Thursday, October 8, 2015

City of Angels

This past semester I spent in LA and I never thought I'd say this, but it was the one time in my life when I learned more about what I don't like than what I do. It took me until about 3/4 of the way through my junior year to realize that I picked the wrong career path. However, I don't really look at my change of interests as a negative thing because I've developed an immense amount of skills along the way. My college years have been the classic learning experience. One thing I've learned about the industry is to be prepared for anything and everything. This isn't even a reason why I don't like it, as  I often like to push myself to try new things that I've never thought of before.

One of my internships was with a company called Central City Stages. This was a family-run business and I guess I was technically an unofficial intern as they didn't have an internship program. I heard about the company through a professor here at Ithaca and decided to pursue them on my own because I desperately wanted to get experience with art departments while out in LA. I called them up, told them I wanted to intern for them, went in to meet them and was pretty much hired off the bat. I even quit one of my other internships because I knew that this was what I REALLY wanted to do. This was quite the unique internship. Very untraditional as I often found myself sitting at the front desk with the owner listening to his stories and conversing about something new everyday. One day, he gave me an entire historical lesson on 70s rock. Ironically I say I learned that I don't like the industry but I loved my internships because I learned life skills. For example, I learned to deal with being thrown into the mix and doing ultimate bitch work as an intern. Sometimes I was treated really great and other times, pretty much treated like shit. At Central City, I was basically handed off as an intern for the art department to utilize when productions came into the studio. Some of the most stressful tasks I had to complete were emptying about 8 bottles of mustard for a commercial (the hardest part was figuring out what to do with the excess mustard), transporting 500 pound trusses on a dolly through very thin doorways, and slating for two cameras for my first time in front of the entire guest population at Disney Land that night. Basically, I was put into very uncomfortable situations at unexpected times and had to problem-solve on the spot. Very stressful, but ultimately one of the best learning experiences I could have asked for.

Although I am most likely not going to pursue a career in the television industry, there are definitely aspects that I enjoy. You always have the opportunity to try something new (often not even by choice) , and it definitely never gets boring. I like being on my feet all day and the exhilaration of working on a time crunch. Set gets crazy and its a community experience. Its a great place to meet people and ultimately form life long friendships and bonds. I met some amazing people while in LA and they are definitely the ones that made it worthwhile. Although I am probably not going to end up living there, I am looking forward to going back and visiting and thanking all the people that made my time the best that it could have been.

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