Westminster Student Works at Theatre Aspen

Music Education major Sam Brukhman discovers the magic of teaching in the Rockies.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012

We all have those defining moments in our lives. They’re those moments when we promise ourselves that we will do whatever it takes to get where we want to go. For sophomore Music Education major Sam Brukhman, that moment came during his freshman year in high school when he promised himself that he would keep in touch with an inspirational guest speaker at his high school, Paige Price, who was the vice president of Actors Equity.

“Everything she said made sense to me. I promised myself I would stay in touch with her until an opportunity came up to work with her,” he said.

He kept his promise, and they kept in touch over the years, including his first semester at Westminster Choir College.   They emailed back and forth about his experiences and plans. Then one day something changed.

“She emailed me one day and said, ‘email me at theatreaspen.org from now on,’ ” explained Brukhman. “I thought hmm, I wonder what Aspen Theatre is,’ and I immediately typed them into Google, read about who they are and what they do, and noticed that they had summer internships available.”

The rest all just fell into place. Brukhman interviewed with Price in New York City and was hired as a summer intern. After the academic year ended, he moved into an apartment in Aspen with three other men who worked for the company and started to work on weekly video output, blog development, and social media coordination. These however, were not his only duties. In his personal video titled “Theater Aspen: An Intern’s Experience,” Brukhman videos himself taking out the garbage and securely locking the door to the trash shed.

“Because Colorado is not New Jersey or New York, I have to close these gates so that bears don’t come wandering in to find themselves food,” he says in the video. “By August there were multiple bear sightings a day; sometimes right in the middle of town.”

Avoiding bear encounters was not Brukhman’s only new experience this summer. He was also given the rewarding opportunity of working as the associate music director for the Theater Aspen School.

“Working with children was my favorite part of Theater Aspen simply because I learned the most from the kids by teaching them,” he said. “There’s no better feeling in the world than experiencing a child grow through music.”

Brukhman knew that when it came to his first time teaching kids he would either love it or hate it. The kids really didn’t give him a choice.

“On our last day as I was saying my good-byes one of the little girls said ‘Sam! Wait! Give me a hug!’ All of the kids came running off the stage to hug me. That was the most rewarding thing for me. I loved it,” he said.

The entire experience served as an excellent stepping stone for Brukhman’s career. Although his personal video did not start out with intentions toward self-promotion, he has been able to send it all over the country to possible employers.

“It was a whirlwind of a summer, but it was one of the most productive ones I’ve ever had,” he said. “Theatre Aspen met and exceeded my wildest dreams.”

To learn more about Sam Brukhman’s experience with Theater Aspen check out his self-made video on YouTube.

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Theatre Aspen company prepares to hand out flyers for the 2012 season during Aspen's 4th of July parade.