Theater usher puts school on hold as Disney intern

Youth, an age-old truism goes, is wasted on the young. Not in the case of Brittany “Britt” Robinson, who, at 20, demonstrates a world of ability, ambition and enough sense not to let a golden opportunity go to waste.

Robinson is aware that money is tighter than it used to be. But, of course, she has no life experience by which to measure our economy.

“I haven’t done enough research”, she says, “to comment on all of [the president’s] plans.”

And a hard placeBritt lives with her mom (a highly successful rep for pharmaceutical giant Merck), attends the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University, and is employed as an usher for Hennepin Theater Trust, usually at the Orpheum and State Theaters. Sitting in the Orpheum balcony, waiting to go on shift for a performance of Wicked, she is bright-eyed, earnest, and a bit bashful, cautioning several times, “I’m not very interesting.”

Don’t believe her.

For one, she speaks Chinese and started by majoring in Asian Studies. Brilliant with her eye on the proverbial prize though she is, one can understand her succumbing to a typical characteristic of youth: switching horses in midstream.

“I’ve kind of done a 180,” she says. She’s transitioning, changing her academic course to pursue advertising with a minor in communications. This wasn’t, though, a will-o’-the-wisp whim. Like 99 percent of today’s youngsters, Britt plugs into the Internet and there found out, when working on a friend’s indie film in L.A., that social media is a handsome way to get word out on a project to the ticket-buying public and funders. It

drew her energies toward a path that would fulfill both personal and professional needs.

“I was good at marketing.” Hardly a surprise, considering her pleasant personality. “I learned a lot about what [consumers] react to and what they don’t react to, how to get through to them. And thought I might as well make a career out of it.”

Brittany Robinson Photo courtesy of Brittany Robinson
Brittany Robinson
Photo courtesy of Brittany Robinson

As long as America is America, there will, of course, always be a lucrative — albeit hugely competitive — market in advertising. Said competition is a good reason to tackle that field early on and get an edge, especially with an ace up your sleeve.

Pursuant to which, the young Ms. Robinson is about to embark on a mission that holds significant potential. She’s going get on a plane, fly down to Florida and, while working on her tan (despite a smooth, brown complexion, Britt insists she turns a ghastly shade without enough sunlight), start working through the Disney College Program as a paid intern who’ll be housed with fellow rookies, everyone chipping in on the rent. Food, transportation and such she’ll have to handle on her own.

Between savings from her current salary and an allowance from Mom, that shouldn’t be a problem, leaving her free to focus on training and something she sees as vital. While preparing to work at Disney theme parks, she’ll get the chance to network.

“That’s important. I’m not a person who can just connect with [the] working world by being online. I love the Internet. I do that, yes. But, I like to be able to meet people face-to-face, not just sitting at a computer. It’s what I like most about ushering — actually interacting.”

Not exactly a boring way to take January through May off from school, then go back and finish getting her degree. Having an active mind and outgoing personality, Britt very much looks forward to taking the break.

Rewarding as college is, she’s in some respects like a race horse pulling a plow. It simply doesn’t challenge her as much as she’d like. “It can get stagnant, the studying, the routine.”

To be clear, she isn’t complaining about the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University, but simply acknowledges, “I need a creative environment, and to be working with people.”

Well, Disney should do that for her. And by the time she returns to school she’ll have had enough time and space away to be less bored, whereupon this young woman is apt to do quite well for herself.

Another saying: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Britt Robinson clearly has mapped out and is following through on a design to succeed.


Dwight Hobbes welcomes reader response to P.O. Box 50357, Mpls., 55403.



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One Comment on “Theater usher puts school on hold as Disney intern”

  1. this is a very good article and I’m sure that ms Robinson will be very successful in her lifelong ventures. Mr Marcus.

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