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BWW Blog: How Adam Kantor Helped Save My Quarantine

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I was signed on as a social media and marketing intern for Saturday Night Seder. 

About a few weeks into quarantine, after returning home from campus to spend the entirety of my spring quarter online, the Jewish holiday of Passover came along. I spent the evening with my immediate family in our home, along with our extended family who joined us from the computer placed at the head of the dinner table. However, I couldn't help but long for the annual Passover Seder we usually have together. Throughout the day, various friends of mine had sent me some information about a Special Virtual Program airing on YouTube that night called "Saturday Night Seder". Being the Broadway-loving Jewish girl I am, this was undoubtedly right up my alley. As I read some more about it, I learned there would be a live-aired Passover Seder featuring some of my favorite performers including Ben Platt, Idina Menzel, and Northwestern alum Adam Kantor.

My mom, also being a Broadway loving Jew (never really hard to come by), had also heard about the program and insisted we all gather on the couch together after dinner to watch it. I had been home for about a month now and had already begun missing the excitement of theatre and live performance. However, within the first few minutes of the program, watching the performers sing, laugh, and share the story of Passover, I was immediately filled with the all too familiar joy that theatre brings me. I was so impressed by the versatility of the program, from its quick comedic beats to meaningful reflections on the holiday. This was also one of the first virtual variety programs of quarantine, so I was immediately intrigued and curious about the various production elements that went into producing the program.

The time that school closed also happened to be the same time I was interviewing for summer internships. However, due to the quick rise of COVID-19 cases throughout the country, many companies decided to not continue their hiring process and numerous offers fell through. Since returning home, I had been trying to find some sort of last-minute internship, but had yet to luck out on anything. When Saturday Night Seder ended, I was so inspired by the program and so amazed by how these artists and producers created such a program so quickly. I thought to myself, "I want to help bring something like this to people". That night, I did some further research on the program, and learned that one of the executive producers of the program was Adam Kantor. I immediately emailed him, reaching out from one Wildcat to another, thanking him for such a meaningful program in this chaotic and dark time and also, asking if he needed an intern. Within 24 hours, I had a meeting setup with Adam that week and was soon signed on as a social media and marketing intern for Saturday Night Seder.

Throughout the next few weeks, I helped with some post-production work for Saturday Night Seder and managed all social channels. I was so grateful to Adam and his team for having so much trust in me from the get-go, and was extremely happy that I had something to do during the long hours between classes. Fast-forward several weeks, and I began working with Adam and his team on other various digital productions. This time, I was able to see first-hand the behind the scenes work that goes into something like Saturday Night Seder. I thought back to several months ago, when I was sitting on the couch with my family, marveling over the program, and felt proud that I had found a way to get in the "Zoom" where it happens (sorry I had to).

I am still continuing to intern for Adam's production company this fall, where I work on various tasks from content creation, film and sound editing, and social marketing. Adam, his team, and all of the people I have met through working on these summer productions have made this scary time feel a whole lot safer. Not only has it instilled some normalcy throughout my weeks, but it has also allowed me to hold on to my love of creating, production, and giving the gift of entertainment to an audience. I always smile when I think back to when my family sat down on our couch to watch Saturday Night Seder, for in just a few months, we were going to be sitting in the same position, watching another virtual production, but this time with my name in the credits.

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