Though internships come with an undeniable amount of grunt work that comes with any summer internship. Sierra Garcia ’15 and Bobbie Lucas ’15 both found value from their work as interns in the entertainment industry, even amid the typical intern duties they had to perform.
This summer, Sierra Garcia ’15 was one of the 14 production interns accepted each summer at “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart. Stereotypically, internships often entail dauntless repetition, but working on “The Daily Show” was anything but redundant. “Each day that you come in, you work in a different department. That can range from accounting, to the control room, to the audience, to every different thing you can imagine. So you get a little taste of everything there, which is what I loved about the internship,” said Garcia.
On top of general intern responsibilities,like getting coffee and running errands, Garcia gained experience working in the control room, working with the audience, doing accounting and reception.
In addition to getting a feel for each aspect of production, Garcia got to experience the creative process behind Jon Stewart’s show first hand. She sat in on writers’ meetings and joke meetings. Garcia even worked on a field piece with Jessica Williams about street harassment, which required her to incorporate elements of her Vassar life with “The Daily Show.” “They brought in something like 25 women to talk about this, and I got to work with Jessica, who is a lovely person. I worked with another producer, met some camera people and spent the day there in midtown at a little studio, which was really fun,” Garcia said. “I got to invite friends I knew from Vassar who were in New York for the summer, who were activists or who were interested in awareness of sexual harassment towards women and street harassment specifically, which was really amazing.”
Working with Jessica Williams on the sexual harassment piece was entirely formative for Garcia: “It was one of those experiences where what you do at Vassar and what you care about in the world become very real life. You find this perfect collaboration of all of the things that you care about coming together in one room. It’s a realization that you can do what you want, which is really exciting—there are people who are actually doing what I want to do. It was the best day of the summer.”
All the way on the West Coast, Bobbie Lucas ’15 interned this summer at both the production mogul Warner Brothers and Is or Isn’t Entertainment, Lisa Kudrow ’85 and Dan Bucatinsky’s ’87 independently owned production company.
“Both internships have offered me completely contrasting experiences, allowing me to really see and understand the pros and cons of both big studios and small, independent production companies,” Lucas wrote in an emailed statement. “In these internships, I have had such a breadth of experiences that I can now understand and see things from a variety of perspectives. These new understandings and viewpoints will allow me to have a broader and fuller perspective when approaching filmmaking and my studies of critical theory and film history.”
At Warner Brothers, Lucas worked in the International Television Distribution division, where she was able to view first-hand the international-piece of production.
Like Garcia, Lucas’s internship offered her experience in many levels of production, both creative and otherwise. In addition to attending meetings and assisting with development, Lucas was able to help Warner Brothers with the creation of a “sizzle reel” for a television show the company is developing.
At Is or Isn’t Entertainment, Lucas read scripts, created social media content, and completed development and post production tasks for the upcoming season of “Web Therapy,” which she was also able to be on the set of during its filming.
Through their summer internships, both Garcia and Lucas received support from real-life executives. Working closely with alums Kudrow and Bucatinsky at Is or Isn’t Entertainment brought Lucas’ Vassar experience into perspective. “I’ve seen how my liberal arts education at Vassar has influenced my world understanding and made me want to work in a creative environment in which I can hopefully balance many tasks and work on projects about which I am truly passionate,” she stated. “This last self-understanding came about especially from working with Lisa [Kudrow] and Dan [Bucatinsky]. Both Lisa and Dan are Vassar alumni who work so hard and are involved in many different areas of the entertainment industry, both in different mediums (film, TV, web series—Dan also wrote a book) and in various roles (writers, actors, producers). Their commitment to creating content they are passionate about and can be proud of spurred my desire to do the same.”
Similarly, interning at “The Daily Show” allowed Garcia access to the show’s executives: “You have interviews with the executive producers and they give you advice and whatnot. I think because it’s such a small office that you really get an intimate look into what late night television is like, specifically on a cable network. It was amazing.”
Lucas and Garcia will surely bring pieces of their experiences in the entertainment world back to campus. “Although coming back from these outside experiences has been an adjustment, my ‘real life work’ has complimented my studies in giving me exposure to and practice working in a collaborative industry,” said Lucas. “Likewise, I’ve gotten to interact with a wonderful network of Vassar alums and other amazingly creative individuals. In entering my senior year, I’m hoping to incorporate my experiences into my work and studies.”