I cannot believe I'm saying this, but here I am a month into being a PR assistant and I still have my sanity! At least I think I do...
Honestly, this was not the summer experience I had dreamed of. And when I mean dream, I actually mean it. I had a calendar where I used to mark out the boxes until my last day in Geneva, NY because I couldn't wait to break back into the Hollywood scene in the most Will way ever. Sometimes, I would even work out extra hard, or do some unnecessary readings, anything to tire myself out just so I could start a new day closer to flying back to LA. It's a bit heartbreaking to think about how a few weeks ago my friends and I were blasting "Doses & Mimosas" on a catamaran, to now be in cramped offices accompanied by recycled air and the fear of a ringing phone. Things are so bad for me now that every time my phone lights up my anxiety levels rise and I fear for the worst; a call or text from work.
It's a no brainer that no one likes being an assistant. But, it's sort of a right of passage for anyone with dreams of corporate America. For those with dreams of working in show biz, than staring in your own version of The Devil Wears Prada is a something that you prepare for mentally, spiritually, and physically. Because, it is a literal hell on Earth.
Some things I'm doing are staples of PR, like crafting pitches and pulling media lists. But, some things are just plain errands that you would think I'm making up. Yet, I can assure you that I've had to make nail appointments and even run to the post office to drop off an envelope. I wanted a summer where I would be learning invaluable skills that would better equip me for my journey advancing in the world of entertainment. But, I'm not sure what of this so far is PR work and what is petty work.
In between getting ripped a new one and being complimented for my work ethic, I'll hear some quote worthy moments. "You have to know what it is you'll do to deal with it," my boss said. "For example, some people do drugs and others become addicted to people. You have to find what your thing is." I think my way of coping, and finding the light again, comes from people. I've called and texted more friends, family, and colleagues, in this past month than I ever think I have before. Whether I'm on a 5 minute Facetime call, an hour long venting session, or texting away my evening, knowing that I have people who believe in me and appreciate me has been such a good way of dealing with my life as an assistant.
With one month down, I think about the 6 weeks I have left of work. I've started to think that quitting could be my salvation. Yet, it could also be my ultimate damnation out of the world of entertainment. I'm stuck in between a rock and a hard place. Before I decide if I'm going to quit or stay I will continue to take deep breaths, call my friends when I need to vent, and wait for my check to clear...
Photo Courtesy of iHeartRadio
Okay before I go any further, are you really surprised by this title? Of course NOT. I love being a west coast native, and despite all the rhetoric employed by friends, faculty, and staff, I really really really cannot see myself giving up my 90210 dreams for skyscrapers in NYC.
This past weekend my friends on the east coast roared and rallied at the 2018 Governors Ball Music Festival at Randall's Island in NYC, but I only know this from Googling it because I was too busy getting my life and losing my lungs at the Wango Tango 2018 here in the always amazing Los Angeles, CA. I can't speak on behalf of my friends who were at the Governors Ball. However, I can assume that is no fun once the rain let loose upon the thousands of poor souls who dressed like they were at Coachella only to remember that water falls from the sky.
The lineup for Wango Tango 2018 is here:
"Performing at this year's Wango Tango were Ariana Grande, Shawn Mendes, Meghan Trainor, 5 Seconds of Summer, NF, Miguel, Janelle Monáe and Marshmello with a special guest performance by Logic, Backstreet Boys, and Sabrina Carpenter" (iHeartRadio).
Anyone who knows me could anticipate that I was there solely for Ariana Grande. I swear, if she was not part of the lineup I probably would have stayed in, or maybe gone to an Academy screening for an unreleased-to-the-public blockbuster movie. You know, a normal SoCal Saturday night.
The night was full of feels and all kinds of Tweetable and post worthy moments. At one point, I had to stop myself from going IG Live since I swore I was posting too much for my followers to handle! I could NOT handle it when my old high school English teacher DMed me telling me she had been to the first ever Wango Tango that happened in 1999! It goes to show how much of a staple this concert is to SoCal living.
