New posts can be found here:
Week 7 should be up by Friday, October 19th.
New posts can be found here:
Week 7 should be up by Friday, October 19th.
This week marks a Sean’s return to the blog, and features excerpts from his last two journal entries:
THE BUCKET LIST
Back when I interviewed for my internship, I was told my boss would ask me to make a bucket list, comprised of goals I wanted to complete by the time my internship was over. That first day at the office, he gave me that assignment and I did it soon after. Then came the waiting. For four weeks, I waited for him to ask me to go over it. I mean he assigned it to me, right? Last Wednesday, I got tired of waiting. Finally, I just said, “Do you think we could go over my bucket list?” And he simply said, “It would be an honor.” So we sat and discussed each one. At the top of the list was to complete a rough draft of a pilot script. He has already given me the material to outline a treatment and do some script coverage.
I learned last week that this industry is not going to reach out its hand to you. It doesn’t have to. How many people do you know (including yourself) that have ever wanted to be famous? My hand is raised right now, but I’ve realized no one is going to come up to me and say something like, “I just saw you on the street, you’re going to be rich and famous.” To make it here, you have to take some initiative and go after what you want.
A HOMECOMING…OF SORTS
This week, I was feeling rather homesick. I’ve been missing my friends and family more and more as the days go by, but this week was especially hard. I turned 21 on Tuesday. The big 2-1. The legal drinking age. The last “fun” birthday (after this I have renting a car and balding to look forward to…). There is the Stonehill right of passage to the hallowed lands of Brother Mike’s, Owen’s, and El Mariachi’s. To say that I missed all of that was an understatement. Everyone did their best to make me feel special, but in the end, it just felt like a day. I missed home. I got my slice of home in having my girlfriend, Rachael, come to visit for a few days. If you think I was missing my birthday, then you have no idea how much I have missed her. I played tour guide to the state of California, showing her the most touristy of spots, like Hollywood, Orange County, and Beverly Hills. I got to enjoy her company and have a part of home out here with me.
I also got the chance to encounter Stonehill outside of Massachusetts. Way back in June, while searching Career Connections, I came across a Stonehill alum named Ryan Gaul. Ryan graduated in 1996 and is an actor, having appeared on hit TV shows like Modern Family. Coincidentally, I had a conversation with Professor Dahlin a year before and recalled him telling me Ryan’s story. I was intrigued and inspired and I took a shot and contacted him via email. Ryan was more than friendly. He is currently a member of the “Groundlings,” an improvisational sketch comedy group, known for kickstarting careers of comedians like Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy. He told me to come to a show while I was in LA and we could talk. This Saturday, I took him up on his offer. I was able to get the tickets for free, thanks to a little piece of awesomeness known as industry comp. Because I work for a talent manager involved in comedy, I can see comedy shows FOR FREE! The night was hilarious and Ryan was spectacular. Rachael and I spoke with him after the show and it was like seeing a friendly face, though I’d never before met him. It is true when they say that Stonehill has incredibly close connections to its fellow Chieftains/Skyhawks (Chiefhawks?). I loved seeing someone be so passionate about their work and have received that initial push from the influence of the college. It made me miss Stonehill, but it made me realize that the school is not as far away as it seems.
I’m starting to understand how much work it takes to be part of a PR firm. It’s not just about going to events and meeting celebrities and stylists galore…there is a lot of behind the scenes work. It seems like there is a constant day to day job of checking coverage, sending samples, answering requests, and updating social media for each client. That’s bare minimum for the work day. Then randomly (and by appointment) stylists and various press will come by looking for clothing to take with them for events or certain articles for magazines/online blogs. There is just never a dull moment at Red Light PR.
With all that said, I love it. I wouldn’t say I love every assignment I work on during the day but overall it is an amazing feeling to work in an upbeat, fast-paced environment. I have deadlines and people count on me to do my job. There is also strict attention to detail in how each assignment is done. Now that I basically can do all the tasks, the account executives have been more thorough with me in explaining what small details I can change to improve my skill set one level further. I like being held responsible for so much because it makes me feel like I’m more than just an intern; I ‘m part of the Red Light team.
I’m also beginning to understand more about teamwork at Red Light as well. It’s reminded me of my organizational behavior class. It’s interesting to analyze the work atmosphere and how each person contributes to daily tasks. Many of the other interns put their effort into helping each other out. Then there are some complete slackers who do basically anything to avoid work. And there is about one person in my mind who really takes charge and is a go-to for all the answers to any question you could possibly have. I’ve been doing my best to learn as much as I can from her as she has been at Red Light interning for almost four months. Obviously since she has been there that long she too has been able to integrate herself amongst the account executives. They know she will get a job done correctly, so they really rely on her. They rely on me too, it seems, but I’ve only been working there for less than a month. I know a lot in comparison to some of the other interns but I know I still have a long way to go.
