MFA, Film, 2012
Los Angeles, CA
What's your Career Success Story?
After nearly a year at the prestigious NBCUniversal Page Program, where I worked worked in development at Oxygen, NBC Primetime Programing, and Universal Pictures, I moved on to the role as writer's PA on the Fox show, "Minority Report". Halfway through our first season I was promoted to showrunner's assistant, a position I held until the end of the show's run. Unfortunately, as often happens in the television world, our show only lasted one season. But, one of the writers on the show helped me secure a temp job working for the well known nonprofit, the Humanitas Prize, which recognizes outstanding television and feature film writers. Through the connections I made at Humanitas, the same writer from Minority Report, and an NYU alum I met during my time at Tisch Asia, I got an interview to work as showrunner's assistant on the upcoming Marvel/Netflix show, "The Defenders". I dazzled them with my ability to schedule meetings and calendar flight travel (or something), and got the job!
What aspects of your education, including internships and/or student projects, helped you get jobs?
My combination of production experience from school and my real world experience at a production company in LA are (I believe) what helped me initially. Before getting in as a Page at NBC, I worked for nearly two years as an assistant at a small feature company, and had I not learned the ropes there, I never would have been accepted. Being a Swiss Army Knife of all things film and television gives you a huge leg up, and that all started at NYU. Also, I can not stress enough the importance of both building and maintaining a network. I know everyone says it, but that's because it's true. My experience and tenacity helped me in second and third round NBC interviews, but had I not met and followed up with a former Page who gave me some insider tips for the initial application, I never would have made it through the first round. Furthermore, most jobs in writers rooms will never be posted on a job board or website, showrunners simply ask their writers or assistants or husbands for some recommendations and that's that. Both my TV jobs I've gotten from knowing and working with people who can throw my name in the mix, and without that I would never have even known about the job openings, let along have been able to send in a resume.
What advice would you give to someone who wanted to get into the Page Program?
When I applied, I had six months experience on a desk at a production company, and by the time I was called in for an interview a year after my application was submitted, I had a year and six months' desk experience and four features on my resume. Although the Page Program is supposed to be entry-level, I'm pretty sure what sealed the deal was all my experience. Spend at least a summer interning at a production company, agency, or management company. Learn how to roll calls. Work for free on a real movie. And, the biggest thing, follow up! They only accept new pages once or twice a year and are always receiving applications, so keep following up to keep you name in the mix.