On November 15th, 2012, I went to Barnes & Noble in Union Square with some friends for a Portlandia book signing. Fred Armisen attended alone, Carrie Brownstein couldn’t make it, and instead he performed a bunch of bits from Saturday Night Live. They recorded his entire performance. It was the night of a Gala that SNL cast were attending so we were told to come by a different day to pick up the signed books. As I was leaving, I hear someone say:
“I work at SNL. Can I get this footage for our website?”
A few days earlier, I had met with Adam Underhill about potential opportunities for internships and we had talked about SNL. All I needed to hear was that she worked at the show and that was enough to get me determined to speak with her. It’s hard putting yourself out there to a stranger, but I took the moment to compose myself and then got on the escalator. Having really only three escalator rides down to the lobby, I did my best to pitch myself and by the time I was at the exit door she had given me her email.
After that, I emailed her on the 19th of November and didn’t hear back for quite some time. We played email tag over the next nine months and then finally I had my interview in August, weeks before the start of sophomore year but because of availability it did not work out. It’s hard to articulate rejection without saying more than this: it did not stop me from continuing to pursue an internship at the show. I thanked them and asked if I could reapply, which they said I could. Going into the spring semester of sophomore year, I got rejected again because they didn’t have any spots open in the department. Then, I got accepted into the London Screenwriting program for the fall of 2014. That didn’t stop me from emailing the two great production coordinators that interviewed me (over a year ago at that point) to ask if they would consider me for the spring.
While in London I worked on a feature length screenplay. After finishing a first draft, my friend and I decided to get out of the city to Wales to edit our scripts. In Wales, I reached out about interviewing for the spring semester and by the end of that night we had scheduled a Skype interview for the next day. It was exciting. I interviewed with five people and three and half weeks later I got the job.
January 2015, I remember how fantastic it was walking onto the 17th floor for my first week. It was crazy that my first week was her last week…and by ‘her,’ I mean the person who gave me her email in the lobby of that Barnes & Noble. It was awesome to be in that office, working there, and getting the opportunity to thank her. Working at Saturday Night Live has been one of the best experiences of my life. I will stand by the fact that the reason I come in to work every week energized and happy to be there is not because of how famed the halls of that studio are, but because of the people that I get to work with. Across the board, everyone in the production department made me feel welcome and a part of the team from the very beginning. The writers, the cast, and the entire crew make each day being at 30 Rock great. My bosses have taught me so much and it’s been a true privilege to work with them over the past two seasons. I’ve learned how to write cue cards, I’ve helped work on the pre-tapes, and I’ve done everything asked of me. In my personal opinion, I have found it best to always say yes to any task and then learn as you do it.
My last class at New York University was May 9th. My final day at Saturday Night Live is May 20th. Thanks to all those years of persistence and then how hard I pushed myself when at SNL, I’ll be starting as a Production PA at a new NBC variety show ‘Maya and Marty’ on May 11th. This new position is made possible thanks to that one night on those three escalators down to the lobby of the Barnes & Noble.