My Semester in SoCal

My Semester in SoCal

The lowdown on classes, internships, and my adventures in the ICLA Program by Colleen Wormsley '13

Posted by Colleen Wormsley at 1:12AM   |  Add a comment
caines arcade

In never ceases to amaze me how the people in the field of communications can make a difference, even if it's in the life of a nine-year-old boy in East LA. 

If you haven't heard the inspiring story of Caine's Arcade, here's a quick summary:

Nine-year-old Caine Monroy spent last summer building elaborate arcade games using cardboard boxes from his dad's auto parts store. Every weekend, he would sit in front of his father's store waiting for someone to come play one of his games, but no one ever stopped to play.

Not until one day last fall when filmmaker Nirvan Mullick visited Smart Parts Auto to buy a door handle for his '96 Corolla and discovered Caine sitting in front of his father's auto shop. Nirvan was impressed by the boy's creativity and bought a "fun pass" (500 plays for 2 dollars, what a deal!) to play at Caine's Arcade. Nirvan was inspired to share Caine's story and created a short documentary, which quickly went viral and gained the attention of many major news outlets. 

After watching the documentary, I had to see Caine's Arcade for myself. This weekend, a few of my friends and I drove to Smart Parts Auto, bought fun passes, and played the cardboard arcade games. I was so impressed with how well they were designed and was so excited when I won a stuffed tiger from Caine's homemade claw machine!

To read more about Caine's Arcade, visit

Posted by Colleen Wormsley at 10:26PM   |  Add a comment

I can't believe how the semester flew by! Tomorrow, I'll be saying goodbye to my coworkers at GOOD, and in about a week, I'll be heading back to the east coast.

During my last week at my internship, I had the chance to sit down and talk to some of my co-workers and talk about how they got to their current position and the advice they would give to current students. Here are some wise words of wisdom for future interns:

  • Don't ever hesitate. Always offer to help and lend your skills to contribute to whatever needs to be done. Learning comes from doing and you should take advantage of all of the opportunities that you can.
  • Know the space of the field you're interested in. Keep up with news in the field. Talk to people who are experienced in the field. If you keep up with what's going on in the field, then you'll be one step ahead of the game. 
  • Keep in touch with the connections you make. The people you meet at your internship can be extremely helpful in the future, but only if you stay in contact with them. Make sure you send an e-mail every once in a while to keep the connection strong.
  • Don't be afraid to speak up. If you think you have valuable contributions and ideas, then say something! 
  • A good attitude never goes unnoticed. If you come into work everyday with a positive attitude and you're willing to work hard, your co-workers will notice and appreciate it.

Posted by Colleen Wormsley at 10:32PM   |  Add a comment
my date with drew

Throughout the semester, all of the students in the ICLA Program are enrolled in a Media Industires, a one-credit, mini-course where we get to hear a panel of alumni talk about their success in the entertainment industry. This past Monday night, the panel consisted of David Rogers, a producer on NBC's The Office, Brian Herzlinger, writer and director of My Date With Drew, and John Gunn, producer and editor of My Date With Drew. All three alumni were enthusiastic and gave great advice.

David Rogers stressed the importance of trying different things that interest you in the entertainment industry. He spent his career as an editor on Seinfeld, then became an editor on The Office. After four years, he worked his way up to a director of The Office, and currently serves as a producer on the show. 

We were all pretty excited to hear that John Gunn began his film career as a Production Assistant in the 1996 film Space Jam, starring Michael Jordan. A few years later John received a phone call from his friend Brian Herzlinger, who proposed the idea of creating a documentary on a budget of only $1,100. John thought it was a ridiculous idea, but was eventually persuaded by his persistant friend. The documentary My Date With Drew follows Brian's quest to find a date with his crush of twenty years, Drew Barrymore using the six degrees of separation theory. You can watch the full documentary on Hulu here.

All three panelists really stressed was the importance of being nice and working hard if you want to pursue a career in entertainment. They all admitted that breaking into the industry is hard and it takes a while to establish a reputation, but if you put in the work, you will find opportunities.

Posted by Colleen Wormsley at 1:25AM   |  Add a comment
Hunger Games Premiere

While most ICLAers were spending the beginning of their spring break traveling or relaxing, I was camping outside of the Nokia Live Theater hoping to score a ticket to the highly anticipated world premiere of The Hunger Games.

All of my roommates and I read the book this semester and we couldn't wait to see the movie. When we saw a Facebook event with an opportunity for fans to go to the world premiere, we decided that we had to go. 

In order to score tickets to the premiere, we arrived at the Nokia Theater at 2 a.m. bright and early on Sunday and waited in line until 6 a.m. where we were escorted to the fan camping area. The fan camping area was appropriately named "The Hob" after the secret meeting place in District 12 described in the book. We spent a full 24 hours camping at The Hob and during that time we enjoyed meet and greets with members of the cast, free Hunger Games swag, and music by local radio station KIIS FM. 

After waiting for what seemed like forever, we finally received our tickets for the red carpet at 6 a.m. on Monday morning and had the afternoon to get ready (and catch up on sleep) before the festivities began. The red carpet was filled with energy from the fans and we were able to see almost everyone in the cast. I have to admit, I was pretty starstruck when I saw Jennifer Lawerence who plays the film's feisty female protagonist Katniss Everdeen and I might have let out a shriek whe Liam Hemsworth who plays Gale in the film signed my poster. 

After all of the activity on the red carpet was over, we went into the theater and were some of the first people to see the film which comes to theaters on March 23rd. I'm not going to give away any spoilers, but I will say that the movie was awesome and stays true to the book. 

Posted by Colleen Wormsley at 2:28AM   |  Add a comment

What a weekend. It's such an awesome feeling knowing that you're just a few miles away from Hollywood's biggest event of the year.

Yesterday afternoon we had an ICLA Oscars party in the Oakwoods clubhouse complete with food, a big screen TV, and Oscars trivia. Although we weren't actually at The Kodak Theater like ICLA Program Director Steve Tropiano and Pendleton Chair Steve Ginsberg, we still had fun and enjoyed the show. 

My favorite Oscar moment was definitely Octavia Spencer's win for Best Supporting Actress in "The Help" and I was ecstatic when I got to see her hours after her big win at a live taping of Good Morning America at the El Capitan Theater. A few of us left at 1:30 a.m. to go to the taping and even though our eyes were fighting to stay open, it was definitely worth it.

Robin Roberts and Lara Spencer hosted the show and I was impressed with how well they managed to keep up their energy without sleeping at all after the Oscars. In addition to Octavia Spencer, we were also joined by Waldorf and Statler from "The Muppets" who in my opinion, delivered better jokes than Billy Crystal did during the Oscars. 

In case you missed Good Morning America, you can watch it here. In the last 10 minutes of the show you might recognize a few familiar faces!

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