It is my last day in NY. I have finished my internship and now it’s time for the obligatory reflection on my experiences. At the beginning of this internship I didn’t think my internship was going to be so hands-on nor did I expect to have much responsibility. I thought an internship would involve mostly getting people coffee and staying out of the way for important people to do their job. I thought maybe I’ll be able to do one or two really cool things and then the rest of it will be watching, doing my time as a helping hand and nothing more. I thought the city would be too big. I thought I wouldn’t like the people. I thought I would get sick of the crowds and the dirty streets. I thought I’d spend more of my free time in Manhattan than Brooklyn. I thought I would hate unscripted television. I thought I wanted to do more set work than desk work. I thought I would have free time to work on projects for my senior year. I thought it would be different.
It was completely devoid of free time. It was completely hands on and I got a ton of experience on set and with writing. I wrote scripts, pitches, decks, episode descriptions, etc. I worked closely with all levels of people from PAs to executive producers. It was full of fun moments with my friends I will never forget, from thrift shopping in the lower east side to people watching in Washington Square Park to dancing in Brooklyn Bridge Park. It was full of good food and nice people. It was falling in love with writing. It was getting excited about cheap bookstores and reading all summer long. It was turning 21 and going out to bars for the first time. It was pizza at 12am and bagels at 12pm. It was getting to meet a ton of talented people. It was seeing more art than I had ever seen before. It was being around diversity that made me more interested in being myself. It was finding new friends. It was wanting to be back in NY before I even left it. And it was recognizing that LA may be a better fit for a career in scripted television.
Looking forward I find it strange that I will be going back to Ann Arbor tomorrow and starting school in only a few days. My life as an intern is dead and now I look to my next life. My last school year. An opportunity for becoming a better writer and filmmaker. I’m excited to write new scripts and fumble over ideas until they become something that resembles a story I’m proud of. I’m more excited than I’ve ever been about work. But, I’m also confused and unsure of what I will do when I first get out of school. I find myself at a sort of crossroads. A pivotal time in my life. A moment that won’t let me go until I get that piece of paper I’ve been working towards for 16+ years. I’m somehow more mature and sure of myself but also more unsure of where exactly I will be in a year’s time.
All of this rambling about changed perspective and crossroads comes together and becomes a clear lesson when my mind slows down and focuses on the essence of all my emotions. I have a new respect for my own ideas and see how simple it all really is if I want to become a writer. It’s not all that profound but it is true. To be a writer, I have to write. Yes, I also must read and think and all the other things we must do. But, to get better at writing it’s a matter of doing. It requires practice and I have to start doing it everyday. I need to put my work on the page and on the screen. I am ready to stop wasting my time. Content is everywhere and stories are everywhere. There’s no reason to keep mine to myself when there’s so many outlets available.
If I have any advice for a future intern going into the film industry, it would be for them to try their hardest no matter what and to always ask questions. People take notice of those who care and they will be much more willing to give you larger responsibilities if they trust you with small tasks. It’s also important that you connect with your coworkers and there’s no better way to do that than to ask questions. Ask if you are unsure of anything and get to know how people got into the industry and what their background is. You not only form a relationship with that person but you get to know the many ways you can get there as well.
This summer seems to feel more and more like a dream that blends together. Many times the best moments were littered with negative undertones and the worst littered with positive ones. I tend to see things in a positive light and this internship is no different. For me, it was an amazing learning experience and NY gave me so many amazing memories that I will never forget. Overall, I feel ready for the next step and I’m more prepared for life after school than I’ve ever been. I’m excited for the future even with its uncertainty.