Erinn McKenzie ’23

Access Theater, New York, NY

This summer I worked remotely and in-person with supervisors Laura Lee ’17 and Jackie Christy at Access Theater. When remote, I would do a lot of tasks catered toward Jackie’s passion project film, Magic Hour. I learned so much from this, especially about the intricacies behind post-production work. I mainly worked as a creative eye behind promotional efforts for Access Theater and Magic Hour. Access Theater is celebrating their 30th anniversary this year, and I was in charge of a majority of the promotion, which included a new logo and an update on their current website. I had experience in visual and digital art and design, so I was asked for my input on what could make the theater stand out. I found myself enjoying looking for references and sketching out designs for their possible logo redesign.

I also really liked working on reviewing b-roll and film photos for Magic Hour’s future promotions. Even if the assignment took days, it taught me more about how consumers and audiences perceive a film based solely on promotional efforts. From making spreadsheets of the best pictures to sorting them out, I had to make executive decisions about what I thought the audience would like, which was stressful at first but also informative.

One thing I gained from the internship is a sense of independence, especially when I was in-person. This internship also made me take the initiative to improve myself in many ways. I made sure that I was not late to work, made sure that I was on top of assignments, asked questions and budgeted lunch and outside purchases. Even outside of work, I had to take it upon myself to value breaks and creative projects that bring me joy. The internship also helped me with scheduling and time management.

One thing I learned from my supervisors is to push myself when it comes to my creative aspects. I came into this internship thinking that I only wanted to do journalism and communications. Now I find myself more focused on other hobbies like creative writing, music, storytelling and visual art. During our designated hour of personal work, every week, I’d find myself working on playing guitar or improving my sketching. What also helped was how supportive my supervisors were. On my last day, Jackie took me and my other in-person colleague, Nate Kim ’25, out to lunch and shared advice about being able to be free when working on what you love. The hobbies that bring me joy could also be something to invest in.

I want to thank the ’68 Center for Career Exploration and my colleagues at Access Theater for being positive and supportive. Finally, I want to thank Laura Lee and Jacqueline Christy for creating a safe work environment and helping me understand what I need and what I can contribute to the world. I learned a number of lessons on what the future holds for me.