Jama McMahon ’11

“In this short, I narrate a true story from 1994, when my mom sent me to school wearing a crazy hat the day before crazy hat day. So I had to convince everyone that it was not my crazy hat and then had to come up with an even crazier hat for crazy hat day. It was crazy.”

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Field Work Term

Norm Marshall and Associations, Inc., Los Angeles, CA—A product placement and marketing firm

Dexter television series, Los Angeles, CA—“I worked as the personal assistant to the prop master. I also interned on a series of short horror films. I don't think people know how much fun it is to be surrounded by fake bloody props all day.”

Araca Group Production Company, New York, NY—Production assistant working on two plays

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“My parents are both in the entertainment industry, so ever since I was little, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. To be part of the collaborative process in a creative field like that has always seemed fun and rewarding to me. I became really involved in the theater program at my high school­—my older sister Kaley (Bennington ‘08), was too, so we were actually able to collaborate on a few things.

“During my first year at Bennington, I was sort of all over the map in terms of classes. I took art history, biology, digital art, a few literature classes, dance, and a bunch of drama courses. My sophomore year, there were two classes that I wanted to take that I had to interview for: Creative Collaboration in Writing and Performance and Directing 1. When asked about my drama experience, I thought that I didn’t really have that much. But then when I started listing off the courses I had taken—Stage Management, The Actor’s Instrument, Introduction to Costume Design, Designing for the Stage, Costume Design Projects, and Sensory Exploration Lab—I thought, ‘Wow, I actually have a lot of experience.’ Without even realizing it, I had begun leaning towards drama.

“My advisor Danny Michaelson has really pushed and inspired me. I came to him initially freaking out about the plan process—saying that I didn’t know what to do. He talked me through my past here and helped me think about what I enjoyed best and that’s really been collaboration and production. I don’t think I fully realized that until he actually said it.

“Even though my plan revolves around production, I really enjoy every aspect of drama, so I’m trying to branch out and learn as much as possible. I’m really excited about my Playwrights Festival class. I get to act as a festival manager and will be assisting Sherry Kramer in the full production of student plays.

“My sister wrote her first musical at Bennington with Savannah Dooley ‘07. We’re hoping to put it on at the Adirondack Musical Festival, so hopefully I’ll be producing it. I don’t know whether we’ll want to focus on theater or film in the long run, but right now, I’m just excited to be able to work with her again.”