As an outsider, my view of the entertainment industry was all glam and fab: parties, red carpets, set visits, and so much fun.
Well, now that I’m in, I can confirm that this is true. You walk into a field of excitement. Sometimes, you bump into celebrities during work (wow!). You work events, attend red carpets, and watch celebrities drive away in their limos.
However, that’s not all.
There is much more–and that’s the part where we walk behind the glamor and into the grunt work. That’s where the real life of an intern in the entertainment industry begins.
So, here you go. These are some things you must know if you want to intern in Hollywood:
1. Rolling Calls – What?
All throughout my life, I have been around electronics and phones. But the concept of phones in the office scared me to the core. I asked around, and my fellow BU LA students found their first phone experiences intimidating, too. However, once you take that first call, it is not so scary anymore.
Tip: Know as much as you can about the phone lying in front of you. Try dialing your friends, adding calls, transferring calls–just as a practice for the real deal.
2. Yes, Fetching Coffee is a Skill
I’ve seen it in movies and heard all about it when it comes to intern life in Hollywood. I’ve seen interns fetch coffee, but I never thought it was a real-life thing.
You may or may not be asked to go for a Starbucks run, but if you are, make sure to be the best coffee-fetcher in the office. It is most important to take the whole coffee-run seriously and simply outdo it. It is a skill, and it takes an enthusiastic, calm person to enjoy a simple task, such as getting coffee for people around the office.
3. Be Present
You’re in Hollywood. People are always busy. As an intern, you might not be pressed with work every single day, but even during slow days, it is highly important to be the first person your manager sees when he or she needs someone to get a quick task done.
Every week, I go around the office, trying to pitch in with any small tasks with which I can help, and I try to be available to every person in the office. In time, I realized that this does go a long way!
4. Be a Secret Keeper
You will see stuff around you, stuff you cannot share, stuff you are most excited about but cannot talk about with another soul outside. Yes, this happens often. It kills to keep the information inside, but this is part of the deal.
Once you decide you want to work in the entertainment sector, you must be prepared to be your best confidential self.
5. Know the Lingo
As an intern in the TV sector, the vocabulary used around me was perplexing. Words and phrases like “development,” “studio cut,” “line producers,” and “table reads” were thrown around, and it took me time to adjust to the TV vocabulary.
Know your terminology, and know the office abbreviations, too, such as OOO (Out of Office) and EOD (End of the Day), to breeze through your internship smoothly and smartly. Ask when you don’t know a word. People don’t mind!
6. [BONUS] Remember to Breathe
Working in this industry can be overwhelming. There is so much happening and so much to learn. You can be swept away by what’s happening around you and not know what you are doing.
Remember to breathe, look at where you are, and make the most out of the opportunity. Make friends, make connections, and go to parties with your work friends. Networking takes you far in this industry.
Sruthi Dhulipala, West Coast Correspondent
Sruthi is a second-year PR graduate student and an aspiring publicist. Singing is her panacea from reality and completes her as a person. It is also her life’s goal to practice music therapy and promote it for the benefit of people. An ardent dreamer and self-professed book dragon, she can never be anything but the most dedicated marvel-nerd.