So luckily, the internship at Welcome Change Productions had turned into a part time job. I had finally moved out of deep Brooklyn and moved into the high class lifestyle of the upper West Side … for a week. That’s all I could afford! At around $1,500 a month I would have been in debt fast. Not to mention that the old lady I was renting from was an insane character (ask me for stories, I’ll tell you plenty). Luckily, right when I was thinking I might have to move back home – the women’s residence I had applied to said there was an open room for me! I was moving to a nunnery! (More to come, that experience deserves it’s own blog!)
So now that I had cheap rent, a steady part time job, and lots of free days – it was time to start searching for more work! But how was I going to break into the production world with zero connections and zero experience? The only way I knew how to start the process, was to go door to door of every production company I could find with a resume in my hand. After a full day walking all over Manhattan, I ended up exhausted and with not a single response back…. except for one. A post-production company named Goldcrest Post called me back about interning with them. It wasn’t a paid position, it wasn’t exactly the career path I wanted to take, but it was an OPPORTUNITY. So I took it!
Thus I was thrown head first into a world of stocking the fridge, getting coffee, going on runs, practicing my Spanish with the lovely Carmen, answering phones, but most importantly – learning about the business. Any free time I had I would try to sit in on editing sessions to try and absorb all I could.
Another benefit of that job was I got to see another cool part of the city, the Meatpacking district. It’s an industrial-sounding name, but they have made that once factory-ridden area so pretty. The roads I would walk on to get to work were cobble stone, trees aligned our block, and best of all – we worked right next door to the High Line. The high line was once an above ground railroad that was shut down and converted into an above ground park. I picnicked up there during lunch breaks, and took little walks that felt like I was walking right through the buildings.
I also loved doing tasks for a producer named Gretchen, who was more involved in the actual production aspect of the films, which was what I was really interested in. As I would file different permits and contracts, she would answer all of my rookie questions about the logistics of production. She even mentioned at one point that her husband worked for a television show filming in New York, Person of Interest. That peaked my interest, and I asked her if she ever heard of an opening with them – to let me know!
Low and behold a few weeks later, they called me to fill in as an office PA for a day. That brought on job number 3 at the time. I was so excited about this job because it was an actual Warner Brother production and I wanted to learn all I could! Little did I know at the time just how much I would absorb and all the amazing people I would meet from working with Person of Interest. But I’m getting ahead of myself!
A few weeks after being called in to POI, I got another job offer filming short promo videos for a tour company called On Location Tours. This company gave tours to parts of the city that were known for the movies filmed there. This job wasn’t exactly a way to make “contacts in the business” but it is by far one of the best things I did while living here. I got to wander around New York with fun people and learn a bunch of random facts about the city! Some of my favorite days were seeing the “Men In Black headquarters” in the city, learning about the bull statue and how it was sneakily and illegally plopped into where it stands today, oh and filming the host get “slushied” for a special Glee episode. It was a blast!
Here are all of the videos:
With the addition of one more job organizing the mailing lists for a documentary, that made 5 jobs I was trying to juggle at once. I was going crazy trying to plan out my weeks and when I would work where, but little did I know this is the lifestyle of a LOT of people who live in New York. I met a few girls in my residence that balance jobs DJ-ing, catering, acting, working in a hair salon, waitressing, EVERYTHING you can imagine. Some of these girls had moved from a different country, and were learning English on top of that. Suddenly after meeting them, my juggling act seemed like a lot lighter load. I was in awe of their determination while also having to learn a new culture! Because on top of working, it’s also very hard to learn how to do daily tasks in the city.
For example, normally a grocery store run would consist of me getting in my car, buying everything I need for the next few weeks, piling it in my trunk, and driving home. But suddenly now, I was walking to the store and had to lug everything I bought 10 blocks back home. I had to learn how to buy little stuff frequently. And with no WAl-Mart ANYWHERE in Manhattan (gasp) – I had to learn where I could buy what. This could make a few simple errands take ALL DAY. Not to mention very few public bathrooms in the city, some days I would find myself frustrated trying to accomplish mundane tasks and having to pee like a racehorse with still 5 stops left while riding the subway. Then finally getting home to my TINY little closet of an apartment blowing the fan directly on me to try to escape the summer heat in the city. It’s definitely not easy living here, but it’s a challenge with some very cool perks. I could be having the most frustrating day ever, and stumble upon something I’ve never seen before…
Like a group of people dressed up as animals doing some sort of modern dance… in the subway.
Or finding a random glowing Spider-Man looking giant ball.
Or seeing an inspiring sign just right below your feet!
Or running into a random ball room dance lesson in Union Square.
Or stumbling into a freshman orientation and getting a free t-shirt from people who think you are a
Or finding Hercules' pharmacy.
Or walking into a coffee shop with the coolest coffee flavors baked right into the beans.
Or taking a break in the New York library
Or witnessing the gold medal winner of dog walking.
Or seeing a random dance off break out
Or my favorite… walking past a wonderful smelling market selling flowers, just after you got a wiff of a horrible aroma of pee on the sidewalk…
Or simply just looking up, and remember where you are at.
It’s definitely not the easiest thing to do to live here. But despite the struggles, I am so happy I’ve seen the things I have this year!