Tuesday, July 6, 2010

"Oh, just havin' a nervous breakdown."

Internships. It's what almost all college counselors encourage you to have under your belt before you graduate. It pads the resume and gives you a little taste and experience of life outside of film school before they kick you out of the familiar nest of term papers and Spring Breaks.

And the easiest internships to land are the ones in an office. Whether it be at a production company, management firm, or a talent agency, chances are you'll be spending your hours surrounded by desks and fluorescent lighting.

Most of the time, you won't be dealing with the high powered executives who have their own offices. Instead, I mainly dealt with their assistants and one thing I noticed is that they all know each other. Between the various internships I had, each assistant I met seemed to know the assistants from the last company I was at and vise-versa. Another thing I noticed is that they spend an awful amount of time in front of a computer, either answering e-mails, looking up directions, doing research, or more importantly, catching up on industry gossip.

One of the websites that all of Hollywood's high-powered underlings seemed to click on the most was Defamer. And back in its heyday, before it was enveloped by Gawker, the site was the source for all the juicy tidbits and rumors that affected the power players of Tinsel Town and through the snarky posts and devilish reporting rose their very own internet star: Molly McAleer (aka: Molls).

Starting out as just an intern, she'd compile and post a daily list of goings on in L.A. (concerts, gallery openings, etc) but eventually, probably tired of typing or just bored one day, she converted her list of "To Dos" into video form, throwing in the occasional rant about sharks and her dog, her opinions about the stars of the new 90210, or about life in general. Molls definitely has a personality that is nothing but her own, and the internet (mainly the industry assistants stuck in an office all day) ate it up.

Then one day, some changes were made to the website and she was laid off. I followed her around for a bit (in the internet sense) as she hopped from one web endeavor to another, but it just wasn't the same anymore and I eventually lost interest.

I have no idea what she's up to now (though I'm pretty sure she's still blogging and vlogging in the carefree way that only she can do) but one thing that really stuck with me is a video she put up some time after I had left college for the smoggy, hazy lights of Hollywood. It was a stark departure from her usual videos featuring an untroubled, bubbly girl as she opened up her vulnerable self for all the internet to see.

The video resonates with me because it was a sucky time for me as well. Sure, I had fun running around and working on the occasional film set, but the money sucked and so did most of the offers I got. I didn't know anyone in this town and I was still trying to feel my way around. Some days were better than others. Sometimes I felt like I belonged and some days I'd feel dejected and lost. Sometimes I'd feel like I was really enjoying life and work in L.A. and then some days I'd stare at the wall, shaking my head and feeling like I bit off more than I can chew.

Anyway, she posted a video that I feel pretty much sums up how some of the bad days were. It was nice to know that someone else out there had felt this way and even though the two of us have never met, I seemed a little less alone in my endeavors. Even though she makes some references in the video that may be Molls specific, I think those of us who are out here on our own have all felt this way at one time or another. I know I still do from time to time.

I think it's something that those of you who have yet to start their Hollywood journey should watch, as well as those of you who've been in the business for a while or are still trying to make their way up.

It's a good reality check.

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