Next Time Don't Wish Me Good Luck By Saying 'Break A Leg'


Kavelina Torres is an Alaska Native hailing from the Yup'ik, Inupiaq and Athabascan Nations. She lives in North Pole, Alaska where life is rich and full of diversity.

Next Time Don't Wish Me Good Luck By Saying 'Break A Leg'

Date Posted: 
2013-10-15 14:06

Blog Series:

As my internship comes to a close, I am excited to go back home and yet I am saddened to leave. My 350 mile sojourn to Anchorage, Alaska, and Alaska Public Media has been so informative, exciting and full of hard work. With each new experience a world opened up and I had but to step through. I’ve met new people, broke my ankle, directed a short and bought a new motorcycle. It has been an extremely busy summer!

This 10 week Vision Maker Media internship at Alaska Public Media has afforded me the chance to meet some truly wonderful people from the reporter pool, video department, engineering department, producers, marketing and finance divisions. I couldn’t have interned at a better place! Every production was fabulous to work with and in whether I was actively participating or observing.

Pat was my mentor/boss. He is a wonderful boss! A hands off and an enabler boss. Before you become too upset, being an enabler boss is a good thing. We talk about goals; he’d give me the go ahead, believed I could complete the job and off I went.

My many discussions with Torre in Marketing and Finance helped me learn more about how non-profit and public Television work. We had many a conversation, as did Anne and I. She was in Membership. Both were delightful and were interested in what I had to say and were full of suggestions and information about their jobs.
Although I started talking to Bernie in Finance late in the internship, he pointed out that he keeps his finger on the pulse of the office by keeping an eye on the rate of candy eating. He has a basket of candy and he has eyeballs on the other basket of candy in the office. More candy consumed means a higher stress rate in the office. Less candy equals less stress and happy times. Very enlightening conversation. Of course less candy eating could mean that the kind of candy in the basket is not well liked. Seriously, I never knew there were so many kinds of Tootsie Roll candies.

I learned so much in the production room! Shawn, John, Paul, Lance and the rest of the engineers are great to work with. They are the frontline to all the shows and interviews that get produced by Alaska Public Media. They have allowed me to run camera, audio and the production board for various productions. They were always around and ready to answer questions on any production. Alaska Edition and Alaska Weather are my favorites and the shows I spent the most time on wherein I ran the board and cameras for Alaska Weather and ran camera for Alaska Edition.

The only downer I had in the whole time – I broke my ankle on the 3rd of July. I spent the weekend with my foot up, medicated to the gills. Eventually I received a walking cast and stayed in it entirely too long. Whoo-hoo, I get to wear a brace for the next few months. Yeah. Yippee….

The walking cast, however, did not keep me from accomplishing so much during my stay. Not only did I participate in the productions of Alaska Weather and Alaska Edition but also Faces of Alaska, Indie Alaska, Hanger Flying and a couple of interview series. I also was able to write, produce and direct a short of my own through the Corporation of Public Broadcasting and the Graduate Initiative Program. The footage is now with the editor.

My short, Shades of Life/Yugumalleq, was a very hard task to complete! I was able to partner with a wonderful director of photography, Molly Wilson. She ran the tech side like camera, lighting and equipment. I wrote and directed it and I was also locations manager, script supervisor, buyer, costuming, production, casting director…. In the end, I think it was well worth the few extra grey hairs I am soon to receive.

In my free time, I was able to go boating on Big Lake, four wheeling in Houston (Alaska), six wheeling in Eagle River, Alaska, go hunting, watch a few movies and buy a classic motorcycle. There were so many things to do and people clamouring for my time that I found myself lamenting the lack of time to write.

So as these last days wind down, I am totaling receipts for my short and receipts for my stay, making my last minute meetings with industry professionals in the film, television and theater, I am glad to be leaving with a collaboration in my back pocket. I just wish I could stay longer. I’d be happy to work in the Public TV/Radio sector alongside these fine folks at Alaska Public Media. Thank you Vision Maker Media for pushing me out of the nest and allowing me this new adventure.



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