Every time I come back to write another one of these blog posts, I have to look back through the photos on my camera roll to remember all of the unique experiences that I’ve had over the past week. It’s gotten to the point in which it’s hard to even distinguish between work experiences and personal experiences, because a lot of things I get to do through work are so exciting and don’t feel like work at all. To keep things organized, though, I’ll continue to sort my blog posts by the most significant aspects of work and play:
One of the coolest hands-on experiences I had most recently was being able to be on set for a promotional shoot for a Disney Channel show called “Sydney to the Max.” Usually when there are shoots happening in my building I am able to go but only able to observe; this time, however, I was actually given the duty of filming one of the angles using a small handheld camera in case the writer/producer needed a different angle or some behind the scenes footage. I was three feet away from the talent at all times, and the two main actresses were super fun to talk to. It was funny because they were acting like I was a person of authority as one of the employees on the shoot, but in reality, I was by far the least experienced person there!
Another great opportunity I had was the chance to talk with Dan Reynolds, the VP of Digital Media at ABC and a Penn State alum. He was someone I had gotten in contact with during the application process for internships in Los Angeles, so it was really nice to meet him in person and pick his brain about the path to his success and his time at Penn State. He gave me some invaluable advice and has begun setting me up with different individuals to talk to across different Disney departments, including Freeform and Disney theatrical.
Finally, as many of you may know about, this past week was huge for Disney because of the monumental merger with 21stCentury Fox, signaling one of the biggest unions between two massive media conglomerates. There is a lot of uncertainty still within many aspects of the company, but we employees have received multiple emails from company “higher-ups” explaining the diligence they are taking with all decisions made from here on out. We have meetings every other week with the president of Disney Channels Worldwide, Gary Marsh, and at the meeting this past week he expressed his excitement at the opportunities to come from this move.
We saw the first really nice weather since moving out here in Los Angeles, and by that, I mean it was hot and sunny enough to make the trek to Malibu about 45 minutes from where we live. The beaches were beautiful, the sound of the waves was so relaxing, and I didn’t get nearly as sunburnt as I expected to – a definite success. That was on Saturday, and on Sunday I took advantage of my employee complimentary access to Disneyland and went there for the third time. We spent the whole day in California Adventure Park (and saw Noah Cyrus while there!) and I was exhausted but so happy coming home. I don’t think I will ever get tired of going there and I definitely intend to go back! This weekend I spent a lot of time with my friends, making dinner, hanging in the hot tub, walking around rodeo drive, and going out to an incredible brunch. It was a nice relaxing weekend to have in preparation for a very busy week that includes a networking brunch with the Hollywood Program board on Monday, class on Tuesday, my friend from high school visiting on Wednesday, and working as a Production Assistant on set on Thursday. Friday I will be going to bed early because I will be waking up at the crack of dawn on Saturday to fly home to Penn State for the weekend! I have my last Alumni Society Board meeting as a student representative, and it gives me an excuse to come back and see a bunch of my friends!