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318/365 – Last Day At The PGA
© 2012 Timmy Tamisiea. All rights reserved. pga

318/365 – Last Day At The PGA

From one internship to another, I’m floating around LA like a man with a mission . . . a mission to create no new income.  I just have to keep telling myself that these unpaid internships will pay off in the future.  I have to hope that within the next 6 months, I will be given a some kind of job within the industry that will allow me to — Oh, I don’t know . . . pay rent?

After all, Robin started out as an intern and then he became Nightwing!

While many of these internships don’t necessarily grant me experience that is totally related to my field, they do grant me relationships that are.  I’m not making cold calls, working with databases and emptying the dishwasher to prove my skill set.  I’m doing these tasks because that what these people need done . . . and getting them done takes a certain kind of finesse.  What kind of finesse, you may ask?  Oh, you know, the kind where you take your ego down 10 notches and ramp up the humility 10 notches.  The kind of finesse where you smile and offer your services for what ever is needed at your internship.  Be it making coffee, doing a staples run or answering calls.

You want me to clean up the evidence? Sure. What ever you need.

See, internships aren’t realy about the work.  If they were, then the employers would be outsourcing this shit.  Internships are about the people.  All of Hollywood is about who you know not what you know.  So why would you strain a realationship with a potential employer by refusing a menial task?  They’re not stupid.  They know you can probably do far more complicated tasks than emptying the trash.  Emptying the trash, however, is what they need right now.  Doing it with a smile will garner you major points for the future.

Sure I’ll empty this bag of “rejected scripts.” No problem.

Which leads to the most important thing about an internship, you can’t just fake a smile, you have to really smile.  If you truely believe that this work is going to pay off later in life, those smiles you offer for menial work are real and genuine.  That’s where I am.  The PGA has had some great work for me . . . I’ve been lucky to talk to producers while cold calling for a survey.  I’ve been lucky to get to know the people who are the decision makers in this town by offering help when it’s needed.  It’s all about perspective.  My prspective during this internship had been pretty damn good.  My bosses have been polite, cordial and appreciative . . . and I’m sure it’s because I, in turn, have been polite, cordial and appreciative.

Trust me, they know when you’re faking a smile.

So when I see an article online about a couple of interns from Fox who are suing for past wages, I’m kind of floored.  Sure, interning is the most institutional form of slavery I can think of.  Sure, most of what an intern does is work that doesn’t exactly meet the criteria for higher education.  Still, you just swallow your pride and do the damn work.  OR, you politely move on and do another internship that better meets your needs . . . Tell your employers you had a great time but an opportunity has come up.  It’s not hard, people.

Sorry, Mr. Spielberg, but another opportunity has come up to intern for a major film distribution company.

Suing?  Really?  Is this generation — of which I do not count myself in (I’m a generation above most of the world’s current interns.)  — Is this generation so lazy, diluted and spoiled that they think they are OWED something?  Jesus.  How blind and ambitiously stupid does one have to be to sue a major studio as an intern . . . pretty damn stupid, I guess.  Good luck with your future in showbiz.

Either way they’re going to be emptying trash for someone in Hollywood.

Now let me qualify something.  All the people I did my Semester in LA program with ate part of this generations.  All of them are exceptions to my broad statement.  I don;t want to say this while generation is like this, but there are a lot of them.  See, the thing with many of the kids in this generation is that they just seem so entitled.  They complain about everything.  Instead of finding the positive in the situation, they nit-pick every negative till the sweater unravels.  Then they’re left in the cold.  I’ve found this especially true in relatiuon to the education some of this generation received  at Columbia.  I’ve never seen more students complain about the education than the ones who attended Columbia.  Serisouly?

It’s pretty simple, folks — You make the party.  The party doesn’t make you.  If you walk into a celebration and expect it to make you happy, you’re probably going to be dissappointed.  If you walk into a party and plan on whooping it up, deciding that YOU will have a blast, chances are you will . . . and everyone else will notice.

So, I continue to forage through the internship wilds, knowing that each one I take will turn out great if I decide to make it great.  No one has a respoibility to me to make it great.  That’s all on my back.  As for the PGA, it was a pretty damn good internship.  I was happy to be a party of that place and hope I continue to stay in touch.


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