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A Day in the Life of a WOS Intern

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Talk about the deep end. It’s only my third day as a Whatsonstage.com intern and my head’s already full to the brim with colour coded schedules, borderline foreign html codes and deadlines galore. Luckily, my new colleagues are offering me cups of tea on the hour, so caffeine is propelling me over the stress barrier into a realm of focus I only wish I occupied at university. So, for the moment, I’m swimming. Just.

Now, I’m not an expert (yet…), but for those of you seeking a peek behind the glamour and glory of the pristine web pages before you, a WOS intern's typical day appears to go something like this:

8:45am: Feel ever so grown-up and professional swishing through Underground barriers with brand spanking new Oyster card on morning commute. See posh banker type leap onto tube as doors slam closed. Think he looks cool in vein of James Bond, or perhaps even Jason Bourne. Dare self to try it. Lose nerve. Lose face. Miss tube.

9:30am: Arrive at the 5th floor of the Palace Theatre on time despite tube-related embarrassment. Good. Mouth scalded by latte. Bad. Consider developing caffeine in injection form to minimise injury risk – surely a million dollar idea? Andrew thoughtfully offers to make a cup. Probably more time-effective to leave entrepreneurial scheming for the train home. Gratefully accept.

9:35am: The WOS assistant inbox: a minefield. Feel overwhelming rush of love for sensible people who take the extra 10 seconds necessary to type in a sensible subject for their message. WOS inboxes are bombarded with all things Edinburgh 24 hours a day; interviews, press releases and preview reviews must be organised, edited and uploaded to keep this well-oiled machine running as it does. Have to be very careful to not delete important missives from prominent WOS reviewers finalising their reviewing schedules while purging some suspiciously friendly emails to “Friend Assistant” asking for credit card details in exchange for a long lost childhood Pekinese and some special blue pills with mysterious qualities.

9:50am: As any dedicated festival–goer will be able to imagine, organising a schedule for ten Edinburgh reviewers can be headache-inducing to say the least. Listings on edfringe.com and, of course, Whatsonstage.com are fast becoming my Bible. Feel the beginnings of a particular beauty begin to tug at my temples while balancing this precarious house of cards and simultaneously answering a perpetually-ringing phone. Sit back to admire beautifully colour-coded, perfectly organised schedule. Spot glaring logistical error. Silently berate self for such blatant stupidity and begin to reshuffle the entire deck. Someone offers tea. Gratefully accept.

11:30am: Schedule looking lovely. Scour every corner of the internet for news-worthy Edinburgh gems. Twitter away about the Festival – the mounting excitement is tangible. Really enjoying all the up-to-the-minute news from #edfringe and #wosed, and keeping an eye on different theatre companies’ journeys.

1:00pm: Scoff sandwich in Soho Square on lunch break. Develop Hitchcock-style pigeon phobia. Return to Palace Theatre. Decide against rickety-looking lift in favour of five flights of stairs.

2:00pm: Back at desk. Quick crash course in all things Photoshop (not recommended for anyone even slightly verging on obsessive-compulsive) before adding satisfyingly cropped and resized high-res images to the interviews I edited yesterday. Secretly feel like a bit of a techo-whizz as I type something into the computer which (I hope) will release one feature per day to the live site during the run up to the Festival.

4:00pm: Am told I can have a go at writing WOS’ first Edinburgh 2010 Editor’s Blog. Feel honoured. Then intimidated. Watch cursor blinking on screen while waiting a few minutes for inspiration – have unpleasant university flashback. Immediately start typing.

5:00pm: Gingerly input new reviews into the schedule. Breathe a sigh of relief as the house of cards remains stable. Comb inbox for more potential Edinburgh features to edit tomorrow.

6:00pm: Run down the stairs, past (rather large) silver shoes, fluorescent wigs and cast members of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert arriving for tonight’s performance. Arrive as tube doors are closing and feel momentary temptation to perform the commuter’s dive. Decide to sit this one out.

- Lydia Onyett


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