This is pretty incredible. Plus, it features a cameo of my street (52nd)!
This is pretty incredible. Plus, it features a cameo of my street (52nd)!
“Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing, than a long life spent in a miserable way.”
This video is incredible.
August 1st, 2011. I packed up a weeks worth of clothes, got on the coldest Bolt bus in existence, and geared up for the 5 hour bus ride from Washington DC to New York City, where I was starting my first real world job. I got off at Penn Station at 11:30PM, unsure which direction ‘Fashion Avenue’ would take me, my knuckles turning white from how tightly I was clutching my phone, begging it to lead me in the right direction. It was all very “Don’t Stop Believing.” But it was also one of the most frightening moments in my entire life. And this is coming from a girl who once thought it was a good idea to dye the bottom layer of my hair goth black. So, not to brag, but I’ve got a pretty good scope of “scary life moments”.
That was one year ago. I can’t believe it was that was an entire year ago, and yet that it was only a year ago. And what’s even crazier is that up until a week before I got on that bus, New York was never a realistic part of my life plan. Gasp! Are you just shocked that I’m not one of those people who knew at 5 years old that I wanted to make it in the Big Apple? But it’s true. After a sheltered childhood in the California burbs, I was sure I would do what most people did when they graduated from college: I would stay in California. Because no one was drinking the Cali Kool Aid more than me. Up until my senior year of college, my plan was to move to Los Angeles and Make! It! Big! in television. But after a freeway accident left me car-less, that part of my plan became less intriguing.
So I did the responsible thing after I graduated: I decided to up and move to Washington DC with no real plan in place and enough money to barely make it to October, in the hopes that a drastic post-college move would just sort my life out for me. I know, I’m like the model citizen of Smart Life Decisions. And as a reward for one of the most irresponsible things I’ve ever done in my life, it actually worked out. God knows why. For the longest time, I chalked up my success to surviving on my own on the East Coast as sheer dumb luck. But after a year of living here, I’ve become slightly less irresponsible enough to realize that it wasn’t just luck that got me to a year. I made it because I wanted to. Because I had to.
This inspiration for this blogpost came from a pattern I’ve noticed more recently. The strange pattern exists in the outlook people have of living in New York. For those who were bored, or just ended up here not really wanting to be, New York finds a way to push them out. For those who need to be here, want to be here, New York finds a way to make it work for them. It’s very you get what you give. And for me, I gave it my all. Although I knew I was only one crying phone call away from having my parents bail me out and fly me back to California, to give me my childhood room back and reassure me that New York just “wasn’t meant to be”, I was unwilling to accept defeat. My stubbornness causes a lot of issues, but it also saves me from accepting anything but my best. And now after a year I can say that beyond being in the right place at the right time, my stubbornness is the reason I made it a year in New York. Because for me, there was no other option.
Now having been here 11 months longer than most of my friends and family (and I, honestly) thought I would, I come across a lot of people who ask me why I like it here, why I’m still here. For the longest time it felt like everyone was collectively waiting for the other shoe to drop, for something to happen to me, like a homeless person coughing on me, for me to be like: “THAT’S IT! YOU WIN, NEW YORK. I’M LEAVING. CALIFORNIA, TAKE ME BACK!” But that moment never happened. And honestly, I don’t think it will, at least not until I’m really ready to leave on my own accord. I am madly in love with this city for a lot of reasons (a huge one being I can spend $1 on a slice of pizza for a meal, which is essentially my success story to affording NY), but the biggest reason is that I am surrounded by likeminded individuals who are unwilling to settle for anything less than their best. This is the same reason two of my best friends are Kelsey Finnegan and Chris Tung, who, I’m sure of it, will both be running the universe in a few years.
It is really hard to live in a city like New York. You have to be okay with feeling dirty all the time. With putting your paycheck in your bank account on the 30th of the month, and seeing it disappear two days later on the 1st of the next month. With standing extremely close to strangers on the 6 train and not feeling uncomfortable that their chest hair is a slight subway move away from touching your nose. But the cool thing about it being hard to live here is that not every can or wants to do it. So the people who can do it relate at least on that level. High fives that we are all okay with standing on crowded subway trains in a collective cloud of strange people’s BO!
I’m sure 50 years from now after I’ve lived in a place longer than the average lab rat’s lifespan, I will look back on this ~serious blog post~ and think how silly it was that I felt I knew so much after one year of living in New York. But I still hold strong that I have learned and lived more in this one year of living on my own, in one of the biggest cities in the world, than I did for a large chunk of my life prior. And for that, I will be forever grateful. Because whatever happens, wherever I end up, I have the peace of mind to know that I made it a year in the place that was the inspiration to the line: “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere!”
