Hello! I am Shellyn Liska, and I have been interning for the Marketing Department at The Hollywood Pantages since April. I just completed my second year as a Communication student at Cal Poly Pomona. I have been a fan of the Pantages since I was a child, and the opportunity I have been given as an intern has been nothing short of a dream come true for me.
Whenever I tell someone that I intern at the Pantages, I always get asked what I do. No two days have been the same during my time here, and I have loved the variation of the tasks that I have been given. I have kept a journal and recorded everything that I have done throughout my internship. Here is a little taste of what a marketing intern takes part in at the Pantages:
Festival of Books: Each year, USC has a festival presented by the LA Times that showcases arts and literature in the Los Angeles area. The Hollywood Pantages has participated for a few years, and has an informational booth set up at the festival. Our booth this year was incredible, we had a television screen playing a loop of shows that are coming to the theatre soon, free water and tote bags to give away, and the actual magic lamp prop used in Disney’s Aladdin for visitors to take photos with. The marketing department coordinates the booth, and with the help of a few ushers, works at the booth during the two-day festival. I attended and worked on the second day, and I had a great time. The festival was conveniently one week before Hamilton tickets went on sale, so we answered lots of questions on how to successfully get tickets for the very popular show. It was an exhausting, but fun day of interacting with different people and being able to be a face of the Pantages.
The Hamilton On-Sale: On Sunday, April 30th Hamilton tickets went on sale. We were prepared for a large crowd at the box office. After meetings and discussions, we figured out how to best accommodate a lot of people. I arrived right at 6 a.m. and saw a giant line as I turned the corner on Hollywood Blvd. Some people waited in line more than 8 hours to get their hand on tickets. I assisted our restaurant partners on passing out samples and menus of their food as well as walked over to other restaurant partners to let them know that we had a large event happening and asked if they wanted to capitalize on it. I also spent some time in the box office, and witnessed the madness and excitement first hand.
The Bodyguard Opening Night: May 2nd was the red carpet premiere of The Bodyguard, starring Deborah Cox. I spent a lot of my time in the office working toward this night, sending out media and celebrity invitations and keeping track of RSVP’s. I had to keep running lists of who was coming, and create tip sheets and face-plates for the media to use as their guide to the celebrities. In this 12-hour day of work and anticipation, I had to constantly update my celebrity and media lists, as well as prepare tickets for each VIP guest. When the red carpet began, it was instant madness. I worked the VIP podium with one of the other marketing managers, and we gave out tickets to celebrities and media people. The two hours of the red carpet flew by, and only felt like 15 minutes by the end of it. It was a rewarding feeling at the end when the show started and our work for the night was done.
Press Day with Deborah Cox: A few days after The Bodyguard opening night, I was invited to join Deborah Cox for a press day. We took a car to FOX LA studios and she filmed an interview for Good Day LA. We were on the news set and met the anchors and other employees of Fox who were very welcoming and kind. After that, we went over to The Wave, a jazz and R&B radio station in LA where Deborah gave another interview. Even though I was only there to observe, at the beginning of the day, Deborah handed me her phone and asked me to do her social media for her throughout the day and that she wanted to keep her followers updated on what her press ventures were for the day. I was taken aback, but thrilled with the opportunity. I wrote her Instagram captions and created her Snapchat story for her all day, and she told me she loved what I had done and that I did a great job. This was probably one of my favorite experiences from the internship.
The 6th Annual Jerry Herman Awards: The bulk of my internship has been focused on the preparation and production of The Jerry Herman Awards that took place on June 5th, 2017. The Jerry Herman Awards is an award show that showcases the talented high school students of Los Angeles County. This year, 37 schools submitted their productions, and 54 students competed in the Best Actor/Actress category. I watched the DVDs of each show, helped calculate the adjudicators’ scores, brainstormed ideas for the Opening Number, and assisted in coordinating the Best Actor/Actress auditions. During the actual award show, I stood in the wings and prepared the envelopes and trophies for our host, George Pennacchio to hand over to the winners. The preparation of this event is substantial, but nothing was more rewarding than seeing hundreds of high school students excited about their craft and getting closer to their dreams.
If you are starting out your career and want to see what path is best for you, there is no better experience out there than interning. Working purely for experience has its perks, and to get something out of the internship you have to put the proper effort and time in. I will take what I have learned over the course of my internship with me into whatever career path I choose to follow, and I am so thankful to the Marketing Department for this opportunity!