Interning in NYC shows Meaghan Beese how a career in production is possible
Interview by Madinah Muhammad
Florham Campus senior Meaghan Beese explains how her fall internship at “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,” opened her eyes to another world of career opportunities as a theater arts major with a concentration in musical theater.
FDU: How did you find out about your internship?
MB: I take classes at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York City and the staff there keeps people updated about things going on in the area like internships and job opportunities, so I found out through them.
FDU: What do you enjoy most about your internship?
MB: What I enjoy most is being around people that honestly love what they do. Everyone that I work with is funny, passionate and always smiling even if there is a problem. When a problem occurs, everyone works together to fix it in a timely fashion, not because they have to, but because they love it and want to create the best product that they possibly can.
I also enjoy being able to work on a little bit of everything related to the show. I started out working in production and now work primarily with the field department. On days we tape the show, I am watching rehearsals, distributing scripts and/or assisting graphics in the control room. On other days, I typically work in the office doing research projects.
FDU: What FDU resources and/or classes helped to prepare you for your internship?
MB: The Florham Campus Career Development Center helped me a lot. Kelly Keyes is the advisor for the theater department and she always sends us internship opportunities. She is always available when you need to talk to her and she was really helpful throughout the entire internship process.
FDU: What are some online resources/mobile apps students should use to search for internships?
MB: Being a theater major, one of the major tools that I use is Playbill.com, they post a lot of internships. Also WayUp.com is another good resource, specifically for college students looking for an internship or job in any area.
FDU: What did you learn from your internship experience?
MB: I learned a lot about myself: I initially went into this internship thinking, “OK, I am an actor,” so I wanted to learn about what happens behind the camera to become familiar with the different kinds of jobs of people that work on the set.
But what I learned is that being behind the camera is actually a field that I might want to pursue. I had the idea in my mind that maybe I would be a writer or maybe produce something. Being around people that work in these positions and seeing how young they are, makes me believe that this is something I can actually do.
I also learned that the people I work with are not just my co-workers but also mentors and role models. Our host Samantha Bee has been the greatest role model during my time at “Full Frontal.” I was a fan of her work before I started interning at the show, and I only have more respect for her now that she is my boss. She has exactly the career I hope to have some day - actor, comedian, writer and producer. Getting to watch her put the show together has been the best master class I could have asked for.
FDU: What advice do you have for fellow classmates interested in getting an internship?
MB: Apply for anything that might interest you, even if it is not in your exact field of study. You never know what may come of it, what you might learn about yourself or what you might learn about that field — and it might end up being what you actually want to do.
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