Alright, that’s enough cheesiness for the day. I’m going to go hug my cat and listen to the theme song from The Jeffersons.
Okay, Disclaimer: this blog is mainly going to be my musings and thoughts on television and pop culture happenings. You know, really deep important stuff. But every so often a straggler post will sneak in, when the inspiration strikes. This is going to be one of those posts, and is about my thoughts on the ever elusive concept of The Dream Job.
A while back, I had an informational interview with someone I had met at a conference. At this point in my life, I was struggling to figure out my path and what direction to take in television. I expressed in the interview that I wanted to meet with other people working in my industry, to learn from them about what they do in the hopes that it would help me figure out what path I could see myself taking. Because from promos, to development, to production, there’s a whole lotta shit happenin’ in the TV world. So after essentially revealing the musings of my quarter life crisis, the person I was interviewing responded with a stern: “No. Don’t waste people’s time. Figure out what you want to do, and pursue it. Don’t drag people along with you, and don’t ask someone to put their neck out for you and make connections only to not do anything with them.” I was caught off guard by his response and embarrassed that I had caused such a reaction. The interview lasted a few moments longer, I graciously thanked him for taking time to talk to me, and hung up the phone, hands still shaking. I was unsure how to process what had just happened. All I could think was: How the hell am I supposed to figure out what I want to do, if I can’t ask people and learn about my options?
The experience stuck with me, and after processing it all I realized he was right [Editor's Note: Duh, of course he was right. He is a professional who has been working for 10+ years, I am a recent college grad tryna get my shit together. Let's all pause for a moment to appreciate my genius realization]. There was no reason that I couldn’t take the time and do the research and figure out what I wanted. I was just scared and anxious to have to figure it out by myself.
That interview, as awkward as it was, pushed me to discover what I knew all along, and that was: where in television I wanted to work, for what show, and in what position. It was only recently that someone actually asked me what my dream job is (the nerve of that person!) and for the first time since realizing it, I vocalized it to someone other than my cat, and made it official: My dream job is to work as a Segment Producer for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
Now, after a long winded and strangely personal introduction (oops), we get to the real point of this blog post: Defining The Dream Job. Since acknowledging it and telling that one person, it feels like my dream job has become my tagline. People who know what it is introduce me to others, like: “This is Megan, she wants to work at Late Night!” It’s weird, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. But mainly, it’s allowed me to be able to define for myself what having a dream job means to me. And if you’ve been rolling your eyes through the majority of this blog post, here’s the real takeaway:
My dream job is my North Star.
Okay, I will allow for one more eye roll, but now, we get to business!
What I mean by North Star is that it’s a direction in which to focus my energy towards. I am perfectly fine with telling people what my dream job is, because I can also acknowledge that I know I might not get it, and I’m okay with that. And I also know that calling it my dream job doesn’t mean it’s the perfect and ONLY job for me. But being able to tell people I have a dream job is cathartic, because it gives me purpose. And if nothing else happens, I hope having a sense of direction puts me on the path to discover something else, a different show, a different position, that is more perfect than any dream job because it’s real.
For those struggling to figure it out for themselves, the advice I can give is to do your research. Find others who work in the industry, company, or position you think you’d enjoy. Read about their experience, what they’ve worked on, where they came from. Do things in your own time–volunteer, write, attend events–that get you closer to figuring it out. Because if all else fails, it’s one more thing you can cross off the long list of potential Dream Jobs.
And finally, don’t dwell on it. You don’t need to have a dream job. Dreams change. And at the end of the day, despite whatever realization you come to, you dream job may not be at a specific company, doing exactly what you think you want to do. It could be a different company, and it’s your dream job because you’re happy. Prioritize that, because if you have to do it for 8-10 hours a day, 5 days a week, for the next decade, you should love what you do. If you can do that, the rest of that stuff, it just won’t matter.
Also posted on nycreativeinterns.com
The emmy nominations were announced this past Thursday. As an aspiring television producer and a seasoned television geek, I wanted to spend a few moments to share my thoughts. So here they are:
Honorable Mentions: Speed Round
At last year’s Emmy’s, most of the night I spent thinking: “What the hell is this downton abbey and do they know they spelled downtown wrong?” Since then my curiosity has spiked further, after Jimmy Fallon did this and now that the show has received another gagillion nominations. So tell me, is it worth the watch?
This blog is about my life is New York. But what I consider “My Story” is the story of how I got to New York. So here it is. Forewarning: I’m not one for brevity. :)
I graduated from the University of California Davis in June 2011 with a double major in American Studies and Technoculture Studies. To save the breath and the inevitable response of “Techno-Whoda-Whadda?!”, I usually tell people I studied Media Studies. Because in the non-traditional environment that existed beyond my schooling, that much is true. I have, for as long as I can remember, studied media.
