By: Sara Whitman
On our sixth day of networking the professionals gave to me…more knowledge!
We started off the rainiest day yet at ICM, one of the top four talent agencies in L.A., although it looked like an art museum instead. We met with a Hofstra alumnus who has been a talent agent there for seven years. He had a lot to say about his job, and thoroughly explained it to us so we could understand how he receives a script and sells it, and keeps track of its progress, as well as maintain close connections with his up to 50 clients. The biggest thing I learned from him is that his job is his life, and my assumption is that all of his social life also revolves around his job. It got me thinking about how crazy we are to want to get into such a demanding industry, and how much more relaxed of a schedule we could have if we chose something else—but hey, someone needs to do it! Everyone was very friendly at ICM, and I enjoyed the music playing and breakfast they had for us when we walked in.
We then bussed our way over to the CBS Television City lot, which is a different lot from the one we were at for Entertainment Tonight (How impressive is it that they have two lots in L.A.?!). Here we were greeted by the very friendly director of Real Time with Bill Maher who brought us into the control room to watch them rehearse portions of the show with a stand in. It is always exciting seeing a new control room, but I was even more excited when he also brought us onto the stage, which happens to also be the The Price is Right stage. It was really cool being on the stage of such a well-known show, and one that I grew up watching. I even saw the infamous wheel backstage!
We then were seated in the audience, and were warmed up by Real Time’s head writer as we waited for Bill Maher to come on stage. Once he did, it was almost non-stop laughter and clapping coming from the audience as we listened to his monologue and “New Rules” segment. We get to come back for the actual taping of the show tomorrow, and I feel lucky we get to see the show come together through two days of observation.
After a quick stop back at our apartments to freshen up, we headed to the Hofstra reception at Directors’ Guild of America, which gave us an opportunity to socialize and network with Hofstra alumni, accepted students and each other. I was actually a bit nervous for this, because I had volunteered to interview some alumni for footage that the Herbert School wanted. Our professors were great about finding willing alumni and sending them our way, and it worked out super well. It was also like an easy way in for me to network, even if I had to quickly move onto the next person. By the time I was done interviewing people, there was only a half hour left of the event. I quickly found my classmates and socialized with them, and then talked to a talent manager who was at our alumni panel a few nights ago. I asked him more personal questions like how his social life is and if he wants a family, and he was more than willing to answer. I even asked him if he was in a fraternity during his time at Hofstra, but that’s because some classmates were wondering and didn’t want to ask. It was a beautiful night with tasty food and I had a ball, and I feel lucky I got to practice my interviewing skills while experiencing such an incredible event.