Every summer, I always make a bucket list. At the top of my list are concerts! There's something about witnessing an artist live, and hearing how they mix up a song and then seeing them perform it that just electrifies me inside. Of course, I loved getting to be at the America's Got Talent live shows last summer. And don't get me wrong, I STILL randomly convulse when I think about how I got to attend the 2018 Oscars Red Carpet and see all the movie stars. However, the adrenaline that seeps into my veins when I see a singer belt on stage is something that can't be replicated, even by Meryl Streep saying, "Hi," to my friends and me. (Meryl, we still love you and you will ALWAYS be a bragging point in my life.)
The lineup for this year's concert had an amazing array of diverse talent. Each artist has their own vibe, their own sound, and each is great in their own way. One thing that unifies them all; they put on one hell of a show! Each set had staples from each singer, like Meghan Trainor's campy, "All About That Bass" or Miguel swooning, "Adorn." Shawn Mendes and Ariana Grande stood out because every song they performed is a bonafide hit that ruled the charts the moment they came out. Mendes and Grande were for sure the headliners, but I was still so impressed by the showmanship of all the acts before and after.
Like most concerts I go to, I had a playlist bumping the whole drive to the venue and my batter pack was fully juiced ready for the abuse my phone was about to endure. Like I said, I tried to craft a cohesive story for my followers, across Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram, you can tell I work in communications huh?, but there were times when I zoned out and started jumping and screaming to my favorite songs. My friends around me were on the same wavelength, and let me tell you about the girl in our row who THREW IT BACK ON HER CHAIR when "Side to Side" came on during Grande's set. This girl was feeling her fantasy and I ain't mad about it. (I think though the mom behind her was though, because she was throwing it all around her daughter's face.)
I think my OMG moment came when the Backstreet Boys, Meghan Trainor, and Ariana Grande all debuted BRAND NEW SONGS. These weren't songs that anyone knew and the artists did not expect us to follow along. Guess again! As soon as I caught on to the chorus, I joined along in the stadium wide sing along that was slowly erupting. Throughout the nearly 5-hour show, I scarcely remember feeling fatigued. The few times I sat down I made sure I was attentive and not witnessing a crucial bridge or chorus. With no rain in sight, or brisk breeze invading the open stadium, it truly was a gorgeous SoCal night.
Like a coworker of mine said, "Entertainment is magical." It truly is. From music, to TV, film and more, I love getting to live in a space that cultivates and nurtures individuality and artistry in all its forms.
We had just arrived at my friend's house, and I announced myself through saying, "I'm home." My friend's dad said, "Welcome back...I guess." While no one thought much of it, his utterance resonated with me. It proves to be more true every-time I come back for a break.
I can call Los Angeles home, but in reality for the last 3 years Geneva, NY has been my residence.
When I talk about school, I'm constantly smiling. I am well too aware of the rose colored glasses I wear when sharing my anecdotes. But, the truth is that whether I genuinely like HWS or I've made the best of my situation, in less than a year I'll be on the steps of Coxe Hall grabbing the diploma that equated to 4 years of hard sacrifices.
I've recently worked out something harder than moving away from home. Moving away from the person you used to be. I used to think that I really knew myself. However, we are always in the process of becoming. And I have become a version of myself that is hyper focused, sharp, and also sometimes erratic. One of my strengths is how I can go from 0 to 100 in .5 seconds. It can also be my greatest weakness. I can get passionate about something so quickly. Yet, I can also jump off ship before we even hit the ice berg. It's been my time at HWS that has helped me realize this fury that is double sided.
In talking with a close friend, I know that I have a lot of potential to do amazing things in life. And I also have the potential to crash and burn if I'm not ready.
So here's to a summer where No Chill Will gets some chill. Because, we all have to grow up eventually.
On Saturday morning, I embarked on a 10-hour adventure from Geneva, NY back home to Los Angeles, CA. The trip required me to wake up at 3 AM, then drive myself to the Rochester airport, and then finally hope on 2 planes until I made it home. I am utterly jet lagged. Yet, I have not tried to compensate for my tiredness with any caffeine. Why? Because that's a rabbit hole that leads to endless swipes at Starbucks and one pissed Momma Samayoa.
Today is Mother's Day and also the Hobart and William Smith Colleges 2018 Commencement. After wishing my mom and grandma a happy Mother's Day, I crawled back into bed, still tired as hell and trying not to go back to sleep, to watch the livestream of the graduation ceremony. Despite knowing so many of the amazing seniors who walked across the stage, I did not get too emotional. I did get a little teary eyed, but I felt more proud than I did feel sad seeing them strut off the stage. I have a few theories on why I may have seemed a bit stoic.