It started harmlessly. I would ask my parents random questions about things I would notice on TV, like why the narrator would repeat the phone number in an infomercial again and again if it’s right there on the screen. I would cut out pictures, titles, and designs that I liked from magazines and paste them together in collages. I received an obscene amount of joy from reading celebrity bios and learning random trivia facts, like that Justin Timberlake participated in beauty pageants and that it was Lucille Ball who invented the concept of syndication. So basically as a child, I was a HUGE NERD and Wikipedia & Netflix were my drugs of choice.
Once I got into high school and was forced to think about the mysterious notion of ~my future~, I tried not to freak out about the fact that although I was average at quite a few things, there wasn’t one thing I was awesome at. It wasn’t until I started college and met people who didn’t watch television BY CHOICE that I realized: Oh wait, maybe not every one is as obsessed and enamored with popular culture as I am…so I guess that’s my thing? And my thing, it became.
After discovering that my hidden hobby wasn’t in fact a standard American practice but rather, my Super Special Talent(!), I became obsessed with my obsession. I had to know everything about everything about working in television. I interned at as many places that would take me. I learned how to film and edit and begged organizations on campus to let me make videos for them. I started working at the TV studio on campus and became all too familiar with 20 hour edit sessions and the giggle brain that takes over around hour 12.
Part of the “Obsessed with Television” Package was digging up as much information about Los Angeles as I could. After reading just about every blogpost ever written about LA, I was only lukeworm to the idea of living there. But I knew if it had to be TV, it had to be LA. And by this point I was 3/4ths of my way through college, with no other marketable skills or interests, so it had to be TV.
I was excited to be starting senior year with a legitimate response to the typical So what are you doing after graduation? question. I was moving to LA to pursue television. The plan was all set. Then, as I was driving up to school the weekend before my senior year started, I got rear-ended on the freeway, lost control of the car, crossed over four lanes of traffic, and crashed into a tree. I escaped with a few minor cuts and bruises, but with one huge debilitating fear of driving. And because the prospect of moving home after graduation to save up for a new car didn’t sound appealing…I started to rethink the LA plan.
After a Christmas break quarter-life crisis (WHERE AM I GOING TO MOVE AFTER GRADUATION? WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH MY LIFE?? WHY ARE THERE NO COOKIES IN THIS HOUSE?!), I looked into a program with my school where students could intern in Washington DC. I applied for the summer session, got in, and secured an internship with a TV studio that shot political interviews for Fox News and MSNBC. It was six months to graduation, and I was so stoked to have a new response to the awful “What are you going to do after graduation??” question. Or at least, a response that got me through to August.
Fast forward to my summer in DC and the next few months are what I like to call: Sheer Dumb Luck. For all you slackers, here is the Cliff Notes version:
I started my internship in DC in June. By the end of July, my boss approached with a job offer. At this exact same time, I started to apply to jobs in NY and ended up getting an interview with a small production company in downtown Manhattan. During my interview, I was honest and told them I was finishing out my internship in DC. I figured it was a lost cause, but they offered me the job if I could do part time for the month of August. This meant commuting between NY and DC, which is about 5 hours by bus, to finish my internship and start this job. I said yes – mainly because although I had a job offer in DC, I knew I would be settling for a version of TV that I wasn’t actually interested in. After a hellish month of commuting (I still get chills every time I see a Bolt Bus), I moved to Brooklyn in September and got promoted at my job to full time.
Like I said: sheer. dumb. luck.
That was one year ago, almost to the day. Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of falling in love with a city, experiencing a Manhattan move, attending my first Yankees game, spotting a few celebrities, and meeting my idol, among a million other amazing things. It been a roller coaster of emotions, once even culminating in a mid-subway ride anxiety attack that effectively freaked out a few tourists. But regardless, I wouldn’t take back a second.
[ Okay, if I could take back anything it might be my shallow attempt to hipster-fy my wardrobe with the purchase of combat boots, that eventually led to an epic fall down a ridiculously long flight of stairs in a subway station. But even that I wouldn't take back because now I have a gnarly scar as well as the germs of every homeless person and NY rat flowin' in my veins. So there's that. ]
Hello! My name is Megan Frantz. I'm a pop culture nerd, passionate about video and social media. I live in New York City. Welcome to my website.
If you don't know me and would like to, you can email me and I'll try to respond as quickly as I can.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to say hello, to get in touch about working with me, or to ask me if this is my natural hair color (spoiler alert: it is.)
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