Finding a Performing Arts Internship

As a Performing Arts student, there is only so much the books and the classrooms can give you. This is a course of study that requires hands on work related experience. One of the best ways to gain this is to apply for an internship in you’re branch of the performing arts. There are several opportunities out there for individuals who wish to pursue careers in the performing arts. Use these tips to help you find an internship that will pave you’re way to the career of your dreams.

Start at School – The best place to look for an internship is you’re school. Check with the career center as well as professors, advisors, and other faculty members. This should be the first place you look. They will be able to offer you valid options for a performing arts internship as well as guide you through the application process. Even if school isn’t your first stop when you’re looking for an internship, be sure to meet with them when you do find something. They will need to okay you’re internship if you want to receive credit for the work you are doing.
Decide on a Location – While it’s important to keep an open mind while looking for an internship, it can be extremely beneficial if you decide on a few locations that you would like to base your search from. For example if you would like to experience dancing in a large metropolitan area you should begin your search in those areas. If you would prefer to stay local, curtail your search to your community and the surrounding areas.
Paid or Unpaid – While there are internship opportunities available that offer compensation for the work you are doing there are plenty out there that do not. If the ability to earn an income through your internship is a necessity this is definitely something you should consider.
Apply Everywhere – Sure you may really want a paid internship, you may not want to really intern at a particular company, but apply anyway. It’s better to have an option at the end of the application process than to have nothing at all should something fall through. It’s also a great way to get your name out there. Even if one company no longer needs and intern, they may be able to help network a little and pass your name on to someone who does.
Start Early – While the deadline for internship applications may be months off don’t waste any time. Often times slots fill up and the longer you wait the less you have to choose from. Applying early will give you the opportunity to take time and decide which internships will offer you the experience you need. Getting everything in early also reflects well on you as a student, showing you’re responsible and eager to learn.
Check Dance Publications – Dance magazines, blogs, and forums can be an excellent tool when researching dance internships. You may be able to find information about various opportunities available in different areas of the performance arts.

Most Haunted Places in America – Paramount Art Center

The Paramount Arts Center is located in Ashland, Kentucky. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Paramount Center, its former name. The theater, now a non-profit organization, showcases plays, symphonies, ballets and is most famous for two things – it was the setting for Billy Ray Cyrus’s “Achy Breaky Heart” video in 1992, and it is the home of “Paramount Joe”, a friendly ghost that haunts the Paramount Art Center.

The story behind the ghost of Paramount Joe is most interesting. The Paramount Art Center was first opened in 1931, originally set to be built 3 times larger than its actual size. But due to the great depression, its construction was cancelled altogether. An Ashland-based company picked up the plans, scaled it down and built the theater anyway.

During construction, the crew went on lunch break. All of the workers left except for one; a man by the name of Joe. When the crew returned from lunch, Joe’s body was found in the auditorium, hanging from the curtain rigging above the stage.

Since that time, Joe’s ghost has haunted the theater, but in a friendly way. His apparition has actually been seen on a few occasions, but his presence is mostly felt and recognized more than seen. Things tend to go missing, lights turn on and off, cold spots appear and disappear just as quickly, unexplained noises are heard; that sort of thing.

The most infamous story of Paramount Joe’s ghost in the Paramount Art Center revolves around Billy Ray Cyrus. In 1992, while filming his “Achy Breaky Heart” video, Cyrus was told the story of Paramount Joe. He immediately took a liking to the ghost and would often speak to him, as if he were standing right there.

Afterwards, Billy Ray signed an 8×10 photograph for each of the female members of the staff at the Paramount Center. All of the ladies hung their photos on the wall in the box office. Billy Ray also signed a special photograph, made out to “Paramount Joe”. Like the others, this photo was hung in the box office. In fact, most of the famous performers who played the Paramount left signed photos hung in the box office.

After awhile, the executive director felt there were just too many photos hanging, and since so many were of Billy Ray Cyrus, she asked the ladies to take some of them down. None of the female employees were too keen on removing their own autographed photos, so instead they pulled down Paramount Joe’s.

The next morning when they returned to work, every single photo of Billy Ray was found on the floor, as if they had just been swept from the walls. Many of the glass frames were in shards. Paramount Joe’s photo was immediately replaced, and now hangs in its own special place in the Marquee Room, now the location of “Paramount Joe’s Rising Star Cafe”.

Another story of Joe’s ghost occurred when two recently hired employees decided to check out the basement to look for old items of interest. The marketing director obliged, saying he would take the ladies down to the basement and turn on the lights. Now the light switches are located one at the top of the stairs, and another farther down, each lighting a separate area. There is only one switch for each light.

As the ladies descended the stairs, not knowing where the lights were, the director received a phone call. He told the ladies to wait a moment and he would be right back. They didn’t even notice he had left, being so excited about their little venture, so they kept on going.

As they got further down into the unlit area, they called up for the next set of lights to be turned on – and on they went. By the time the marketing director returned, the ladies were already finished with their trip and heading back up the stairs. They thanked him for turning on the lights, but said they couldn’t get it to turn back off. He said he didn’t touch the lights, he was on the phone. The ladies were confused. All three went back down to find the lights turned off again.

The last story of real interest comes from Tyson Compton, the marketing director in 2004. He was giving a tour of the theater to some students and relating the story of the resident ghost haunting the Paramount Art Center. As he talked, it occurred to him that he always referred to Joe, but never spoke directly to him. So he asked aloud, “Joe, are you here? Is it okay that I tell your story?” He swears he heard a visibly empty seat creak, but it gets better.

The next morning, Compton received a phone call from a local psychic. She asked him if he had a relative or close friend recently deceased. Compton replied that he couldn’t think of anyone, no. the psychic said that she was given a message for him from the other side. “I’m supposed to tell you that Joe said he is here.”

We suggest you visit the Paramount Art Center and its resident ghost, Paramount Joe, and maybe experience some of the paranormal activity that has been going on there since its establishment. It is the presence of Paramount Joe that makes this theater one of the most haunted places in America.