1. I know this isn't the last time I'll see my seniors. The class of 2018 has a special place in my heart because many of them acted like the older siblings I never had. Some I met as a first-year at HWS, and others even came at the end of my junior year. Regardless of when I met them, I know that I'm a person who looks for meaningful connections. I'm not interested in just filling up my LinkedIn profile, I want you following me on Instagram too. (That's a pretty big deal by the way.)
2. I saw them through most of it. Cliche coming up: College changes you. I know I matured, even went immature, in the 3 years I've had at school. I've seen so many of these seniors blossom from being little chicken nuggets, to now a full-course entree. Being there with them through that change has made me so proud.
3. I think I'm low-key traumatized. Let me explain this one. So over the summer, I lost my chihuahua Princess (#RIPPuppy) and our dog Peggy saw the cadaver. Peggy looked at it, smelled it, then strutted away a few steps before she puked and began shaking. She didn't eat for two days and she was shivering all the time. Even after my grandma put on her red little jacket, diva dog. I think I could be not feeling anything because I'm avoiding the reality that now it is my turn to join the battle to be king of the quad.
I remember that before I started my junior spring semester I was scared. My biggest fear was that I missed all that important social building energy that seems to saturate the fall semester. But, I guess that it really doesn't matter when you go abroad, because I came and made dozens of friendships that I could never have imagined. I even managed to connect with people who were gone! There was something about being in England that inherently taught me how to enter a room and be the most interesting person there. Coming back, I felt so many open arms eager to both meet me and get to know me better.
Friends became best-friends and best-friends proved to be family. Now if only my family could line up for a photo as well these people do.
My junior year is definitely a year I'm proud of. From traveling the world, to going to the Oscars, and literally pulling up on a catamaran, I don't think this year could have treated me better. However, I know I could have treated a lot of things better. I'm a person who can get easily flustered. Not getting my way is my vice, but it was through tension and turmoil in this semester that I saw how strong some people are and how weak I can be at times. So, along with having some highs in my life, the lows are also something I'm grateful for.
I'm able to move into my summer knowing my strengths, like relationship building and crafting stories, and my weaknesses, like impatience or being adamant. This summer will be the ultimate test of Will not as a character, but as a full fledged person. Junior year was my platform to preach about how great I am. Summer 2018 is my chance to practice what I preach.
April has arrived, and not only is the world blessed knowing that my birthday is approaching, but it's also formal szn here at HWS. Spring was supposed to spring, and it did for a day, for like an hour. Regardless, we're still rallying regardless of the risk of frost bite. Silly bands may have gone out of style but #YOLO lives on!
This spring, I have had the fortune of finding my way into an amazing friend group that I can declare as squad goals. From my fellow juniors, to the seniors suffering from the scaries, and even the sophomores and first years whose names I'm learning, this spring has been such an engaging one. I've not only come back to make new friends, but most importantly I strengthened some. Being able to know that I'm only a text away from finding a friend is a sentiment that I missed for almost 3 years since I got to college. Thanks to all my friends this spring, I feel like Hobart is closer to being called home.
Anyways, let me get back to the juice of this piece. The hype for all things formal season. You already know all the Insta captions from, "Formalaties aside" to "A little formal never killed nobody." While these captions are tired, and we have all see the sorority squad to death, I'm here to say DEAL WITH IT! J.K. C'mon people, step it up!
This is the time when Beef expectations are thrown aside and people transcend their fashion and kidney's limits. From online shopping, to not eating the week before the formal, this is the time to rally and really show up and show out. I'm personally excited to see my Snapchats every Sunday morning, because I know it's something I won't remember. Formals can start to add up, which is why I don't recommend going out all month long. Instead, I would rather go to 1 or 2 where I know all my friends will be. That way, I can get the most bang for my buck. Of course, if you got the coin to show out every week then hey more power to you! April is an exciting and nerve wracking time because this is crunch time for people at the Colleges. Everyone is moving up, earning new responsibilities along the way. The seniors have to start worrying about the real world, the juniors have to start doing adult things like finding housing and internships, the sophomores think they run the show, and I think the first-years are just trying to stay alive.
We all have our crosses to carry, just make sure you have a great friend group to help carry your Swarovski encrusted one.