This summer, I came to Los Angeles with an internship at Red Hour Films. It was a great internship with great people. I learned a lot, met a lot of great people, and most of all had a great time. Shortly after I got to LA, I secured a second internship at David Zucker Entertainment as support to a writer’s room, equally rewarding in ways that differed from Red Hour. A few weeks ago, I came to a fork in the road: continue with how I was going or make a slight change.
I learned something really valuable from this decision. I had to choose between working both of my internships for the rest of the summer or go five days a week at one and leave the other. It was a tough decision, because I was benefiting from both of them. And I wasn’t sure what to do. The other option was to work five days in the writer’s room, which sounds like a dream for a writer like me. But I was still conflicted. On one hand, I made a commitment to work at both internships for the entirety of the summer. On the other hand, I had learned something from that internship: it’s important to know when it’s time to move on.
I’m not saying leaving an internship is for everyone. But in that moment, I knew I had to figure out what was going to be best for me. Five days as support to a writer’s room, to see how things start, how they grow, and how they end up. To work with a team of writers, editors, and producers. It seemed like a no brainer. But still, I felt an obligation to my first internship. That’s the funny thing about feelings. Sometimes they keep you from seeing clearly.
I’ve learned that this industry is full of these moments. Sure, right now, it’s just an internship. Doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it is. I came out here to start a solid foundation for a future after graduation. But you can’t move forward if you’re not willing to be honest with yourself. In that moment, I had to put myself on a path. So I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and made my choice.
Though I am forever grateful for the opportunity I had at my first internship, I know it’s not often that good opportunities throw themselves at you. The lesson I learned this summer is not to let things pass you by. Sometimes, you just have to step off the cliff and see where the fall takes you. Especially if you know, deep down, that you’re doing what’s best for you and your future. It’s about your attitude and how you get along with everyone else. Moving forward is the only way to move, so I hope that when others find themselves with decisions like this, they spend time working on the clarity of the situation. You don’t want life to pass you up.
Adam Tyler Hughes is a MFA in Writing for the Screen and Stage student who is interning at Red Hour Films and David Zucker Entertainment over the summer.