Note: This post was written by Paige, our awesome summer intern. We loved having her here and wish her the best back in school this fall!
As a graphic design student from Sackville, my summer job options weren’t looking very promising. I could work in a kitchen, or maybe in retail, or possibly at a department store. When I came across the application to work at a children’s puppetry theatre company, I starting telling everyone I could about Mermaid and I haven’t stopped since. Now, let me tell you about it.
I’ve spent my entire summer tucked away inside Windsor’s secret world of puppetry magic doing all sorts of things I never imagined. My main job as the summer student is tour guide, which means if anyone walks through that door with wonder in their eyes, I get to share the magic with them. People of all ages from all different places wander into our facility, not always knowing what to expect. I lead them through the entire building, from the retired puppets in the office, to the production studio, to the magic paint room, all the way over to the beautiful theatre. I get to see their eyes light up, just like mine did the first time I walked through the front door. I get to share my love and admiration of this place with so many people, and that’s my favourite part of this job.
I also get to read and organize all of the past show reports, which gives me a glimpse into the meaning of all of the hard work these people do. I read about children laughing and smiling, about the amazement of the audience, about how the shows make children’s dreams come true. I got a small taste of it myself during the three weeks of summer puppetry camps for kids. I helped them create their own puppet, with their own story, and watched in amazement as the kids fell in love with puppetry just as I have. It’s a whole new world that’s so much bigger than I could have ever imagined.
The amount of different tasks I’ve done over the past three months is endless, but I’ve enjoyed every single moment of it. Whether it be counting pom-poms, designing posters, checking the mail, glue-gunning googly eyes, sorting data, creating tour books, or any of the other duties the staff has given me, I’ve adored it all. Simply being around all the wonderful puppets and outgoing staff makes for an awesome day every day.
Most importantly, Mermaid has reminded me why I love this industry. The arts have always been incredibly meaningful to me throughout my life, but this summer has given me an entirely new perspective. They’ve shown me that if you have a dream and you work for it and you love what you do, you can accomplish anything. You can create magic in a child’s eyes. You can make millions smile by sharing your story. You can reach any goal you want if you do it with love.
In a few days, I’ll be giving up my key and walking away from a summer of Mermaid. I can’t tell you I’m ready to do that. I’ve never been good with goodbyes, and this time I have so many to say. I’ve made so many memories, met so many extraordinary people, and learned many invaluable lessons that I will take with me through my last year of school and onward.
If you’ve never been inside Mermaid Theatre, take some time out of your busy schedule and indulge yourself in the world of puppetry. Once you’re inside, you’ll never want to leave. I certainly don’t.