The only thing I love more than myself is my home of Los Angeles, California. It's called the "Golden Coast" and for good reason. The weather is wonderful, there is always something to do, and there is no Vineyard Vines sweater in sight. Putting my comedy aside, Los Angeles is a space where art, diversity, and imagination thrive. Burbank, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Glendale, San Diego etc. my list can go on of great places in SoCal and I cannot think of anywhere as spread and alive as this place I call home.
When I was thinking about college I knew I wanted to study communications. Talking to people was something I could do, and apparently something I was good at. I thought, if someone is willing to pay me to talk sign me up. When I was nominated for the Posse scholarship, the school that chose me and offered me my full-tuition was HWS. I was haphazard about the placement because of the lack of the communications major. Yet, when I made it to campus and took my Writer's Seminar, I knew that Writing & Rhetoric was the major for me. My adoption of a Media & Society major was my drive to understand the historical, the theoretical, and the trajectory of media. Without a doubt, living in Los Angeles really influenced my love for entertainment.
Thanks to my career program managers at Posse, I have been able to attend programs and meet Posse alumni at companies like Viacom, Paramount, Disney, and so many more. I entered HWS knowing the career path I wanted to go. My only issue was that I had to choose what vein of entertainment I'd tap into.
I was very fortunate to have earned an internship the summer of my first year at HWS. I was the Summer Development Department Intern, that sounds so smooth, and I got hands on experience of working in Public Relations. The experience was amazing and I got to know the family at Posse L.A. even better than when I went through my Pre Collegiate Training. While interning at Posse, I was connected to even more alumni and career partners with foot prints in entertainment.
The first commandment of the entertainment industry is networking. The second commandment in this industry is follow up with your contacts. The third commandment, is that you must always spell check your emails. I write this just because it seems so simple, like the simplest thing to remember, like so simple it should be common sense, but it cannot be stressed enough.
One person I connected with was Erika, a Posse L.A. alumna from Univeristy of Wisconsnin-Madison, and an associate at Disney. I was fortunate that her calendar was free, and we had lunch at the Disney lot in Burbank. I was very excited not only because I love hanging out at Burbank, but also because I would get to explore a new terrain. Our lunch was lovely. We connected easily on the unqiue position of a Posse scholar, attending school across the country in an enviorment that is alien. Erika understood the position of mine that many can take for granted, the proximity to home or the experience of having traveled already.
She told me that entertainment was so big that any career path existed under that umbrella, and this was a point that resonated with me. She described to me how Disney was so big that every lot had different responsibilites. Even amongst departments there existed niches for each passion a person could professionally have. I departed from Disney with not only a Starbucks in hand, but with even more ambition to return.
Surprise! I came back just the next day. Yesterday I was able to grab lunch with an alumna of William Smith, and seeing someone from HWS make it to L.A., that was not Posse, was inspiring! I was once weary about my commitment to attend HWS because of how far I was from Hollywood and the studios. If I was home it was a 20 minute drive, at school it's a 9 hour flight. Meeting Lisa was refreshing because here was someone who not too long ago had walked the same hallways as me and endured the same bitter cold. I heard about her brave quest to travel to L.A. without a concrete role and how she carved her path to ABC. Our lunch was great because along with talking about this career, we also just got to talk about the college experience that we share. Turns out she lived in the house that's currently next to me.
Sharing all these small details was so great since in L.A. when I say I go to Hobart, I'm interrupted by someone asking me, "You go to Hogwarts?!" No honey, Hobart and William Smith.
Unlike most of the people at HWS, or even most of the demographic who attend private colleges and universities, I have no familial ties to big companies. I don't have a dad in production, my mom doesn't have a friend in admissions, and my grandparents aren't on any kind of board. My grandma has a dog named Peggy, that's about it.
I do not say this because I am complaining, I say this to justify why this post means so much to me. As someone who dreams of ruling reality TV, these small steps to meeting people or even becoming familiar with the feel of entertainment are leaps for someone with no platform. I cannot say where I will end up with my career, but I can hope that it's in L.A. where I'll have my own glass office, a puppy calendar, an assistant that will remember to move my 4 o clock to 2, and of course a fancy plaque with my name on it.
Thank you for reading this! Please let me know your favorite Disney movie/show, because who doesn't love Disney?!
Author William Samayoa
Marketer by profession and storyteller by passion. L.A. raised, proud Latino, and pop culture enthusiast.