Friday, February 19, 2010

The View from the Brown Couch Week 2

I was lucky enough to have company on my third evening visit to Modelinia for the tape run. As we sat down on that lovely brown couch, my company said to me, "This is a really nice couch." I knew it wasn't just me! What do you think?

That night, it was absolutely fantastic to have company because the tapes took the longest that they had taken yet. Not much went on that third night aside from anxiety. I saw some familiar faces, said some hellos, and sat patiently with my co-intern until we found ourselves, again, racing for the studio arriving in time for the show to run.

I would have the following two nights off from doing the tape runs. As I would later learn, my co-intern showed up even later to the studio both those nights. I prepared myself for Thursday--the final night of Fashion Week--to be the longest wait yet (but hey even the smallest mistake in edit could create a terrible show). As I showed up to pick up the tapes, I was instantly told to "Get comfortable." So I took my position in the front lobby on the beloved brown couch.

Since I had plenty of time, I reflected on my week.

With my day off on Wednesday, I headed up to Columbia University, walked around the campus, and then looked on to the Gossip Girl set as Chase Crawford and Leighton Meester filmed a scene. Three young girls were standing in front of me giggling and enjoying their February break from school. As Leighton walked off the set, the three girls, with no fear, approached her and asked for a picture. Leighton told them that she would only take the picture if it was a group picture. I saw the three girls faces all drop as they realized that they had no one to take their picture for them. So, I sacrificed my own picture with Leighton to take the camera from the girls and take their photo for them. --I remember when I was 13, and taking pictures with the members of Dream Street was all I had wanted to do as my "posse" (as we called ourselves then) followed the band around on their tour. This picture really seemed to make the day for these girls, so it in turn made me smile.

My mind came back to my present situation. I looked at my cell phone, in order to check the time, and I realized I still had plenty of time before I would be heading anywhere. I saw some more familiar faces again, made some more conversation, got a glimpse of the president of the company, and said hello to a lot of a strangers.

After two hours of sitting, and waiting, the first tape was done, and I was off. The tapes would make it to our studio in time, and our week of anxiety and mad dashes was over.

Fashion Week and I had quite the love-hate relationship, but in the end I would miss my second dose of workouts for the day, the opportunities to see the world within a fashion corporation, and the opportunity to interact with people who had such a passion for something, other than what I had ever had a passion for--fashion.

So as the the wonderful Fashion Week was coming to an end, so were my thoughts of being thankful for my hair cut, my gym membership--and that glorious brown couch.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The View from the Brown Couch

All I could think as I walked into Modelinia’s office was “God, I am glad that I got my hair cut last week.” I didn’t meet one person in that office who wasn’t well put together from his or her hair cut right down to his or her shoes. It makes a statement. In fact, the whole office makes a statement as everything from the office doors to the green and white mix of paint on the walls shouted beauty. There was no appearance of clutter either, which of course whispered, “We are classy in every aspect.”

I felt as though I had just walked out of the real world and into the movie, The Devil Wears Prada; only here, people were greeting me with smiling faces and offers to grab me a Vitamin Water from the back…My complexion must have been begging for vitamins.

However, even sitting there in the entrance of the office, I didn't feel completely out of place—my haircut, my choice to sport my most non-casual black boots, twill pants, and a purple top definitely had something to do with that.

I was picking up tapes so that our station could air footage from New York City's much loved Fashion Week. The woman I was meeting to pick up the tapes from offered to invite me back, but then explained that space was tight and it was hot and there were many people. I understood, so I took a seat on the most perfect couch and waited patiently for the tapes. As I looked to my left, I saw the most perfect pillows and a light that looked like it had just walked down the runway itself. I looked to my right, and I saw the secretary's desk, and in front of me, I stared into the glass doors that offered a reflection of only myself in this office. I almost felt better looking, just sitting in an office that had Model in the title, even though everything around me was threatening me with insults. My skin was pale and my face was bare of any make-up, but I didn’t let it affect me as I sat and waited. The industry treats you well if you keep a smile on your face and take the delays with a grain of salt. The truth was I wasn’t going to make it to our studio by the 7:45 deadline, and we knew that from the moment I walked in the door, so I made my phone calls, sat back, and waited, all while thinking…”Thank God that I had gotten a haircut.”

As the time inched closer to deadline, I reached for my phone to see how much time I had. Then I was handed the tapes, and the races were on. The train felt extra slow while I mentally prepared myself for a run I didn’t know my legs would make. The distance wasn’t the issue. It was my choice to wear boots on the ice filled streets something I had never been met with before in any of my training for sports—an obstacle course, fantastic. I jumped off the subway, took a peek at the map, so I wouldn’t be disoriented coming out of the underground, I took off for the studio, rang the bell, and handed off the tapes. The show was out of my hands now. When 10:00 came around the episode would roll. As I turned away from the studio, I reached for my hood and threw it over my head. Then I could only think to do one thing…call my mother and thank her for my gym membership. Suddenly my haircut mattered a little less than something else.

