Tag Archives: LA

8.5 months of living the dream…

In the words of my dad, I’ve been “living the dream” since December… that’s a long time! And now, tomorrow, this Dream Life is finally officially coming to an end, and it’s time to go back to school!

The Dream really began a couple years ago, when I first learned that the Olympics were coming to Whistler in 2010. I did some calculations in my head, and figured out that the Olympics were going to be during my 2nd semester of my junior year in college… which is when a lot of people study abroad. So I told my parents I was going to take that semester off (which at this point was at least 2 years away), and work at the Olympics, and then I put that thought in the back of my mind… and my parents laughed.

Then one summer day in 2008, I found the online application for Olympics volunteer positions. Of course, since it was summer, I had free time, and I figured it couldn’t really hurt to apply… so I did! My parents just smiled and nodded…

Then 10 months ago, I found out that I had been offered a volunteer position for the Olympic and Paralympic News Services for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (although I didn’t learn how to correctly say the title of the Olympics until I started working…!). I was so excited, I couldn’t stand it! I immediately forwarded the position offer e-mail to my parents, with the note “Ahh! Now what do I do?!” – let’s just say, their responses weren’t exactly in favor:

Dad: “You tell them that you can no longer do this!   You are the best!  What an exciting life you have today, and ahead of you.”

Mom: “Congrats on getting the Olympics gig — just don’t quite think it’s worth skipping a whole semester of school for….”

Well, of course, being the determined (or stubborn) girl I am, I didn’t listen to their words of advice. I knew there was some way I could figure out how to get to the Olympics! So I went to the Emerson advising center, met with my advisor, did everything I possibly could to figure it out! Eventually, with the help of my advisor, I set up a directed study for a journalism elective, that allowed me to receive credit for going to the Olympics, if I blogged, vlogged, and wrote some papers about my experience. I also figured out that I could somehow still graduate on time (still a mystery to me!) if I took that semester off.

So there it was! I was all set to go to the Olympics! But then I realized… what do I do with my apartment?! I clearly didn’t want to pay for the 8 months I wasn’t going to be in Boston… well, after a very long, obnoxious, and frustrating process of posting the apartment on every site I could think of, having people look at the apartment, and having 2 different people almost take it… my very nice landlord for some reason decided to let me out of my lease (phew)! I doubt he will ever read this, but landlord, if you’re out there, you’re a life saver! Or a Dream Life saver…!

So finally, about 3 days before Christmas break, and about a month and a half before the Olympics began, I finally really KNEW I was going to the Olympics! Woo! And that is when the Dream Life officially began…!

I spent my winter break at home in Seattle not having to worry about going back to school at the end of January like all of my friends. Instead, I was “worrying” (aka being super excited) about when I was going to attend Olympics training, pick up my volunteer uniform, and pick up my accreditation, Opening Ceremony dress rehearsal ticket, and free bottle of Olympic wine… Yes, it was a very stressful break! (ha)

Then finally it was time for the real Dream to begin! The Olympics and Paralympics combined were the best 29 days of my life. Really, I don’t think they’ll ever be topped (unless I make it to London 2012! Which I will… mark my words). They were the busiest, craziest, most fun, most sleepless, most ridiculous days I have ever had, and can ever imagine having. I worked so hard, learned so much, and had so much fun! I didn’t even think about school the entire time, because it didn’t even seem like school mattered anymore – I was out in the real world, doing exactly what I want to do with my life, and meeting amazing people while doing it!

Of course, all good things must eventually come to an end… so soon, at the end of March, there I was, back in Seattle, with nothing to do but relax and be depressed about the end of the Olympics and Paralympics…! Then I decided I wanted to do the Emerson College Los Angeles Program that summer, even though I was signed up to do it in Spring 2011. But, once again, being the determined (stubborn) girl I am, I figured it out, and soon began the process of searching for LA internships!

I ended up interning at NBC News, which was an amazing experience (read my post about it here: https://cassidyscoverage.wordpress.com/2010/07/28/the-update-blog-continues/ )

My summer in LA was so much fun, so much hard work, and so many learning experiences. But, at last, it was time to return to Seattle, and time for me to face the reality of heading back to school.

Now, after 8 months, I returned to Boston in the middle of August. It wasn’t time for classes to start though, not yet. I came back 3 weeks early to work for the Emerson Channel, making TV shows to air during Freshmen Orientation Week. I hosted a show called the Common Agenda (watch here: http://word.emerson.edu/ca/), anchored the news segment on Good Morning Emerson (watch here: http://word.emerson.edu/gme/), and was a correspondent on Backyard Boston for the On the Menu segment (the best segment… I just went around Boston getting free food and being on-camera! My dream…! watch here: http://word.emerson.edu/byb/category/on-the-menu/).

