December 15, 2013

Life as of lately...

I haven't had much time to keep things updated on here as much as I'd like, due to school being pretty intense the last couple months. I'm not going to lie. It was HARD. I had several breakdowns, questioned myself a lot and whether I'm where I want to be. It was also hard not to compare myself to everyone else, when they all seem to have so much experience or had been going to the university longer, and my relationship with God took a bit of a backseat here and there, but it also helped me cling to Him more, if that makes any sense. However, looking back, it was a great experience.

I was able to learn a lot and put into practice things that already have my interest, gave my first presentation and my professor thought it was excellent. I made so many great friendships while I was out there, and I was really starting to wonder at the beginning whether I'd get to know anyone closely. I was also able to step out a little more with writing on the newspaper and proving to myself that I CAN do this. And all while freaking out about the future; in the midst of doubt, confusing and feeling lost, the bottom line is…I PASSED MY CLASSES! I had 4 A's and 1 B. I couldn't have been more excited and proud of myself, and I was so glad that all of the hard work, lack of a social life (okay, who am I kidding? I never have a social life), and lack of really being able to do a lot of the things I love, all payed off. I proved to myself that I really can do it. I can succeed and make it through anything. Now, that my first quarter is out of the way, I'm like, "bring on the other three." I'm not as worried about how long it's going to take or when I'm going to get out of there, but I'm going to savor the moments instead, especially with the great friends I've made. We really had a great support system going, and I couldn't be more thankful that they were there to eat lunch with and vent with when the occasion arose, whether it was about grades or other nonsense, because they were going through it, too.

And then came vacation...

Thanksgiving was lovely! My mom and I made things extra festive this year, by really going all out and decorating the table with fancy centerpieces and baking our first pumpkin pie. I also helped out more with dinner this year- peeling potatoes and seasoning the turkey. You could say I felt very accomplished. I also dressed up a little more for the occasion, which was fun!  We had the family over as always, ate a lot, braved Walmart for the "Black Friday" deals starting on Thursday, and just hung out with one another, which is always a hoot.

The next couple weeks have been pretty uneventful, really. I've been sleeping until noon, staying up WAY too late, watching Christmas movies, reading a lot, writing, brainstorming, editing pictures, and taking advantage of not having anything to do. This time, I know what to expect when school starts back up again and I want to be ready to go again. Straight A's, here I come. I want to be more focused than ever, and maybe a little more willing to put my phone down for awhile. I also would still really like to get a job, so there won't be so much free time…Ah, the joys of growing up.

I have been taking in the sights and sounds of the Christmas season; listening to the music and reminding myself of the joy that comes with this time of year. It is SO easy to get sucked into the commercial side of things, but when I've turned the focus back to Christ, everything in my heart and mind that usually weigh so heavily and bring me down, are lifted up and I feel like I can do anything. I'm trying to see everything with childlike faith, and to remember that this time of year isn't about couples or presents or food or even family, really. It's about Jesus coming to the earth to be our Savior and our Lord, because we all need saving and we need His grace. I'm really learning this time around to appreciate the relationships that are in my life, and to not take them for granted. All of this down here is just temporary, and I want to put my hope in something that is everlasting.

I'm going to get back to reading Debbie Macomber's, "The Gift of Christmas" and might start watching Love Actually.

That's all for now,
Shelby :)

December 12, 2013

Q&A with Rebecca

Thanks to social media these days, I have been able to get to know so many wonderful people and have made friendships that I know will last a lifetime, like my friend, Rebecca. I randomly started following her one day after my obsession with One Tree Hill had gone to the next level. Some of my followers were always chatting with her, so I decided to, too. We talked only a couple times, then met up at the network rehearsal for Sophia Bush's short lived comedy series, Partners, where we talked for at least a couple hours after the taping of the show in a parking garage at WB Studios. After that, we instantly hit it off and have been good friends since, writing hit country songs together, exchanging celebrity encounters and fangirling over TV shows…You know, the totally normal stuff that everyone does.

Rebecca has been lucky enough to intern at some pretty cool places through her college, and I asked her to share some of the stories that she lived out over the summer in Los Angeles!

First off, how different is California from Boston? Did it take awhile to get used to?

Los Angeles and Boston are two polar opposite places, as far as big cities go. I’ve lived in four big cities now (born and raised just outside Philadelphia, go to school in Boston and have lived and co-oped in New York City and Los Angeles) and I love them all for different reasons. I love Boston as a college town. Everywhere you look, there’s another college student getting to know the city, just like I did 4 years ago. Boston is also very much a walking city. And when you can’t walk, you take the T, Boston’s age-old form of public transportation. It’s a gorgeous city, swelled by trees in the fall and snow in the winter. And it has such a rich history -- you really can’t help but to fall in love. Then you have Los Angeles, a city completely opposite of Boston. The weather is always gorgeous, the beach is within walking distance of wherever you are, and the atmosphere is laid back. Los Angeles definitely took some getting used to, having only ever lived on the east coast before last year (I was out in LA in the Spring of 2012 doing internships as well). You have to drive everywhere, and the traffic doesn’t always make it easy. But that’s the only downside to the city. Los Angeles just makes me happy, and I know I’ll end up there someday, but I think I’m going to miss Boston more than I realize when I have to leave in December.

