Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Summer Salaries: A Dramatic Role

Posted By on Wed, Aug 31, 2016 at 11:34 AM

Vera Escaja-Heiss - ANDIE PINGA
  • Andie Pinga
  • Vera Escaja-Heiss
After starring in multiple school plays, 14-year-old Vera Escaja-Heiss found a summer internship that alined with her acting aspirations. At the Vermont Shakespeare Company, Vera worked backstage during their summer production of Julius Caesar. Her responsibilities as part of the running crew included handling props, moving the entire set to from location to location and helping to create props and costumes. Vera and her fellow interns also attended free classes on acting and rehearsed and performed their own play, a modern take on Macbeth. In that production, Vera had three roles: Fleance, the first witch and the doctor. Her shining moment? Performing an original rap foreshadowing future events, while in character as the witch. We spoke to the South Burlington teen about her job last month.

Kids VT: How many interns does the Vermont Shakespeare Company take on?
Vera Escaja-Heiss: I believe there are 12 interns. The ages range from 14 to 22, me being the youngest. I’m the only one in high school. But it’s fun because everyone’s really great and I’m friends with people who are eight years older than me.

KVT: What was the application process like?
VEH: [I needed] to write something about why I wanted to learn about Shakespeare and then I handed in my resume. Eventually, you will go through a phone interview where one of the producers and managers will ask you more questions about yourself, and an audition where you had to make a costume and prepare a monologue. I performed a Disney-like monologue in a “kid” costume, which was just a t-shirt and Converse.

KVT: Are you getting paid?
VEH: I’m not getting paid actual money, but the great thing is that we have these experienced teachers who are give us all these wonderful classes as a form of payment. We learn about stuff like movement, stage combat and voice. We have a class called “Preparing for the Profession,” where they tell you about what life [as an actor] is like and how to actually get into the business. These classes are mostly made for older people as they’re transitioning into actually becoming actors, but it’s awesome.

KVT: How many hours did you work?
VEH: During show weeks, we work 10 to 12 hours. We arrive before the actors and leave after the actors.

KVT: Do you hope to become an actress?
VEH: I really love acting, but I also want to go on a safe path because it’s such a risky business. The thing is, during the classes, they’ve talked about how rent is so expensive. So I’m planning on probably double majoring. [But at South Burlington High School], I’m going to try out for Sister Act, the musical this year.

KVT: What is your advice for other teens looking for jobs?
VEH: I think that a lot of people at this age have so many opportunities, but they’re not really aware of them. Some jobs may be asking for more adult-aged workers. If you put yourself in the mindset of being hardworking, and if you’re driven, then it doesn’t really matter that you’re working at a young age. I’m a 14-year-old working with 22-year-olds. Just strive for it.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Summer Salaries: Fun-Lovin' Counselor

Posted By on Wed, Aug 17, 2016 at 10:56 AM

Reilly Faith
  • Reilly Faith
After spending her first year of college under the Texan sun, 19-year-old Reilly Faith got a job this summer with the “little kiddos” at Summer Fun University, a camp program run by Smugglers' Notch. In her role as a counselor, Reilly stays busy organizing arts and crafts, nature walks, and singing and dancing performances. The Morrisville native, who studies dance at Texas Christian University, has some simple advice for summer job seekers. "Your summer break is so short," she says, so "try to find something you're going to enjoy."

Kids VT: Why did you choose this job?
Reilly Faith: I really enjoy working with kids. The best part is just getting to connect with all the little kiddos because they’re so cute and it’s just so fun to be with them and bring a smile to their face.

KVT: What kind of activities do you organize at the camp?
RF: I work with the 7- to 10-year-olds. There’s a nature and hiking group, and a sound and stage group [where] they do dancing, singing, little skits and then we put up a performance. There’s also an adventuring games group, which is just like gym-class games. I wish I’d gone [to camp there], honestly.

KVT: How much do you earn — and do you plan to save or spend your money?
RF: It is $10 an hour; I am spending it on school expenses. Most of it’s going towards my sorority dues. I work 8:30 to 4:30 everyday. Wednesday nights, I work the overnight which is pretty much 24 hours of consecutive work, but it’s fun.

KVT: What's you’re least favorite part of the job?
RF: My least favorite part is discipline. I still feel like I’m a kid, so it’s weird for me to be their boss.

