This past week has been a mixed bag of insanely crazy and remarkably slow, as far as work load goes. We had four summer camps running this summer: Drawing and Painting, Acting Animals, Film Making, and a Hamilton camp! Along with having roughly 50 campers running around with their counselors and teachers all day, we had the Fall Program to plan out and several other tasks to complete during the week.
However, on Monday morning, one of our teachers did not come in on time. I went into the classroom to make sure each of the campers got signed in and had them introduce each other. Ten or fifteen minutes went by and the teacher still hadn’t shown up. Then the executive director pulled me out into the hallway and said that the teacher couldn’t make it that morning. We had to tag team the class and come up with something for them to do until noon! As the result of our improvisation, the campers drew landscape scenes of their favorite seasons and did a sketching scavenger hunt in nature around the building.
Similarly, and on that same day, the other intern and I had to improvise our art project that we brought to the local summer lunch program. This week, most of our glue bottles were dried or stopped up, and the kids were having a hard time using them on the fabric. So instead of being able to focus our attention on helping each kid (or preventing a particularly determined 6 year-old from freely cutting up the fabric into confetti), we both had to run between them and unstop glue, find new glue, and round up some paperclips to hold the fabric down as the glue dried.
My takeaway from this week is that being flexible and being able to improvise are central elements of working in the arts. You have to be able to think on your feet and come up with quick solutions so that things get accomplished. I think it’s an important skill in life, too. When you run into unexpected deviations in your plans, you have to know how to work with them.