The Act I Finale: My New York City Summer

This is it, the last hoorah. As I’ve been saying, it is so beyond hard to believe that my entire summer is almost over. After months of researching, preparation, anxiousness, back and (mostly) forth contact, and a nerve-wracking but nevertheless exciting interview, the internship of my dreams is officially over. As homesick and scared as I initially was, ten weeks in New York City flew by, and my last “free” summer is coming to a bittersweet close. I never thought the last day of an internship would mirror the last day of camp- but I can only see that as a wonderful thing.

The notion that I should work in the Broadway journalism industry (and the realization that such a thing even exists) came to meet exactly a year ago on a trip to New York City with my dad. Up until that point, I was content at beginning my career in a small, local news market as a reporter and eventually working my way up to an entertainment reporter. The idea of combining both my love of reporting and my passion for Broadway didn’t occur to me until I turned on the television in my hotel room. The Broadway Channel was on- essentially a loop of Broadway previews advertising shows currently playing on The Great White Way. What caught my eye, however, was the reporter, standing in front of a theatre introducing a new musical. Immediately I turned to my dad and said, “I can do that. That is what I need to do.” I threw myself into online research for any and all media outlets that would allow me to report about Broadway, and of course all roads let to a site I read at least weekly, Broadway.com

To think of all that’s happened in a year- from my Broadway journalism epiphany to landing an internship at the biggest and most prestigious Broadway news website to moving to New York City for the summer to being given the opportunity to both write features and appear on-camera in videos as a reporter- is insanely, as cliché as it continues to sound, surreal. The connections I’ve made, what I’ve learned about the industry, how I’ve adjusted to life in the Big Apple, and the opportunities I’ve been given are invaluable, and I can only hope that this summer has brought me one step closer to working full-time at the company I’ve grown to love (even more).

Of course, no summer in New York City would be complete (for me) without an array of Broadway musicals, and even a Broadway play- a first for me. From my first TKTS experience my first week in NYC with Nice Work if You Can Get It (and a photo with Matthew Broderick), to last week’s epic musical finale of the Tony Award winning Kinky Boots, I was lucky enough to have seen every show I had on my Broadway bucket list this summer. With musicals like Big Fish, Les Miserables, and If/Then headed to Broadway this coming season, I have no doubt I’ll be back here as soon as I possibly can (and who knows, sitting in a theatre watching Norbert Leo Butz or Idina Menzel may very well help ease the terror of college ending (tear) and me potentially leaving Texas forever (I know, terrifying)).

I am so incredibly lucky to have my parents support me in whatever I do, and to have them continue to help me in any and all ways that they can. If my mom hadn’t bought tickets to Wicked almost ten years ago (after my constant begging and whining to see the musical), and if my parents hadn’t continued to vacation in New York City at my request and take me to almost every musical I wanted to see, I may have never realized the passion that I know will result in a successful career, and I would have never discovered how magical Broadway musicals can be. Though I may not say it very often, they are the greatest parents, and I owe where I am today 100% to their support and love. Also, thanks to them (and Samantha traveling overseas for a year), I have Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera, and Matilda waiting for me on the West End in London!

With school coming to an end (trust me, I try to talk about it as little as possible), and my internship and final summer of “freedom” winding down, part of me is terrified, but the other is insanely curious to see what waits in the future. Four years ago, the high school senior who was scared of going off to college never would have imagined herself living and working in New York City at Broadway.com, yet here I am. This definitely is not my (cue to cliché again) ending. It’s my Act One finale; the show stopping number that requires so much energy and endurance, but that is so fun and rewarding to perform. It doesn’t end the show, merely the first half. It prepares you for Act Two, and if the second half is anything like the first, I cannot possibly wait.

-Wendi

P.S. Look out for a video blog incorporating everything I’ve done this summer in the next few days!

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About Wendi

Welcome to my little, personalized, and (mostly) fun corner of the internet. Whether you're here to read about Broadway, entertainment, or the laughable struggles of a recent college graduate making it out in corporate America, you've come to the right place. I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin (hook 'em!) with dual degrees in broadcast journalism and theatre, and currently work full time as Director of Regional Marketing for Broadway Across America. My weaknesses are chips and queso, Dance Moms, romantic comedies, photo booths, and show tunes. Resume, writing samples (more serious ones...), and my life story can be found at https://www.linkedin.com/in/wendireichstein/.
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