Internships – Part Two: First Interview

He glanced at the resume. Read it aloud, a clear as Ever indication this was time primero he laid eyeball to C.V. ink.

“Shogun Sushi,” mumble mumble, “Rutgers University,” mumble mumble, then stopped. Where they always stopped. Asked what they always asked. “What’d you do for Maxim Magazine?”

Eric offered one takeaway, other than his narrative on the crapshoot that is procuring an internship: “Be clear about what you want to do. The last guy they passed on because he said he didn’t know what he wanted.”

So when he posed his question – what do you want to do in this industry? – he got the straight.

Be a screenwriter. No if’s, and’s, or um’s.

At which point Matt concluded the interview, and offered two-penny thoughts on the best path to becoming a screenwriter, none which involved his internship program.

“I see this internship as a stepping stone for people,” he said. “I don’t want someone who’s going to do this, then take a position for $38,000 a year at Chase Bank or something.” He followed this back-handed back hand with suggestions how a Chase bank teller should go about it.

“Spend a year just focused on your writing, and reading great scripts. You don’t have to be a part of this program to do that.”

Or –

“Take a class on screenwriting at UCLA extension. Learn about the structure – that’s the best way for you to become a screenwriter.”

Or –

“Spend a year working desk at an agency. Learn from the movers and shakers. You’ll spend 80 hours a week there your first year. Probably won’t write much. But you’ll come out with contacts, and with luck, get somebody to represent you.” At which point he realized how contradictory his advice was, and tried fobbing it off with – “you’re well-spoken, you dress well, and you’re a sharp guy. You look like an agency kid to me.”

Mad-Libs are more specific.

Twenty minutes of this. Followed with some standing, a warm smile, and hand shaking hand. All formalities – the interview finished 18 minutes ago. But not nobody wastes your time unless you let him; if the crash ‘n burn looks top gun, best aim for great balls of fire.

Matt, I respect your opinion. I respect everything you just said. But I want to leave no doubt in your mind that I want to be in contention for this internship.

Finally. A genuine smile to replace the smirk. “Then you are.”

Never heard from him again.

Continue to Internships – Part Three: Scorecard

Return to Internships – Part One: Getting an Interview

Photo Credit: Enri Endrian

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