KVT: Do you think these skills will help you later in life?
RF: Yes, absolutely. I would say I’ve always been really quiet and timid, but when you’re trying to get [the attention of] a group of 25 little 7-year-olds, you have no choice but to be loud and assertive. There’s also a lot of creativity. Say, when [there is thunder] and all the [planned] activities for the day were supposed to be outside, you have to think of games on the spot and projects to do to keep them entertained.

KVT: Any funny stories?
RF: I go to college in Texas, and Texas has a lot of state pride. Everything has the shape of [the state] or the state flag on it, and I think it’s really cool. There was a little boy that I had a few weeks ago who was from Texas. Over the Fourth of July weekend, we went to the arts studio and we told [the group] to make an American flag out of whatever materials they could find. And they all made these adorable little American flags, except the Texas kid. He made a little Texas flag.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Fresh Air Kids Come to Vermont

Posted By on Wed, Aug 10, 2016 at 8:55 AM

The Maloneys with Destiny - ANDIE PINGA
  • Andie Pinga
  • The Maloneys with Destiny
If you're a kid in Vermont, looking up at a star-filled sky and running barefoot in the grass are just part of growing up. But if you're raised in an urban area, you may not have experienced those things before.

Thanks to the Fresh Air Fund, hundreds of kids from New York City have the opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty and simple pleasures of the Green Mountain State every summer. The non-profit organization has provided free summer experiences to more than 1.8 million New York City children from low-income communities since 1877. Some kids leave home for the first time to live with volunteer families for one or two weeks, while others return to the same host family year after year.

On the first day of August, Dorset Park in South Burlington was filled with excited families holding colorful welcome posters, waiting for their Fresh Air kids to arrive. Around 6 p.m., 19 children filed out of a large coach bus. 

South Burlington residents Eileen and Sean Maloney and their middle schooler, Emma, greeted 11-year-old Destiny. The Maloneys had a busy agenda for the week. They planned to take Destiny to Mount Philo, ECHO and Great Escape, and to her first-ever hockey game. Destiny said she was looking forward to “anything fun, spending more time with them and out in the open doing outdoor activities.”

Emma said it was actually her idea to participate in the Fresh Air Fund program after seeing her friend, who had previously hosted a child, in the newspaper. Eileen and Sean said they were excited for their daughter, who is an only child, to get the chance to share things with another kid in the house. The family communicated with Destiny via FaceTime prior to her arrival.

“Emma was able to take the iPad, and walk around the house [while on FaceTime with Destiny]," sai Sean. "We had conversations about what foods she likes. She heard about ice cream and she was wicked psyched.” 

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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Summer Salaries: Dishwashing Days

Posted By and on Tue, Aug 9, 2016 at 10:21 AM

Nathan Kakalec
  • Nathan Kakalec
17-year-old Nathan Kakalec loves to eat, so it's fitting that his summer job is with a catering company. The South Burlington teen travels around Vermont with Colchester-based Cloud 9 Caterers, helping with food preparation at weddings and other events and washing dishes. Though the job requires lots of time on his feet and a good amount of grunt work, Kakalec says he likes working with a local business and "contributing to the community."

Kids VT: Why did you choose this job?
Nathan Kakalec: Well, my parents told me to get a job last summer. I wanted to work in the food industry, so I emailed a bunch of food trucks asking if they needed employment. The Hindquarter, [a food truck] owned by Cloud 9, emailed me back and was like, "We have a job with a catering company.” Then I started washing dishes on Sundays. I didn't really want to [cook the food], but I just kind of wanted to be there for the experience.

KVT: How much do you make?
NK: $10 an hour. I usually only work on weekends, so a wedding on Saturday and then the cleanup on Sunday, but I don’t work every week. I worked a little into the fall last year, but I generally [didn't work during the school year].

KVT: Do you plan to save or spend your money?
NK: I plan to save a good portion of the money I earn on college-related costs, but I occasionally spend some of it on food, gifts and recreational activities.

KVT: Do you think you're learning skills that will help you later in life?
NK: I guess if I ever want to get a job in the food industry, it'll help. Aside from that, I learned how to work hard and that what you put in is what you get out. I think that those skills carry for the rest of your life no matter what you do.

KVT: What is the best part of the job?

NK: I like my coworkers and I've definitely learned some stuff about cooking. And I also like leftovers. They're really good.

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Farm and Wilderness Summer Camps

Farm and Wilderness Summer Camps

Plymouth, VT

At Farm & Wilderness, campers have the woods, lakes, and fields of central Vermont as their playground, classroom, and home. Our camps use more than 4,800 secluded acres where we live together in simple, wooden cabins and canvas structures tucked in the woods or along the lakes. There is no…(more)

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