But now, after making lots of new friends at the Emerson Channel, making some great TV shows (if I do say so myself), learning to Assistant Direct a live show (ahh! So scary/stressful, but so fun!), Floor Directing a live show (again, so fun!), eating way too much free food, and spending way too many late nights in the Emerson DPL, Orientation Week is over. And for all of us Emerson students, whether you’re a new kid or a senior (like me… ahh!), the end of Orientation means one thing… the beginning of classes – tomorrow!

Honestly, it’s going to be a bit tough going back to class. I’ve gotten really used to not being a student – for the past 8 months, the work I’ve been doing has been out in the real world, and though I haven’t gotten paid for any of it, it still seems real. It’s all been exactly what I want do in my life. But it’s time to suck it up, and go headstrong into this last year of college. Time to see how many more things I can learn, so that by May, I’ve gotten everything I can out of this place. Time to work on as many TV shows as possible, so that I’ll hopefully be able to get paid for doing these same kinds of things eventually…! And time to have fun, because once you graduate, that’s not allowed, right? (nah)

So, mom and dad, don’t worry, I’ll get that diploma. And sorry for being so stubborn (determined). Bet you won’t doubt me next time I say I’m going to do something! haha…

And Dream Life, it’s been a great run, but although this is goodbye for now, I’ll be back… right after I graduate!

– CQB

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1 day at Comic-Con!

It was time for me to leave LA for the summer, but I headed down to San Diego for the weekend before making the long drive home to Seattle! So I got a press pass to Comic-Con (thanks to Emerson’s EIV!) for the last day! The Emerson crew had already left, so it was up to me, my flipcam, and my quikpod to find all the fun things and crazy people hanging around!

Highlights from my day at CC include:

– Crazy people in costumes!
– Buffy the Musical!
– It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

If you like this video, subscribe to my YouTube channel to see all my other videos!

— CQB

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The update blog continues…

I’m now back in Seattle, and therefore I have more time for updates…!

Once again, let me just note that these updates aren’t going to be anything intellectually stimulating or awe inspiring… I simply thought I should fill you all in on what I’ve been doing recently – so read on if you want to know!

I’ll start where I left off last time… What was I saying? Oh yeah, LA was amazing, but lacking a bit in the rain category…

Here’s some highlights from LA:

— My internship! I interned at the Burbank Bureau of NBC News. I got to do a lot of things, helping out with stories for NBC Nightly News and the Today Show. One of my main tasks was to make affiliate checks, which consisted of calling a bunch of the NBC affiliates on the West Coast and seeing if they were covering stories of any national interest. It was really interesting and educational to hear all the news of the day all across this side of the country. I also helped out the NBC producers and reporters by logging a lot of tapes (typing up exactly what is said/shown on the video) of interviews and B-roll (video not of interviews, like the video that is shown over a reporter’s voiceover in a package). I also researched stories, pitched stories I found myself, and even got to go out in the field with a producer and cameraman a couple of times! It really was an amazing experience – I learned so much and met so many people who all taught me about the business and gave me advice for entering the business myself in a year…!

One highlight of my internship was waking up at 2AM to go to the 2010 EMMY Award Nominations, hosted by Sofia Vergara (from Modern Family) and Joel McHale (from The Soup and Community)!

The beaches. I was a lifeguard the 3 summers before this one, so I definitely need a lot of tanning and swimming time for it to feel like summer…! I was a bit surprised when I first got to LA that all the beaches are about 45 minutes away from LA, but my friends and I still got to explore lots of them. We went to Santa Monica, Malibu, and Venice (pictured below). All of them were nice for different reasons. Santa Monica has the pier (it even has a roller coaster!), which is beautiful and fun. Venice has the best people-watching for sure (so many crazies!), and Malibu – well, I guess it was too cloudy when I went for me to really appreciate it, but I’ve heard it’s beautiful!

Jumping over waves at Venice Beach

The San Diego County Fair! I hadn’t been to a fair in a while, so when one of my friends mentioned the option of going to San Diego for the day to go to the fair, I was super excited! And I was not disappointed once I arrived… after fighting through traffic and getting lost trying to find a parking lot, we walked through the fair gates and were immediately overwhelmed by all the giant rides and more fried food stands than I have ever seen in my life! Of course, we were curious… so between all of us, we got fried Oreos (I always thought that sounded disgusting, but they were actually really yummy! – picture below), fried avocados (mmm!), fried artichoke hearts (my favorite – picture below), corndogs, and mini donuts. I felt so fat and American, and had way too much fun feeling this way…! We also went on the ferris wheel, which had a beautiful view of the sunset! And there was even a chairlift, which we rode from one end of the fairgrounds to the other – it felt really weird being warm and snowboard-less on a chairlift, but it was really cool!

