Finding Myself Somewhere Inside Hollywood

Originally published on

Working on movies has always been a pipe dream of mine. After every movie, I saw I’d be amazed that for some people, working on movies was an actual job. It didn’t seem real that someone like me from a small town in Ohio could ever do something so incredible for a living.

But now, because of Miami’s “Inside Hollywood” program, what was once my elusive pipe dream is a tangible reality.

Immerse Yourself in Each Moment

It’s nearly impossible to squeeze three weeks of experiences in Los Angeles into this account: meeting Conan O’Brien, spending an entire day on set at NCIS, talking with top professionals in On-Air Promotions departments at ABC, FX, and Hallmark, getting a personal tour of Sony’s post-production facilities, and all the other things we were able to do and people we were lucky enough to meet simply can’t be reduced to a 500 word story.

I didn’t actually believe any of this was happening to me until, full of jittery nerves, I got on my plane headed to Los Angeles. The three weeks of the program were a blur. That’s how all the best things in life go—you blink once and they’re gone. They happen so fast that you only have time to just experience everything, take it all in, enjoy it, and let yourself be completely immersed in each moment.

On one of our free days over the weekend, the entire group decided that we were going to climb to the top of the Hollywood sign. We took the shortest, but most strenuous route to the sign, but saw some of the most beautiful views of Los Angeles and the sunset along the way. I remember when we finally popped out at the top and saw the city spread out in every direction—it was breathtaking and it was ours for the taking. Before then, I hadn’t had enough of a break to really think about what was happening. But in that moment, it all hit me.  The incredibleness of what I was doing, who I was doing it with, and how quickly it was changing my life.

Never in my life had I been lucky enough to be in the company of other people who loved entertainment as much as I did. Then I went to Los Angeles. Not only did I make lifelong friends with students in the program, I got to talk to alumni and other professionals who work in entertainment and have done amazing things. Being around other people who are passionate about the same things I am was an exhilarating and enlivening rush.

Embrace What Scares You

When I left Ohio, my mom told me that my nerves were the good kind. They meant that I was doing something big, something exciting. She was right. What I did with the Inside Hollywood program was big, exciting, and completely changed my life.

Now, when I think about moving to L.A. and getting a job in the entertainment industry after graduation, I embrace the fact that it scares me a little bit. That fear means I’m doing something challenging, that will fill my life with meaning, that I love so much I’m willing to do anything for.

“Inside Hollywood” was just the beginning for me and I can’t wait to see what’s next.