Last spring, you worked at Dick Clark Productions/ABC and this summer, you worked at Yahoo! How was your job different? What have you learned from both experiences about the industry?

I’ve been so lucky over the past four years with all the experiences that Northeastern has allowed me to have. From my first internship in New York City at The Dr. Oz Show up until my final internship this summer at Yahoo!, I couldn’t be more grateful for this university and all they’ve awarded me with. Last spring, I moved out to Los Angeles for the first time to intern at Dick Clark Productions and also ABC for General Hospital, both as production interns. I had had one production experience prior to these two two and I was able to continue learning and growing while I was in LA. At Dick Clark, I did a lot of research and office work. I also got to make decks (PowerPoints used by executives to pitch shows to networks) and production books for new shows. I was able to see a show go from idea into fruition and straight through to the final product, and it was a great experience. ABC was mostly observing on set and doing office tasks to help the producers.
This summer, I was lucky enough to land a coveted internship with Yahoo! Studios in Santa Monica, CA. After weeks and weeks of searching for an internship in NYC and having no luck, I found this internship last minute and was ecstatic when I got the offer after a long weekend of interviews. I could write a novel about my amazing 12 weeks at Yahoo! but I’ll keep it short. I was the only Studio intern in Santa Monica, and most of my time was spent bettering myself and my production skills. A list of things I did over the summer: attended weekly and monthly production meetings with the studio staff; compiled research packets on various entertainment topics (Emmys, One Direction, etc.); wrote, produced, directed, edited and starred in a video that I presented to over 100 producers at a Studio meeting, and observed and helped on sets for over 15 different programs, both in studio and on location. Phew! I learned so much over the summer and I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything.
As far as the entertainment and production industries go, I’ve learned over the past few years to be up for anything. Production is a hard, hard business, both to get into and to succeed in. You really have to be dedicated and motivated to do well, and I’d like to think I’m both. I’m both anxious and excited to see where my future is in this industry.

When you were at Yahoo, you were able to meet some pretty cool people, like Charlie Worsham and Danielle Bradbury! What was that like?

With Danielle Bradbury
I had so much fun at Yahoo! this summer! Because I’m what I like to call a “professional intern” now, after five internships, I went into my summer knowing two things: I had to make contacts and I had to speak up to get the experience that I wanted. And I did both and have no regrets! One of my best moves at the beginning of the summer was approaching the four women that produce Ram Country, Yahoo!’s country channel. I showed them my interest in country music and from there on out, they invited me on every exciting shoot they were hosting. Whether I was needed to work or not, they definitely took care of me this summer! Through them, I got to attend shoots with Brett Eldredge, Billy Currington, Charlie Worsham, Danielle Bradbury, Amos Lee and The 1975 (I’m probably leaving some of them out). I learned so much from those shoots AND I had so much fun!

On assignment for a shoot with Charlie Worsham! 
I also helped out and observed a myriad of other shows while at Yahoo!, from cooking shows to variety shows and daily recap shows. Through my networking, I became really close with the Director of Photography, Tommy, who sent me on all the shoots I went on over the summer. Through him, I got to meet all those celebrities (he encouraged me to get pictures with them!). Aside from the country stars, I also got to hang out with Daniella Monet (Victorious), Ray J, Donald Faison (Scrubs), Aida Mollenkamp (Food Network), Nikki Boyer (host of Yahoo!’s Daytime in No Time), Kristen Aldridge (host on OMG! Insider), Theo Von (host of Yahoo! Primetime in No Time), Michael Yo (host of OMG! Insider and Yahoo!’s The Yo Show), Joy Prouty (photographer), and of course, One Direction! It definitely feels pretty cool to be working with the celebrities, rather than just watching them on TV!

There are always fun shows and plenty of things to do in L.A. Did you happen to discover any new groups/artists. What were some of the highlights of your trip/internship?

