Invertigo Internship Reflection: Lauren McLane – Communications Intern
From March through June of 2021, I had the opportunity to work with Invertigo Dance Theatre as a Communications Intern. Coming off almost two full semesters of online education at LMU, where I was a sophomore communications major, I wondered whether remote work would be particularly limiting, and whether I could be as productive virtually as I could be in-person. However, it quickly became clear that there was nothing to stress about, and that I would easily be able to make my time with Invertigo both meaningful and enjoyable. The two wonderful interns before me helped set me up with a few organizational tasks during the first week, and then I began on various ongoing projects which I continued throughout my internship. Some of these tasks included keeping track of donor contributions in our database and sending receipts, tracking weekly events at the company, and gathering and organizing information on events from 2020. While completing these tasks, it was amazing to see how creative and steadfast Invertigo was; as a performing arts organization during the Coronavirus pandemic, Invertigo adapted to some of the strangest possible circumstances in wonderful ways. One perfect example of this was the Digital Dance Care Packages, in which community members could commission a dance piece for a family member, friend, or loved one using their own prompts. The whole process could be done remotely – dancers recorded themselves performing the piece, and it was sent to the intended recipient as a gift. I loved seeing these pieces during the Care Package Cinema showings: a culmination of these efforts, when many of the videos were presented at the same time, and could be enjoyed, discussed, and felt by the whole audience together, albeit remotely.
The staff at Invertigo was especially helpful in making sure I was able to do all this work to the best of my ability, and was always available for assistance or clarification. At the same time, I felt encouraged to contribute my own thoughts or ideas and be vocal about any part of these processes, so that from start to finish I felt that I worked well and very productively with this team. I found Invertigo to be a very supportive, fun-loving environment in which ingenuitive problem-solving is the norm and personal well-being is taken as seriously as the many social issues which Invertigo is always thinking of and productively contributing to. We were able to advance these goals in various ways, but I believe that one of the most rewarding and productive aspects of this internship as far as company communication goes were the regular staff meetings. With less than ten people, we were able to coordinate and communicate in a way that felt very tight-knit – with easy access and attention to everyone’s individual needs, thoughts, availability, and ideas at all times. These meetings were always a wonderful opportunity to get everyone on the same page and to innovate, organize, and plan while also enjoying each other’s company and having some fun (which can be difficult to facilitate through the computer screen, but I truly feel that the staff team at Invertigo made it work). It was also clear during these meetings just how much passion drives the people within this company to constantly improve and expand upon the company’s role as a productive part of the communities it serves. From working and dancing with elementary school students to elders with Parkinson’s Disease, each person at Invertigo cares deeply about the work they do, with careful consideration for those it serves, works with, and moves with. The people, in this way, are the center of all Invertigo’s passions and productivity, which made for an incredibly valuable experience.