, and now it’s the first thing I see when I get here in the morning to start each perfect day.