I also wanted to discuss something a little less work related. I have been making many new connections here in California through work and mutual friends. I feel it is important to bring this up as it may not be directly related to public relations but I am learning how to network. I have met a friend from Texas through my internship. She goes to school at FIDM and has been really nice in showing my roommates and me around Los Angeles. I’ve invited her to go out with my roommates and me for a few different things like the Pitch Perfect premier and Universal trip. I’ve also met a few new friends through mutual acquaintances. You don’t realize how small the world is until you’re on the west coast meeting people from Boston and Maine. The best part is that they are living the life I want to have after I graduate! Most of the people I’ve met have been so generous and helpful in answering any questions I have or giving me some advice. I really would love to move here after graduation in May and it’s nice to have these connections if I do end up here. That is another part of networking I have never thought much about –long term relationships. If and when I move to Los Angeles, these connections will mean a lot to me, especially in getting a job out here. It seems like everyone knows someone working for every company which is such an amazing part of being in California…How connected people are to one another!
The L.A. interns are quickly seeing their first month there come to an end. Contributors to the blog have recounted a wealth of experiences already, from brushes with celebrities and professional networking opportunities to show tapings and film premieres. As Tara notes, “It is fall,” and I look forward to reading about the experiences that await them as we head toward mid-semester. -RL
We started off this week with a free comedy show at the Upright Citizen Brigade. The show lived up to our high expectations, with hosts from none other than Charlestown, Massachusetts – it seems we can’t escape Boston no matter where we go! After that, it was back to work for all of us on Monday. At Nickelodeon, I had the privilege of sitting in on a script meeting for Dora the Explorer with the production team and the creator, Chris Gifford. On Thursday I spoke with the new President of Content Development and Production at Nickelodeon, Russell Hicks. I appreciated his enthusiasm about the future of Nickelodeon, about pulling inspiration from their glory days in the 90s, and about providing recent graduates with a place to create.
I have to also mention the valuable lesson I learned on Friday at MGM on the importance of proofreading. This ad that I worked on went past four people before we were notified that I had accidentally written “Bristish” in the type; it’s a mistake I will never be able to live down, but these things happen. Thankfully, I was able to laugh at myself in that moment. Finally, we ended the week yesterday paying our respects to the beach. It’s still quite warm here, and I keep having to remind myself that it is the end of September: it is fall!
This was a busy week at my internship because we are getting things ready for two commercials and one episode of Live Room. I was constantly on the phone talking to clients, setting up a crew for each project, and booking plane tickets, hotel rooms, and rental cars, all the while being sure to stay under budget. I am starting to like doing the business aspect of the job, which is something I didn’t really enjoy in the past. Communications skills are very important to this internship. This week when I was calling and emailing clients I had to build rapport with them by making “small talk” and getting to know them a little. I also rely on my written communication skills, because I email clients all day long. For example, this week I had to send an email to the state of Georgia Film Commission in order to file a tax exemption for filming there in a few weeks.
This week the whole group went to a movie premier for the movie Pitch Perfect. I found the movie to be very funny and entertaining, which is not what I was expecting before we entered the theater. The movie was a more adult version of Glee, but funnier. On Friday night we went to City Walk, which has many stores and restaurants with brightly lit signs.
The L.A. interns are rapidly adjusting to new challenges at work, and to the perks of living in Hollywood!
Three weeks have gone by since arriving in LA. This week has been just as exciting as the previous two. This week I was assigned more difficult tasks. I started working with the Arts Administration department, writing up contracts for photographers for various bands. I was in contact with snowboarder Shaun White’s personal photographer. I also held the three new Green Day CDs in my hand to bring them to another department. It wasn’t really an important or difficult task, but it was exciting knowing that they were sealed and restricted to the outside world, yet they were in my hands.
Friday was my day off, and being a guitar player and interested in music, Christine and I went to Sunset Boulevard to go to various guitar stores. Now there are Guitar Centers across the country, but the one here was enormous. However, it wasn’t as interesting to me as the smaller boutique shops located down the block, including the home of the only Mesa-Boogie store in the world (maker of world-famous guitar amplifiers).
I am currently sitting in the middle of the Beverly Gardens Park across the street from my MGM internship as I type this blog post. I think I needed the beautiful and peaceful, fresh-air environment that this park provides in order to finally get my thoughts in order about the past couple of weeks. Every day has been an adventure, so much so that I need this moment just to catch my breath.
I have now started both of my internships: one at MGM Television and one at Nickelodeon Animation Studios. I am already learning how these internships can provide me vastly different opportunities as each demand different skills and responsibilities. At MGM, I have already had the chance to independently design a web banner advertising the Blu-Ray release of a movie. At Nickelodeon, I was reeled in by the chances I will have to meet and talk with current employees, take classes offered in the many divisions of animated productions, and be a large part of the project at Dora the Explorer.
As if that was not enough, I had some incredible experiences outside of my internships this past week as well. On Wednesday, I went to a taping of “Whitney,” a second season sitcom on NBC starring Whitney Cummings (my gratitude to Sean for inviting me). I was absolutely awed by the process. Every scene took place right in front of us on a series of different sets lined in a row, while the camera crew would caravan to each location. The following day Christine and I went to a taping of Jimmy Kimmel Live. One of the guests was Dave Matthews, which meant we were able to attend a short concert by the Dave Matthews Band during the final segment of the show. Finally, to conclude the week of TV shows, we followed the Yellow Brick Road to a taping of “Let’s Make A Deal” on Saturday. Dressed as the complete gang from the Wizard of Oz, we displayed only the utmost enthusiasm for free prizes and Wayne Brady, but to no avail. We had failed to realize this taping was a “Family Episode.” So while this band of misfit Stonehill LA interns may not be my real family, they can still be my “TV family.”