When I graduated from Chapman, I didn’t know very much about the world. I had no idea what it was going to take for me to break into the entertainment industry. I didn’t know representation was going to teach me everything I needed to know, and that I would be miserable doing it. I never understood how hard it was going to be to graduate, pack up my beautiful life in Orange County and move to a new city. I also didn’t know that Waze was probably only saving me 2-3 minutes maximum by taking me down those side streets in West LA on my way back from my first “big girl job” in the Valley. The only thing I did know when I graduated was that picking Creative Producing as my major was the best decision I made in my life so far, besides venturing to buy a straightener in the 7th grade. When I left Chapman, Creative Producing taught me 3 things: how to manage people, projects, and money. These are essentially the most transferable skills in any industry. Which is why when I thought I wanted to leave entertainment, I knew I would be able to land on my feet.
I worked at 3 Arts Entertainment as an assistant to a Literary Manager/Producer for a year. I devoted my life to that job and to my boss. When I left that job in March 2017, I was in an unhealthy place both physically and mentally, and I had decided every place in the entertainment industry would be exactly the same. I started researching other industries including tech, advertising, education and I even considered going back to Chapman to get my master’s degree and start from scratch.
Finally, I knew I needed to do something so a friend referred me to an entertainment temp agency. I told them I was still open to being in entertainment, but not directly involved in the creative side. That’s when I got a job in Recruiting at DreamWorks Animation. DreamWorks put me back on my path to success. I was surrounded by kind people who valued a work/life balance, something I thought I would never be able to have if I wanted to stay in this industry. Animation is a different world (we’re just making kids TV here – not curing cancer), and the people I was working with knew that. It was a few months into my time there when my boss made the jump to Disney Television Animation and asked me to join her there as her coordinator. I started there in February of this year, and plan to stick around for quite a while.
Without all of the different jobs I had after college, even the ones I hated, I would never have made it to where I am today. My advice to graduates is to seize every opportunity that comes your way, and don’t be afraid to start at the bottom.