Ever since I was little, I have always had a fascination with television. Beyond the normal crushes young children get on the characters in their favorite shows and childhood dreams of one day becoming an actor themselves, I had always wondered what went on behind the scenes. My father always says that I am like him in that way, entertained by the shows themselves, but more so by wondering how they were able to shoot that scene or create those graphics.
When I was thirteen years old, my family and I took a trip from our home in Massachusetts to southern California to stay with a family friend. On this vacation, we took the famous tour of the Warner Brothers Studios. After seeing the sound stages, costumes from my favorite shows and more, I told my dad that one day I would be working on sets like these. I remember when I said this he just looked at me and smiled, all the while knowing that this dream was one that children everywhere had, and that it would not be as easy as I thought to make it a reality. I was lucky growing up however, from a young age my parents always instilled in me the idea that I could do anything that I wanted to do with my life, be anything that I wanted to be. Although I wasn’t sure how I was going to find my way out to California from a small town in Massachusetts, I was determined to make it happen. Little did I know when I applied for the Los Angeles internship program through Stonehill College that that childhood dream would come true.
My first few weeks at CBS publicity brought with them more excitement and learning experiences then I could have even imagined. I was working alongside the publicists, helping with press, going to table reads, set visits, and much more. One day that I remember as clearly as if it was yesterday was when I was at a table read for “The Big Bang Theory” at Warner Brother’s Studios. As I was about to walk inside the sound stage, I took a look around and saw the very tour that I had taken as a child drive by. I stood there holding my CBS press pass and it hit me, I had made my dream come true.
Beyond the glitz and the glamour of the entertainment industry, perhaps one of the most fascinating realizations that I have made since starting my internship at CBS is about the individuals who make up the company itself. In the song “Hollywood’s Not America” by Ferras, it states “everybody here is from somewhere else,” I had never known how true of a statement that was until I began interning with CBS.
When I first arrived at CBS, the VP of Diversity recommended to me that I ask each of the publicists where they got their start and how they ended up where they are today. As she suggested, I did just that. I was expecting to find that they all grew up around the industry and went to college with specific goals of working in publicity. However, you know what they say about assuming things.
After talking with many of the publicists, I learned that my assumptions could not have been further from the truth. Most of the individuals working in the department were not from California at all. In fact, their home states ranged from Washington, to Wisconsin, to Massachusetts and New York. Listening to their stories and learning about how each of them got to the place they are made me realize how diverse a group of people this really is.
Some people associate diversity with meaning different races, genders or ages. Although these do play a part in describing an individual, there is much more to diversity then simply that. Where we are from, how we were raised, our personalities, likes and dislikes, passions and more all contribute to who we are as an individual and help differentiate us from others. That being said, the CBS publicity department is a diverse group of individuals who all come together harmoniously and create an amazing team, as well as work and learning environment. I have been blessed to be given the opportunities that I have had to work with each of them and look forward to the rest of my time in the department as I know it will only bring with it more amazing experiences.
Hearing where each of the publicists came from and how they got to where they are today forced me to correct the false assumption in my head that you need to have grown up with this industry to succeed in it. The CBS team shows that passion, diligence and unyielding determination are what you need to succeed in this industry. I was a girl from a small town in Massachusetts who found a way to become a part of this industry. Now that I have had a taste of what it can be like, I know that this is where I want to be in the future, and this internship has given me the tools I need to make that a reality.