Part 2

My second trip to Modelinia was short and sweet. As I rode up the elevator, I knew this would be much simpler than my first trip—I just had to trade 1 tape for another. Bada bing bada boom. It would be another 7 hours until I’d have to return and race the clock again. This time I sported black pants, a red shirt, and a new suit jacket that I had bought on sale at Urban Outfitters—tagged at 80, I bought it for 20! I felt good—I felt snazzy. That is how you know it will be a good day—you feel snazzy.

I used to feel snazzy in my field hockey jersey on games days in high school, but this was a different snazzy—a work world snazzy.

As I returned to Modelinia for my third visit in two days, I wondered if I would look snazzy to these people. I had picked up a few compliments at work, but when I arrived there was no time to feel snazzy or anything else. The editors were hard at work to make sure I would get everything to our studio on time, or close to the time that I had gotten there the night before.

They looked at me and apologized for the delay. With a smile, I said it was okay, and walked back out to the brown couch that I had made myself so comfortable on the day before. This couch was something you dream about having in your living room—or what I dream about having in my living room. I remember my mother once offered to buy things from her favorite hotel in Rhode Island. I was ready to make an offer in this office.

I continued my waiting, by again analyzing the office. In addition, I talked with one of the employees, an HR representative, and we just talked about how great the NYC life is and other little things. She left and soon I just sat back to admire some more. And I thought to myself “I still feel snazzy—it’s still a good day”

As I sat on the brown couch I remembered how my friend interned at Vogue last year, and I thought, she must have felt what I am feeling now, every day, only in piles and piles of shoes! The office was a bit more dead than it had been the night before, but this was somewhat calming—I could take in all my surroundings, watch people as they walked by (maybe thinking, wow she looks snazzy in that jacket) and listen to the silence of the office. As I eventually stood up to retrieve the tapes—this time only one tape—I began my dash, and quickly thought, “I wish this snazzy jacket was a cape which I could use to fly…” And again, I was off, on the subway train, out of the underground, and at the backdoor of our studio. When 10:00 came around, the new episode would air—and I would sleep—feeling thankful for my haircut, my gym membership, and my snazzy coat…and I would dream sweetly of that brown couch--at least until next week's adventures.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Get the skills you need, to get the job you want

Picture Courtesy of NYC Media Group

“If you’re not excited about something…what’s the point?”

As I sat down at the picnic table in the back of the office, to enjoy lunch, with one of my producers on a cold Monday, we got to talking about the endless possibilities in New York City, and all the things that you can see and do. She mentioned that she had read a blog entry of mine and discussed an intern she had met last year who did many of the same things that I am doing. We determined that this was called “interning within the internship.”

It inspired me to write my first essay in what felt like months. It was what I needed to get the fingers typing thoughtful ideas again. And that’s what every day here is—an inspiration to write down film ideas, television program ideas, documentaries, stories, narratives, essays—there is inspiration in every page of the city.

Last week, I was inspired as we wrapped on our last episode of the Job Hunt, which began airing last Tuesday night. On Friday, we shot our second to last episode of the series which focuses on my generation and the troubles we will find in the job market, and how to avoid those troubles. All the advice that was given was more than helpful, and as I sat at the teleprompter I took several notes:

- 1 page—2 page at most resume.

- Cater the resume to the job you are applying to.

- Remember you dream job, but remember that maybe right now isn’t the time
for your dream job. Baby steps.

- Network: Use Facebook as a means of impressing employers by posting other work experience, links to things that are
relevant to the job market you are pursuing, becoming a fan of their pages. Use Twitter to follow people in that
company, whether it is HR or the business department, follow the company, so that you know what is going on. Get
on LinkedIn, which is a bit more professional than either of the two forementioned. On here, you can see what
companies have browsed through your profile.

- Follow up on resumes. Don’t sit at home and think that just because you spent three hours sending resumes to the cyber
world that you are going to get a job. You need to be proactive.

- Never just walk into a business and expect a meeting. Follow-up with emails and phone calls.

- Dress to impress.

- Make sure that you are doing the job search well in advance.

- Take advantage of websites like,, and

- The more internships you have, the more experience you can put on your resume, the more likely an employer is to give
you a shot.

The job world may appear to be shrinking, but it’s not non-existent. In fact, new jobs, new titles, and new opportunities are opening up in novelty areas every day. A job that didn’t exist ten years ago, is now here—and in another two years, there will be jobs that we don’t have now. It's time, as "Gen Y" to throw ourselves out there: blog, network, follow-up, dress well, and take advantage of every opportunity; mold ourselves into a multi-talented workers--and attain the skills we need--to get the jobs we want.