Rebecca with Amber Carrington
Last spring when I was out in LA, I had some of the best experiences when I wasn’t working. This time around, I was working a full-time, paying internship, so I was very busy and had less time for fun outside of work. But that didn’t stop me! One of the fun things I did a few times after work this summer was attend The Grove’s summer concert series. In June, I was able to see two of my favorite contestants from The Voice last season, Amber Carrington and Sasha Allen, perform. Then in July, I got VIP passes to see The Backstreet Boys at their 20th Anniversary show at The Grove. That was a childhood dream come true for me!
Silly faces with Tori Kelly
I also got to see my favorite singer, Tori Kelly, perform a sold-out show at The Troubadour in July. I saw her for the first time in January of 2012 in LA and there I was, at my fourth show, seeing her rock in front of a huge, sold-out crowd. I felt proud, watching her up there on the stage, and in awe of all the millions of fans that she’d gained since that first time I saw her at the Red Room in front of 100 people. Did I mention that Yahoo! happened to livestream her show for her? I was so happy to see her again this summer and I can’t wait until she comes back to Boston in November. Everyone should check her out!
I also got to attend two dance shows while I was out in LA (if you know me, you know I love my SYTYCD and DWTS!). The first was Nigel Lythgoe’s amazing function for charity, the Dizzyfeet Gala! It was a night filled of stars and phenomenal dancing from stars of So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing with the Stars. The second dance show was another charity event called Art4Life. It was an intimate dance show and a fantastic night!
At So You Think You Can Dance
Finally, since I knew it was my last internship ever and therefore my last time to ever miss work without a valid excuse, I took a day and a half off to have some fun (shh! don’t tell my boss). In July, I took the day off to go to a taping of The Voice, which I had been waiting to do for 5 seasons. In August, I took half a day of work off to go to the rehearsals and taping of the first all-star episode of So You Think You Can Dance, which I had been waiting to do for 10 seasons! I’m so happy I got all the opportunities I did in the short time I was in LA!

Do you plan to move out to California after you graduate? If so, what do you hope to do? If not, do you plan to intern out here again?

I’ve been saying for the past 4 years or so that I have plenty of time to figure out what I want to do after graduation, but it looks like I’m running out of time now! With only a few months to go until graduation, I’m still not sure what I want to do after college. I’ve gotten too comfortable living in my college bubble and interning, that frankly, I’m terrified to see what comes next (as I’m assuming is a natural feeling for graduating seniors).
I do love California, but I know I have to end up there in the future if I want to work in entertainment production. So am I ready to move out there right now? I’m not so sure. California is a big move, considering that my entire family is on the east coast and it’s all I’ve ever really known. New York is like my second home and I do love it there. There are plenty of opportunities for production in New York, so that’s my other option. I will miss LA, but I think it can wait for a few years! It really depends where my opportunities lie. I’m flexible - I’ll move wherever I can find a job in this economy!

Did you make any new discoveries (restaurants, cafés, shopping) that you didn't last time?

To be honest, I’m a little boring and I always stick with what I know! With that being said, I frequented my favorite restaurants this summer, including C&O Trattoria (best Italian food in LA) and Lemonade Cafe! I also sought out macaroons wherever I went (I discovered Bouchon Bakery in Beverly Hills, which was amazing!) and stuck with my Intelligentsia coffee whenever I could. I also, once again, made sure to try every food truck I saw! I’m a food truck eficianado, as Parvati Shallow (from Survivor) called me when I ran into her at the food trucks at First Fridays on Abbot Kinney (name dropping while referencing my favorite street, due to another celebrity run-in -- classic!). I tried the Grilled Cheese Truck my first weekend out in LA and it was amazing.
I was lucky enough to have a fantastic roommate for the summer who also loved food. She took me to experience some firsts, including chicken and waffles at Bru’s Wiffle, cajun shrimp at Boiling Crab and korean barbecue (which I’m now OBSESSED with!).

You were kissed on the cheek by a certain One Direction member...*Cough*  Harry Styles *Cough*, which I'm sure millions of girls all over the world are jealous of! Care to explain?

I think I played that one up a little too much because I knew it would make my friends jealous (no, I’m not too old to like One Direction! They’re foreign and adorable - what more could you ask for?). Here’s what happened: Over the course of the summer, I spent 7 or 8 weeks working on research and production pieces for the live stream of One Direction’s red carpet movie premiere in August. I spent weeks and weeks putting together a research packet and also helping produce packages for the website we’d be live streaming on. The event was in New York City on Monday, August 26th and I was flying home on Saturday, August 24th. With that in mind, I offered to take the train into NYC and work the event so I could get both live and red carpet experience on one final day with Yahoo!
This Is Us movie premiere red carpet
I spent the day in NYC doing research and running around the city helping my bosses. When it came time for the show, I was placed on the carpet to act as a talent wrangler (mostly because my boss wanted to get me in on the action). I was standing right at the front of the carpet where the talent got out of their cars and was meant to identify celebrities and also pull them for interviews.
The One Direction guys walking the carpet! 
When One Directions Escalades pulled up, I saw the boys get out of their cars (and fawned a little obviously - Niall’s just so cute!), and stepped back to get out of their way.                               As they walked toward our stage to be interviewed, Harry stopped in front of myself and my counterpart, Liz, grabbed our hands one at a time, and kissed us on the cheek. I had no idea what was happening and didn’t know what to do, so I just kissed back! He’s quite a womanizer, that Harry! I definitely didn’t mind though :)

So, there you have it! Pretty exciting stuff, right? I can't wait to see what she ends up doing in the business someday :)

If you'd like to see what she's up to, be sure to follow her on Twitter and Instagram!

That's all for now,

December 1, 2013

Winter Dream

Christmas Getaway