From Intern to “Master Yoda”

From student to intern to staff, Masio, current Volunteer and Intern Coordinator at MATV/UMA reflects on the journey to this role and how he approaches it.

Introduction to Media

Masio Dotson graduated from Salem State University with a Bachelors’ in communications and a minor in music. He studied media, with a heavy focus on in video production, editing, and public relations.

“I was always creative with my work. I was involved in film, theatre and… a little bit of dance, although I wouldn’t call myself a dancer, heh.”

He took classes about visuals and film at a media center in Salem. There he created videos of a time frame from anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes in length, but it was not easy. He was in over his head.

“It was a learning curve. Everyone else had already had video experience and I didn’t. I just learned everything on the fly during class time.”

He described the process of assigning teams to work on a film, rotating role of director. When it was his turn he was concerned he could not pull off the work he set out to create. But, Forever optimistic, Masio knew the exposure to the craft in a professional environment was valuable in and of itself. Either way, he had very quickly targeted his goals to his internship as part of a capstone requirement. Masio had a good idea of what he wanted to do and what his goals were, but he wasn’t sure where he could look to fulfill that potential.

Meeting MATV/UMA

By the time Masio graduated high school, he moved to Melrose and was visiting the Malden area to meet up with a friend. Luckily when walking down pleasant street he happened upon Malden Studios and went inside to satisfy his intrigue.

The first face he met was that of Anna Pacheco and asked about an opening for an Internship. From there, she introduced him to Executive Director Ron Cox and gave him the necessary information to apply and requested he reach out the following week. What resulted was a gaining access to a tour of the company with Guillermo Hamlin, then the former Intern Volunteer Coordinator.

Over time Masio became more acquainted with the staff at MATV, so when Hailey Hao, current Director of Media Arts Education was searching for an instructor for a summer class, she felt he would be a good fit. After a brief and straightforward interview with Hao and Anne D’Urso-Rose Masio assumed they quickly decided against his application.

Internship

“The following day I get a call,” Masio remembers, “Hailey said ‘we made a decision, we’ve been looking at three people, and reduced to two—‘ it sounded like I was about to get rejected, so I didn’t have my hopes up, but she continues like ‘at the last moment you came in and I we just felt as though you should be the new instructor. We’ll go over what the class is and we’ll be happy to offer you the position.’”

Multi Media Madness, the class he would go on to instruct was the first time Masio had been in an authoritative position. He would need to put together a sound curriculum that would work with the size and subject of the class.

“It was so jarring to hear these kids calling me ‘sir’, like “wait, you don’t have to do that!”

Masio started cohosting podcast Culture Matters in Malden and invited friends and former IAMBECUZWEARE team for an interview.

In the meantime, Masio was gradually becoming assimilated to the culture of MATV through different events. He enjoyed live streams, got some friends to perform at some shows, and attended many more art and performance events.

“I personally connected to the place… I had so many positive experiences!”

Becoming Master Yoda

Playing during a staff meeting at J Malden Center

After a teaching another Multi-Media Madness class and a separate position as a media instructor Masio’s involvement in the company had gradually deepened. What landed him the job as the current Volunteer Coordinator was when Guillermo Hamlin was changing positions and someone needed to fill his role.

Masio reflects on having been an MATV staff member for a year and witnessing its growth. “I’m excited to be a part of this community as we’re on the cusp of a major transition to UMA! I’m interested in seeing what the future holds for us and myself as a creator.”

When asked about his current role and how he connects to the people he meets, he had this final word to say,

“It’s all about being empathetic, Understanding what people want and what their expectations are in trying to fulfill that. Having had interned and worked at places where the culture was anything but inclusive and warm, I want to make the intern volunteer experience very inviting and open. I want everyone to feel validated and allow them to grow into whatever they see themselves being. I see myself as Master Yoda and the interns as my full of promise padawans.”

Thanks, Masio, for being an enthusiastic and champion of our team!

INTERNal Reflections, News, UMA Updates

Written by Sky Malerba

Hello! I am a current Intern at Urban Media Arts and a senior at Massachusetts college of Art and Design as an animation major and Creative Writing minor. I am an illustrator, writer and I have several books in the works!

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