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Jay Leno! The Tonight Show with Jay Leno tapes in Burbank, right across the lot from where I worked this summer at NBC News. One of the perks as an NBC Universal employee is that you get discounts on a ton of things related to the brand (including things at Universal City Walk – like IT’SUGAR, where I bought a WHOLE POUND of discounted candy…). This, of course, includes getting tickets to Jay Leno. So the other NBC News interns and I scoped out who the guests were going to be during my last week at NBC, and we found out that the one. The only. ZAC EFRON was going to be on the show. Naturally, we reserved tickets for that day – duh! What straight girl would not want to stare at Zac Efron for an hour-long show?! The show was really fun – it was really cool to see that the show is live-to-tape, and Jay does not stop during the taping to redo parts (though he did go back at the end to say “Steve Jobs” a few times, after saying “Steven Jobs” the first time). Jay Leno went to Emerson, so my friend from Emerson came along to the show, and we ended up getting to take a picture with him before the show started! I also got a souvenir – the cue card with the names of all of the day’s guests written on it!

my souvenir from the Tonight Show

NBC News interns (+ friends) with Jay Leno!

In-N-Out Burger! I know this is clearly a very typical thing for Californian newbies to mention… but really. It’s so good! It has every aspect of a good restaurant for a college student:

1. it’s cheap.

2. the food is good.

3. there’s a secret menu! If you go online to their website, you can find different things to try that aren’t on the menu in the restaurant – try Animal Style (on the burger or the fries) – it adds a ton of stuff to your burger… for free!

4. free stuff! The drive-through guy gave me and my friend hats once (see photo below)

me looking really attractive while eating In-N-Out by the pool

In our sweet (and free!) In-N-Out hats!

That is all for this update… the last and final part will be coming soon, and will include the pinnacle of my trip down to the warmer part of the West Coast.

All I can tell you for now is, I lost everything but my dignity in Vegas…

— CQB

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Wow… it’s been a while!

Hellooooo!

Ok, I know… I haven’t blogged in FOREVER! Not since May 1st – that’s a long time! I started this blog to show everyone my Olympics and Paralympics coverage, but I didn’t think it would end there… so I won’t let it! I just get busy and forget to post sometimes…

This post isn’t going to be meaningful, insightful, or focused on any kind of newsworthy event or topic – it’s just going to be informative – about my life – because I’ve been doing lots of things since May 1st, I just haven’t mentioned any of them on here! So here’s a few tidbits and stories from my “summer” (mine started in March…) thus far:

1. After the Paralympics ended in March, I soothed my post-Vancouver-2010 depression by keeping busy. Ok, fine, I wasn’t busy at all – I was lazy. I sat around at home in Seattle, did workout DVDs with my mom, searched the Internet for summer internships, Tweeted, babysat, ate food… the usual things one does when he or she is bored.

But it was great. I don’t know when the next time in my life will be where I have 2 months to kill, to just sit around and do absolutely nothing, and not be worried about not making any money. At first, I was really bad at it. I hated the fact that all of my friends were at school having fun without me, and I just sat around moping, struggling to keep myself entertained. But then I learned to embrace the boredom – er, free time – and started to relax, stopped stressing, and just straight up hung out. It was really good for me to learn how to do that, because, I’ll be honest, I do get a bit stressed out sometimes. My brain definitely needed the break!

2. Now I’m in Los Angeles! Only for 2 more days… but my mom and I drove down here together at the end of May, and since then I’ve been interning at the NBC News Burbank Bureau (I’ll expand on my internship in another post) and taking a class through Emerson (Entertainment & Interactive PR – I’ve never taken a marketing class, but now I know that if the whole broadcasting thing fails there’s something else out there I’d be interested in doing!).

LA has been amazing. The place I’m staying has a pool, hottub, gym, C-store – really, what else could you need for a California summer?! Honestly, my only complaint about being here is that it’s only really rained once the past 2 months! 3 times the clouds teased me, sprinkling a tiny bit, but definitely not enough to need an umbrella, windshield wipers, or enough to clean my dirty car. Then finally, 2 weekends ago, I was driving back to LA from Malibu (which was a beautiful beach, but the cloud cover was crazy that day!), and while I was stuck in traffic on the freeway the weather all the sudden turned from sunny to rainy! REAL RAIN! FOR A WHOLE 2 MINUTES!! My friends in the car with me thought I was crazy, as I rolled down my window and stuck my head and hands out, catching raindrops on my tongue. What can I say, I really am a true Seattleite, eh?

3. Oops, sorry, this update is going to have to be continued at a later date… because I’m going to go enjoy my 2nd to last night in Los Angeles! Cookie-baking time!

And I promise it won’t take me 2 more months before I finish this update… I’ll be back asap!

In the meantime, here’s a little taste of my time in LA – for now, you’ll just have to guess the stories behind all of the pictures!

— CQB

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