The whole thing started with an email. It was the same email that we all got, announcing the beginning of a great new program at CBS called the Emerging Creative Leaders Experience. I remember reading it and thinking to myself how great it would be to become part of an intiative like that. I also though, the competition would be very stiff and the chances of getting in would be low. I was right about all of the above, the competition was tough, and there were only a few slots in the program making it even tougher. Going through the application and interview process was a huge learning experience for me, there were essays, panel interviews and coverage. I had never been this excited and this uncertain about applying for anything and little did I know, the excitement was not going to end anytime soon.
When all the applications had been filled out, the coverage written and the last interview completed there was a lull…..until the morning of Halloween. The phone rang at the office and it was Susan Kayl telling me that I was in the ECLE program. From that moment until 9AM on December 5th my life was a blur. There was so much to do and then, almost as if I wasn’t expecting it, my first day was upon me. Michelle, Whitney and I all met in the parking garage to begin our first day and meet everyone here at CBS. As I reflect back on the past month I can’t believe how amazing the program has been thus far.
I started my first rotation in the Drama Development department with Christina Davis, Bryan Seabury, Yelena Chak, Allison Berns, Jennifer Smith and Jessica Walker. Everyone has been helpful, welcoming, supportive and amazing, not to mention, their passion for CBS and television is contagious. Right from the moment I started the team has included me in all the internal notes discussions and external notes calls. Starting in the department could not have come at a better time. I have seen first hand an outline become a first draft and a first draft become a second draft. When the second draft is in, the excitement builds to a crescendo because the project that came in just a few weeks before could soon be a pilot in production, it’s last stop before potentially turning into a hit series. To say that I am looking forward to seeing which projects become pilots and later, series, would be an understatement. I am so proud to have been a small part of the projects, and am already telling family members to start planning to watch all the new CBS dramas in September. In just the past month I have been able to become familiar with the drama development slate as well as hone my skills in critiquing the different projects as they are delivered.
The department is a well oiled machine that I am elated to be a part of, I have been reading scripts as fast as my eyes will let me and writing notes as fast as my fingers will work. In addition to getting up to speed on the projects I have had the pleasure of meeting with a number of talented directors because of the amazingly welcoming atmosphere in the department. The meetings allowed me to put faces to names I had seen many times before and hear about the artistic drive and unique point of view each of them. Each meeting has provided tremendous insight into not only the person I am being introduced to but the projects they have worked on and the goals they completed with each piece they have directed. It has been wonderful and eye opening on many levels to be in these meetings.
In addition to the tremendous people in the Drama department, I have met many other amazing people here at the network. I want to say thank you to everyone for helping Michelle, Whitney and myself to get acclimated, to feel totally welcome and for answering any and all of the questions we have had. I have been blown away by how great everyone is, and truly feel as though there is not a better place any of us could have landed. Everyday I wake up excited to see what the day at work will bring and ready to learn even more about making great shows. I cannot say enough how wonderful and eye opening this first month has been at CBS and I am eagerly awaiting all the things the program is sure to bring. From all of the associates, thanks to everyone for a fantastic first month!