All I can say after the alumni panel of recent Hofstra graduates held at Emerson College we attended is that I am #shook. Not only did they give genuine advice for people wanting to move to Los Angeles to pursue a career in entertainment, they seemed very serious about being there for us if we need any advice, even if it is in 10 years from now. My panicky self sitting in the back appreciated that. The alumni came from all different backgrounds and careers, from public relations and agentry to news production. The overall advice I walked away with is to pay your dues (you’re not getting ajob that fulfills you right out of college), always be looking for opportunity and always network, network, network. I have been told, “It’s about who you know,” for years, but it seems so much more pertinent in L.A.
Speaking of being connected, the reason I am so #shook is that I actually have previously met one of NBC’s associate producers, who was at the panel. Not only did she help found (and recognize me from) Hofstra Today, the news show I host at Hofstra, she is the cousin of some of my best friends growing up! This is just another example to prove that it really is a small world.
This alumni panel followed another busy day of networking—first with Cameron Kadison of Mortar Media (who previously worked at William Morris Endeavor, one of the largest talent agencies in the world, before creating Mortar Media). Being completely oblivious to the world of management and representation, it was captivating listening to him talk about the business, and surprising when he told us Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi was one of his smartest and most hardworking clients. He gave me helpful advice about working my way up to becoming an entertainment reporter, which was nice, because although many of the people we have met tell us getting into the mailroom of a company or becoming an agent assistant is the way to start, that does not necessarily fully apply to me. He also told us some job listing sites, which I will definitely try.
The next meeting was with the one and only Mark Bracco, the executive vice president of programming and development at Dick Clark Productions, who oversees shows such as the Billboard Music Awards, the Golden Globes and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. My knowledge about the production of award shows is also quite miniscule, so hearing how they book talent and publicize events was fascinating. I found it sad that it’s nearly impossible to book hosts these days because of this politically correct atmosphere in which we live—an atmosphere in which people would rather turn down a hosting gig than accidently offend someone. It made me upset because I would gladly host a show!
The day was full of new knowledge, and ended with it as well: I now know why New York and New Jersey pizza is so highly acclaimed. The pizza we consumed at the panel was tiny, thinner than cardboard and lacked enough sauce and cheese. I never knew that pizza could be so different in the same country.
I am more excited than ever for tomorrow, because we get to see a taping of Entertainment Tonight, a show I would love to one day host!