Los Angeles: Staying In and Stepping Out Of The Comfort Zone With Newhouse LA

Marley Volk

As someone from Los Angeles, I wasn’t sure how the Newhouse LA semester would and would not challenge me. I wasn’t sure if it would just feel like summer with classes (as I always intern in the summers, so that would remain consistent), or if it would really feel like college. With Newhouse LA, I’ve been able to experience new activities and classes I haven’t experienced before. This Saturday, for the first time in 20 years, I hiked to the Hollywood Sign. Being a tourist in your own city is fun, and I’m glad I got to experience something new and be able to say I hiked to the Hollywood Sign. Although driving throughout LA traffic is something I’ve been doing for years, it is just something you never get used to. It’s different having to drive 45 minutes to class, rather than a 10 minute walk from your apartment like on the SU campus. However, the destination is also different. I have completely stepped out of my comfort zone when it comes to Newhouse LA. The three-hour long classes to the 12-hour school days are new for me. Taking the acting class with Barbara has had me completely step out of my comfort zone in its entirety! From the quick thinking to adapting to immediate changes to becoming a new person instantaneously, Barbara has already taught me invaluable lessons in life, all while pushing me to really take on the role of an improv actor. Overall, the Newhouse LA experience is one that bonds us all together with our 12-hour days to the vulnerable acting class and the various activities we do as a group. I’m loving this semester!

Marley Volk is a junior in the Bandier program for recording and entertainment industries at the Newhouse School.

Life in Los Angeles for a Newhouse LA Student

Spencer Haines

My experience in LA has been extremely transformative. I initially came to Los Angeles with many negative, preconceived notions of the people and environment I would eventually grow to love. My advice to anyone coming to LA for the Newhouse LA semester is to come with an entirely open mind and say yes to as many things as you possibly can. Some of the best experiences I’ve had in Los Angeles I originally had to force myself to go to. You never know at what event or concert you’re going to meet your next great connection or future employer. As far as eventually wanting to work in the music industry, there is no better place than Los Angeles to build your network. Meeting people in LA with similar passions to me has been incredibly effortless. Whether going out to concerts, meeting for coffee or just going out for a drink, you run into some of the people that will eventually become your best business associates and people you will eventually rely on. Creating a network of people that can lean on each other for help and advice is crucial for your success in the business and has been for me. Newhouse LA has given me the opportunity to live and work in the entertainment capital of the world, while taking some of my favorite classes in all of my years at Syracuse. The Newhouse LA program gives me the opportunity and a schedule that allows me to work an amazing internship and gain real world experience before I actually enter the workforce and move out west after graduation.

Spencer Haines in a senior in the Bandier program for recording and entertainment industries at the Newhouse School.

My Newhouse LA experience

David Barbier Jr.

I hopped off the plane at LAX and thus the adventures began. My goal for my time in Newhouse LA was to get a glimpse into what life could look like post-graduation. Working at AMC Networks’ ALLBLK streaming service let me see the great effort it takes to make Black storytelling feel authentic to our audience. I’ve gotten to attend film festivals, spend time on set and even pitch my own original series. Outside of work, I’ve tried to explore the outdoors, whether that’s catching a sunset in Malibu or hiking up to the Griffith Observatory. My time here emphasized the importance of being in the place where your industry happens because you never know who you could meet. More importantly you never know what could happen until you say “yes.”

David Barbier Jr. is a senior television, radio and film major in the Newhouse School.

West Hollywood’s Hidden Gem—The Writer’s Guild Foundation Library

J Rodriguez

Most strangers to Los Angeles would have you believe that you have to spend money to have fun here. But a few weeks before moving to LA, I discovered one of its best-kept, free secrets—the Writer’s Guild Foundation Shavelson-Webb Library. Though an archive housing a copy of nearly every WGA-registered script, free for the reading, may not be everyone’s idea of fun, the WGA library has quickly become my favorite spot in LA. There’s no better place to write coverage or cozy up with an iced coffee from the nearby Dayglow coffee (the best bang for your caffeinated buck in Hollywood!) and a copy of your favorite episode of “Game of Thrones.” Having free, exclusive access to such a vast selection of work is absolutely invaluable, and yet so few people seem to know that this resource is available to them! Next time you’re in West Hollywood, stop by—you’d be amazed by what you might find on the shelf!

J Rodriguez is a senior television, radio and film student at the Newhouse School.

Post (production) Up In LA

Chiara Ruggiero

So far, my time in Los Angeles has been incredible and irreplaceable. The vibe and culture of LA is so unique, and it’s simply inspiring to exist in such a hub of creativity. 

Not only is it incredibly influential to be around such talented and skilled professionals, but it is even more powerful to have the opportunity to work and learn from them. During my time as a visual effects intern at Filmworks FX, I have pursued my passion for VFX and post-production, working alongside accomplished artists and absorbing a litany of skills no textbook can teach. This experience has truly been life-changing for me. From experiencing the vibrant LA weekends, workshopping with my peers, enjoying the sunshine at the beach and thriving in an environment of creativity, I know Newhouse LA has solidified a sense of belonging and purpose in my life that I would not change for the world.

