I am seeking work as an apprentice in a taxidermy shop, but I don't know how to go about politely asking. I have been highly interested in taxidermy from a very young age, and have finally been able to try it myself at my current age of 17. It would also be my first job, and I would be willing to work for free. I don't mind doing small, menial, repetitive, or 'boring' tasks, and I am available for a normal 9-5 (I am willing to put in even more time if need be) workday every day of the week, including weekends. When the coronavirus lockdown lets up, should I ask right away or should I wait, or even ask right now? Would it be better to email them or show up to the shop in person, or even contact them here? I do know that some taxidermists are becoming overloaded with work due to the quarantine, so they might appreciate an apprentice who could do small tasks and eventually work up to bigger ones as I learned more. I have experience skinning, fleshing, and working on small mammals. I know the basics, but when it comes to certain techniques, I don't know very much, but I am more than willing to watch and learn. I have 2 local shops within 20 minutes of where I live, so I could commute to them easily, either by a short car journey or walking there. There are 3 more of them that are easily accessible, but are a solid 30-40 minute drive. I live on Long Island, and the shops that are super close to me are Fins to Feathers Taxidermy http://alllongislandtaxidermy.com/, and Fish & Wildlife Unlimited http://fishunlimitedtaxidermy.net/. The other three that are a bit farther away are Eastern taxidermy or http://www.easterntaxidermy.com/, Island Wide Taxidermy, and Wildlife Creations Taxidermy. Once I mount a few more mice and the duck in my freezer, I will have actual finished pieces to show any taxidermist who may consider me for an apprenticeship. I also collect and clean bones, and can reliably get them paper white (without boiling). I can provide photos of anything I have mentioned if need be. Thank you in advance for any advice anyone may give, just joining this website has helped me learn a lot! If anyone personally knows a taxidermist on Long Island or even any of the ones that I listed, that would be a big help as well!