The Job Search: Self-Reflection

So it just becomes a matter of getting a job.

I started my journey in Fall Quarter with a meeting with EPICS Director, Heather Trulock. I wanted to make sure that I was not completely missing out on job opportunities. She reassured me that entertainment jobs, unlike most other jobs, happen very quickly, without much warning.  It’s futile to apply to jobs in Fall Quarter, unless I’m prepared to leave school for Winter.

Fast-forward to Winter Quarter. For me, this quarter is all about getting ready for that job rush and application process. I’ve spent hours perfecting my resume and letting my friends look over it.  My resume got me my internship last winter because I sent it to the right person.  I figure my first job will happen in a similar way.

I’ve had a slight crisis over what I want to do with my life.  This has been exacerbated, if not caused, by graduation and the idea of the first job.  The “first job” has a stigma attached to it.  It seems like that job will define the rest of your life.  If you start an agency, you will end at an agency.  I still have this fear despite having it dispelled over and over again by people currently working in entertainment.  They say you find your path.  You follow where your passion is or where your skillset is or where the money is.  In a lot of ways, the first job is a jumping off point and if you absolutely NAIL IT, you will be recognized and promoted or referred.  Then people are asking for you, and not you for them. This idea still hasn’t entirely sunk in.  I would rather start working at somewhere like HBO than in a production company run out of someone’s garage.  So in the back of my head I’m still pressuring myself about the importance of my first job.

What is my Plan A/dream job? I want to end up on the creative side of the industry.  If I didn’t know about getting a job on the business side, I DEFINITELY don’t know about the creative side. While I’m not quite sure exactly where to start, my initial thought is to begin assembling a list of contacts that I’ve met or would like to meet.  It seems like a resume sent into a void is a resume lost.  So it would be nice if I could be recommended in the future. I’ve also been entertaining the idea of starting at a place that has a more regimented entry-level position, like the NBC page program and CAA’s agent assistant program.  I’m talking to my friends about them and whereas they do offer that reassurance of a job early on, none of them seem to be completely thrilled with their experiences.

So…it does FEEL like I’m stuck.  Like there’s a storm coming and I’m just waiting for it.  I have to keep telling myself that this is the time to get ready for that storm. So here I go, jumping in feet first. Wish me luck as I begin my journey!

Our blogger is a RTVF senior looking to move to LA and break into the Entertainment Industry post-graduation. This person has some experience in the industry, having held an internship and lived in LA earlier in their Northwestern career. Follow them as they share their story of their full-time job search.

Blue Man Group is searching for a stellar student journalist to serve as an on-air correspondent for the Chicago Production!

Blue Man Group is searching for a stellar student journalist to serve as an on-air correspondent for the Chicago Production!

Interested candidates will submit a 1 – 3 minute video on the official contest homepage explaining why they would make the perfect voice of Blue Man Group!

Contest runs February 12 – March 1, 2013.

Join us for our press junket kick off on February 12 to get valuable footage, interviews and insider information to produce your entry video!

Press Junket Schedule for Tuesday, February 12:

4:15pm – 4:30pm: Check in
4:30pm: View rehearsal and hear from former Blue Man and current Blue Man Group director Michael Dahlen

5:30pm: Interviews with crew and band members

Students will be permitted to record footage for their contestant entry videos at this event.

B-roll of the production will also be provided.

To RSVP for the press junket, please email

Can’t make the press junket? You can still enter the contest! Visit our contest homepage for more information or email for b-roll, photos and resources!

What are we looking for? See official rules and regulations on our contest homepage or check out this video from our 2011 Correspondent from Orlando!

Adventures of an EPICS Intern: Starting Out at MTV

My name is Mallory Ladenheim and I am a Communication Studies student at Northwestern. I am currently interning at MTV News and Documentaries in Los Angeles.

Let me start out by saying this: the last few weeks took me for a complete whirlwind. Just two days before returning to school for winter quarter, MTV called to offer me an internship in their news and documentaries department. I had applied for the position about one month prior, but honestly never expected anything to come of it. Fortunately, thanks to some very hardworking staff in the SoC office, I managed to work out a last-minute plan that allowed me to accept the internship offer.

I must also point out that I come from Los Angeles. This has obviously worked to my advantage, helping to avoid the added hassle of finding a place to stay and car to drive (because you certainly need one here).

So, now onto the fun stuff…

As a total pop-culture junkie, I couldn’t have envisioned a better place to work. The office always feels abuzz with talk of the latest TV series, movies, music, and award shows (tis the season). And of course, the work people do falls right in line. I want to share two of my early experiences to help paint a fuller picture of this.

Firstly, last week I was given the task of finding and downloading music videos from artists, songs, albums, and records nominated for a 2013 Grammy. I will eventually work alongside a producer to compile these clips into different segments that will air during the MTV News Grammy livestream. Secondly, I also had the opportunity to work on an interview with young singer/songwriter Camryn, who is opening for One Direction on their upcoming European tour. Producers had me actively take notes during the interview. They will eventually use these notes as a reference during the editing process.