Chiara Ruggiero is a senior television, radio and film major at the Newhouse School.

My LA experience!

Tessa Meehan

Hello, my name is Tessa Meehan, and I am currently a rising junior studying public relations at the Newhouse School! This semester I have been granted the opportunity to not only take classes geared more toward the arts and entertainment industry and its functions, but also to work hands-on in the industry with an internship experience. With that said, my semester this summer has been hectic, but nothing less than exciting. While taking courses and completing an internship simultaneously may seem like a lot to handle, I have definitely found more than enough time to explore the city! Getting out there and exploring new parts of the world is one of the biggest advantages of studying abroad. From the events Newhouse has provided for us including screenings, dinners, shows, guest speakers, etc.; to the multitude of excursions I’ve gone on with my peers, the Newhouse LA semester truly has an exciting surprise around each corner for everyone!

Tessa Meehan is a junior public relations major at the Newhouse School.

Taco experience in LA

Tacos in Los Angeles

It has been around two weeks in Los Angeles, and I have taken the liberty to try every taco place I encounter. So far, I’ve hit 10 different spots ranging from taco stands to trucks. Let me just say that they have all been fantastic. My go-to is always a carne asada and fish taco. I find that they are the best indicators of what makes a taco place stand out for me. However, two days ago I was finally able to get my hands on an authentic birria taco, a dish I‘ve been craving for the longest time. Firme Tacos was the name of the taco stand I stumbled upon with the fantastic dish. The birria taco dipped inside the consommé was a phenomenal experience that I believe everyone should try.

Jonathan Zhang is a senior in the television, radio and film program at the Newhouse School.

Incredible Summer

L-R: Yahan Xu and a friend on the beach in Los Angeles

My name is Yahan Xu, a rising senior. I’m television, radio and film major with a psychology minor. It was incredible to join Newhouse LA for a semester. As a student who wants to develop my career in the film industry in the future, it is the best choice to come to Los Angeles for an internship. At the same time, Com Law and other courses offered by Newhouse LA also solved my credit needs.

I am enjoying my current lifestyle: go to the gym in the morning, come back after breakfast and start my internship (I’m interning at Immortal Cinema International and my work is to read scripts, write coverage and be an editorial assistant), go to evening classes after the internship and enjoy the dinner made by my roommates when I’m back home.

Having a car allows us to go anywhere freely. During weekends we go to the beach or Koreatown. The supermarkets and restaurants in Ktown are our favorites. There’s so many amazing Asian foods. For me there’s a lot more options than Syracuse. Surprisingly, I adapted faster than expected. Before coming to Los Angeles I was anxious about internships, courses, renting, etc., but now I have fully adapted and am enjoying my life in Los Angeles. Everything is going smoothly and orderly. (I’m pretty sure I’ll miss living in Los Angeles a lot when I get back to Syracuse.) 

Yahan Xu is a junior in the television, radio and film program at the Newhouse School.

The Newhouse LA Experience

Wyatt Dennis

Coming into this semester, I was very anxious. As a senior that is a dual major in both Newhouse and the iSchool, I have been constantly flipping back and forth between wanting to pursue IT and wanting to be in the entertainment industry, with not a lot of time left to decide. Coming to Los Angeles was my last-ditch effort to see if the film business was right for me, and I can now say with confidence, that it definitely is. Being in this city has completely relit my passion for the industry and has reminded me of why I wanted to apply to Newhouse in the first place. I am currently interning with Audio Design Desk, which is a company creating a software that makes it easier to edit audio for videos. I am tasked with editing marketing videos for their social media accounts, which is a lot of fun because I can get real creative. I have met a lot of great people at my internship, and it is cool working for a relatively new startup and seeing how they are trying to make a name for themselves within the market. On top of that, classes this semester have been super fun, with my favorite being acting with Barbara Deutsch. Overall, I could not be happier with my decision to do Newhouse LA, and I can’t wait to graduate and start working full-time in Los Angeles!

Wyatt Dennis is a senior dual television, radio and film major in the Newhouse School and an information management and technology major in the School of Information Studies.

Newhouse LA students attend “I Want You Back” premiere

Katie Lane

The Newhouse LA program offers so many fun (and free) events that are honestly once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Last month, we were invited to the world premiere of Amazon Studios’ “I Want You Back” film. The event lived up to its Valentine’s Day date night theme starting off with a drive-in style screening. When we pulled up to the big screen, we saw the cast and creators of the movie walking the red carpet and giving interviews with reporters. The movie itself was great and it was fun to watch along with my peers. After the showing, there was a huge party full of free food, drinks and carnival snacks. There, we met with creators, cast and multiple crew members from the film. They offered us great advice as we finish our schooling and enter the real world. Charlie Day and Gina Rodriguez, two of the movie’s stars, even posed for photos with us. The night was all I dreamed it would be coming out to Los Angeles as a Syracuse University student!

Katie Lane is a senior in the broadcast and digital journalism program at the Newhouse School.