Part 4 – How To Apply Your Newhouse Skills

Part 4 – How To Apply Your Newhouse Skills

Hall of Languages at Syracuse University Stairs alongside wall into Dick Clark Studios at Newhouse

These last few weeks have made me contemplate the last of my series of four blogs and my final blog for this site. It has been a pleasure to write these as I hope I helped, entertained and inspired you in some way.

To the new class coming in, to the class that is leaving, and  to those alums that still check in and take a peek at these blogs, I want to inquire about one thing:

Why are you here?

Is it to entertain? If so, for whom? Is it for you? Have you always dreamt of making money and winning awards? Do you enjoy making people laugh? Why is that? Do you love sports? Why? Do you enjoy composing music? Why?

And once you figure out your why… Is your answer for you or is it for others?

Earlier this semester I went through some personal losses. These were not the first major losses I’ve been through in my life and most certainly will not be the last. There have been classmates of mine as well who have been dealt heavy cards this semester, and this I fully understand. These losses reiterated the fact of my coming back to school what I want to do with the media technologies and modern storytelling pointers I’m freshening up on.

After the second major loss of my cousin Shane, I walked into my COM 117 class that I teach and told the class that their words hold power, and the medium itself is incredibly influential, and I encouraged them to use it for good.

Yes, one day you may make money. I did. I worked on the number one show in the country for a while and after a while, it got to the point where it sounded cool on paper but it was one of the least fulfilling things I did every night. What was more fulfilling was a simple conversation I had when off-the-clock with a recent widow who was trying to find her bearings again and I thought then, and with other instances with people I’ve met, how can I use media to unwrap more of these conversations to encourage, heal, and open-up minds. The main issue I saw that was sadly highlighted again here recently was the ‘isms’ in society. Racism, sexism… that have sadly crawled out of the woodwork again, and the best way to remedy is to have empathy, and stories are an amazing way to reach that part of a person.

As you take your first internship, or your second job…as you write your resume and network, think about the positive impact you want to leave at the end of the day and at the end of this life.

Think about it — when someone goes back 30 years from now and sees your TV show streaming, will they think about what a great life you led? No, they’re going to be doing like we’re doing today and seeing how the story is making them think, comforting or encouraging them.

Best of luck Class of 2018, it’s been a pleasure.

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Hollie Perry
Hollie Perry is a grad student in the TRF program at Newhouse. After having worked in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles behind the scenes, she traveled the world and got to take the stage in front. She has a love of both, but at her heart is writing and helping others tell their stories. She does this here between papers and well… more papers. She is also a yoga instructor, painter and has a love for comedy, photography and vintage anything.

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