Pointers for Video Applications – Performing Arts Internships

In 2014, we added a new requirement to the application process for our Performing Arts Internships: a video featuring the prospective intern and mentor speaking together. It personalized the applications really nicely – but we also saw a number of common challenges. Here are some things to keep in mind.

1. Additional video tips during COVID-19.
If recommendations to be physically distanced are still in place at the application deadline, we realize that this may pose a challenge to the video submission requirement in the application. We recommend recording a call on Skype, Zoom, Google Hangout, FaceTime or another videoconferencing application. As a last resort you may also record two separate videos, but this is less desirable as it will not show the interaction between mentor and intern.

2. Answer the question.
We ask you to answer: “As a result of this internship, what do you hope will change for the intern and how can the mentor help?” Many people told us why the internship opportunity was exciting to them, but we will read that in your written material.

3. Watch the time limits.
90 seconds seems short, but it actually allows more than enough time to answer the question. Don’t spend half your time, however, introducing yourselves and giving your résumés. We can read that in your application. Just give your first name and answer the question.

4. Show the relationship between the intern and mentor.
Both the intern and mentor should speak in the video – it helps us see the relationship more clearly. Engage in this question through a conversation. Be careful of gimmicks. Performing “cute” scenes or just reading your answers takes away from our ability to see the relationship. Many people did benefit, however, from planning their talking points in advance.

5. Let us see energy (and some effort).
If you are excited by this opportunity, we should see it; if you aren’t, why should this application be selected for funding? We don’t believe that this video should be onerous, but we should see some effort.

6. Remember – You’re the star!
It’s great to see people in their work environment, but remember to minimize the distractions around you in the video. Let us see and hear you clearly and avoid visual clutter and too much background activity.

One final word. The application changes every year, in ways both small and large. Please make sure you always use the most up-to-date application– the relevant year is indicated in the title of the guidelines.

Questions? Don’t hesitate to contact the Arts Program Director at the Foundation. We would be pleased to help!