Receiving the opportunity to work at an entertainment agency this summer has opened my eyes to the entertainment industry and I am now a dedicated fan of the Kardashians (I still don’t know if I am proud of this or not). I am interning in Cleveland with the Talent Group and their office is located right outside the city, and by right outside I mean I could walk four blocks and be in the heart of Cleveland.
It’s odd that I decided to take this internship because I have never had an interest in the entertainment industry. I’m not the typical girl that watches E! Network all the time, nor have I seen all of the must-see chick flicks (although, I do love a Nicholas Sparks movie).
In late spring, I landed this internship as a junior agent intern. My duties consist of answering phones, getting lunch and calling our talent. Some days are slow and some days I have to come in early and leave late.
After working here this summer, I think experience in the entertainment industry is crucial to any field of PR you may want to enter. Knowledge in the entertainment world is something I never would have imagined being important to a professional that didn’t want to go in to entertainment.
So far, I have learned the ins and outs of working with real talent including actors, models and voice over talent. People will come in to audition and we must keep their confidence level up with motivational talks and compliments. We also assemble their wardrobe for them.
The entertainment world is different from the typical PR world mainly because you are working with individuals instead of clients. Although our office manager handles our clients (clients book our talent), most of the employees here work directly with the talent. This can be stressful because the talent can be very hard on themselves while auditioning or modeling. Our job is to make sure they know they are doing great.
As a junior agent intern, I call most of the talent and let them know about upcoming auditions we have booked them. I tell them what to wear, schedule them and let them know their scripts. The entire office must work together if we want to stay organized.
Experience in the entertainment world can give you a lot of insight into what the real world is like.
Some talent come in and expect special treatment and others want to be treated like a normal person, even though they are booking thousand-dollar jobs on a weekly basis. The stereotype is true for some; actors and models can be a little stuck-up. For the most part, I work with some really talented and sweet people. After all, these people are entertainers. Most of them are very personable. Watching some be so friendly and others so rude has showed me how important it is to be extra nice so you give a great first impression.
In the PR world, having a grasp on the current trends in entertainment is crucial, even if you plan on doing political PR. Having a background in an entertainment agency not only provides you great connections, but it teaches you the ins and outs of scheduling, producing and managing your time.
My advice? Intern for an entertainment agency, paid or unpaid. You won’t regret it and you will come out of it with valuable experience.
-Meagan Dixon is a senior graduating a year early and studying strategic communications with a minor in business and a sociology specialization. Follow Meagan at @MeagDixon.