Meet NYAP Alumna: Libba Smith! (Spring 2012)

Why spend a semester with the New York Arts Program?

I have been in love with New York City since middle school, and when I learned that I could live in a brownstone in Chelsea with a bunch of artists and skip real classes for a semester I knew that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Also, I wanted to do something to help my future career; I’m going into a really competitive field, and spending time in New York City as a professional rather than as a student before I’ve even graduated has given me a huge advantage.

When you were in NYAP who did you intern with? How were your experiences?

I interned at Stand Up NY, one of the oldest and most respected comedy clubs in the city. I learned much more than I expected, and I got to work as a valued member of the most fun office environment I’ve ever heard of. I laughed all day, but I also knew I was making a difference in the running of the club. Plus I got to hang out with the best comedians in the world every night. Like Jay Pharoah! And Hannibal Burress!

How do you think NYAP has helped further your career?

NYAP has a huge network of alums and contacts working all over the place, and just having that resource alone is a huge advantage. But NYAP gives students internships that they really couldn’t get anywhere else, plus the support and advice to make the most of them. I’m confident that I will be able to move back to the city and pick up with my career because of the New York Arts Program.

Where are you now?

Through people I met at my last internship, I’m interning at Vh1’s Talent and Casting Department. I help find, interview and book comedians and other actors for Vh1.

What are you favorite spots to go to in New York?

The Cloisters rocks, it’s a park/castle/medieval art collection way uptown that makes you feel like you’re in the English countryside. Dylan’s Candy Bar, where you can get a 10 scoop, 10 topping sundae that’s worth every penny. The UCB, which is the most famous improv theater in the city, but also the Magnet, which has amazing improv shows too and is right across the street.

Any advice to future students?

This is very, very cliche, but make the most of your time here, because it will fly by and before you know it you’re packing up to leave and realize you never went to MOMA. Splurge every once in a while on things like student rush tickets to a Broadway show, because it will be worth it. Talk to everybody you meet through your internship, because you really never know who will be able to help you further down the road. Go to Asssscat 3000 at the UCB on Sunday nights, it’s free and Amy Poehler might show up.

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