As a student majoring in Communication Studies, I haven’t had the chance to practice film editing during my time at Northwestern. I’m now (slowly but surely) beginning to learn how while working at MTV, with the help of a very knowledgeable employee who has “taken me under his wing.” Final Cut Pro will definitely take some time to master, but I say better now than never! My advice: if you want to work in a business like this, learn how to edit now. I promise it will make your life easier in the long run.

After a fantastic first week, I look forward to the adventures that await me in the upcoming months. I expect to work hard but have while doing so. Maybe I’ll learn how to properly edit, too. Wait for me to keep you posted on that…

Adventures of an EPICS Intern in NYC: 30 ROCK: That’s a Wrap!

By: Demetrios Cokinos

The final weeks of 30 ROCK were ones to remember: we had our final wrap party, I was given the chance to interview Tracey Wigfield, co-writer of the series finale with Tina Fey, and even see Alec Baldwin shoot his final shot of the series.  But for my final blog post, I would rather narrow the focus of my experience to my favorite moment of my substantive yet short tenure at 30 ROCK.

On Wednesday, December 19th, for the very first time, the 30 ROCK production offices were empty.  From accounting to locations to props, everyone stood downstairs huddled together in a small studio space anxiously waiting to see Tina Fey complete her final shot of the series.  Ali (my fellow office PA) and I realized that the crew was nearing the shot, so we finished our work and ran down to get a good spot.

I had never seen the set more crowded.  Ali and I tried to find a spot in the back of the studio where we could see the take at least from the monitors.  Though, being in the back of a crowd of 30 people trying to huddle around a 10 inch monitor did not lead to anything exciting.  So Ali and I walked around to the other side of the set, trying to get a better view.  We were stopped by the stage door and told to stay there.  What we soon realized is that Tina Fey would be performing right in front of us.

We were watching Tina Fey’s stand in pose for the final shot – the lighting had to be perfect.  “Last looks!,” yells the Key PA from the other side of the stage.  The make-up artists and set decorators take one final scan of the stage and scurry off to the monitors.  Tina’s stand in stepped down as Tina Fey walked in.  Tina raised her stand-in’s arm and said, “Everyone give a round of applause for Laura Barios! She’s wrapped!” They hugged and then Tina took her place.  Ali and I laughed quietly as we watched Tina rehearse the scene.  Tina seems to find it hilarious when the large make-up crew comes to touch her up before the real take.  We could see Tina making funny faces at us through the number of arms around her face.

Then the stage cleared, three bells overhead rung, and the camera began recording.  I cannot go into any more detail really or I’ll spoil the joke; but I’ll say that both the crew and I were trying hard to hold back our laughs.  Tina’s final shot ended her enormously, successful, critically acclaimed and award – winning seven year run so beautifully.  And with the final, “cut – check the gate,” her moment was complete.  30 ROCK wrapped Liz Lemon and Tina Fey.

Tina rushed up to the top of the stage amongst the thunderous applause to deliver her final words to her hard working crew.  Tina is just naturally funny, so of course with her first three words she had the whole floor roaring with laugher.  She talked about her past, saying that she finally realized her dream by creating her own television show.  There was an extreme sense of modesty in her words, though, and she thanked every single member of her crew for putting up with the absurd antics of the show – like when out of no where, the script calls for a monkey to walk around with Tracy.

Tina’s words radiated this inspiration to the rest of the crew, allowing them to know that even though 30 ROCK is over, their lives will move to bigger and better places, maybe one day reuniting for another show.  In my opinion, Tina represents the best example of hard work: she attended UVA, followed it by taking comedy classes at the renowned Second City, all the way up to working on SNL and creating her own sitcom.  I look up to Tina Fey because she never gave up when she knew it would take hard work to get where she is today.  And look at her!  She has achieved everything she could ever have dreamed for.

And as her speech neared its end, I realized again what an unbelievable opportunity I had being at 30 ROCK. Everyday I was there, I would need to take a step back to be sure that I wasn’t hallucinating.  It was a crazy ride for sure – from the simple things like, getting the scripts ready for the current day to the absurd, like Hurricane Sandy with no electricity or water, running out for Tracy Morgan to buy $500 worth of White Castle burgers as a gift to the crew, getting a taco truck paid for by Alec Baldwin, borrowing costumes from SNL – but I loved every wild moment of my sneak peak insider view of television’s finest comedy.  My own personal dream is that one day I will be moving towards a Tina Fey-like position, giving parting words after something I love and create comes to an end. And for now I am happy to back at Northwestern, after being in the working world for five months, I am excited to be a student again. But also always looking forward…perhaps back to NYC if I am again so fortunate!