So far I've had a pretty easy time finding work in the city... well, unpaid work mostly, but work nonetheless. Before I moved, I applied for 2 internships- one with Rabbi Shmuley (below with Jacko) and one with the Charlie Rose Show. The first job I heard back about was with Shmuley. His assistant wanted me to come out to Shmuley's home for an interview. As it turns out, his house is in New Jersey. Moving to Manhattan for a job in New Jersey would be definitely out of the ordinary, but I was definitely willing to give it a try. After all, even my mom new Rabbi Shmuley. So when I was up here looking for apartments in August with Katie and my dad, I was able to set up a day to go interview for this position. Mapquest said his house was only 20 minutes away (with no traffic of course), but I wouldn't have a car, so to see what it would really be like, we took the A train up to the George Washington Bridge and then took a bus over to Jersey. About an hour and a half later we get to Shmuley's mansion. Instead of an interview, it was more like a run through of what I would be doing (personal assistant type work, M-F, 11-7, unpaid). Sounded alright. I guess. My dad didn't like Shmuley's assistant because he was awkward and didn't walk us out when we left. He later described him as "sqirrelly."
Fast forward a few days and I get an email from the Charlie Rose show to set up an interview there. This job is only 2 days a week to start, also unpaid, but at least it would give me a chance to get a paid job somewhere else. And this one wouldn't be a personal assistant type position, it would be a hands on job where I would work directly with the production of the show. As an intern, I would be responsible for working directly with the show's guests. And the Charlie Rose show brings in the big names, from presidents to actors and everyone in between. Needless to say, I wanted this job the most.
The only problem was that I was offered a postion with Shmuley starting September 5th, and my interview for the Charlie Rose show was the 6th. So I did the smart thing and went all the way out to NJ to start work at a place that I was hoping I wouldn't come back to. The commute was annoying and the job wasn't much better. I had to look up plane schedules to Brazil for the rabbi and his wife. Interestingly enough, Shmuley was in Norfolk/VA Beach that day, so I also had to call oceanfront hotels and ask for a comp room (a rich Jew asking for a free room- he's really breaking the stereotypes, don't you think?) . Two things really disturbed me that day. First, his assistant, the squirrelly guy I spoke of earlier, had a screen saver that said "choose life." Hmmm... Maybe it could mean something else. I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. Then I heard why Shmuley was in VA Beach. He had a meeting with Pat Robertson. And it wasn't his first meeting with him. They're planning on writing a book together. This is when I knew I was in the wrong place. Now, Shmuley himself isn't conservative, in fact he's a self proclaimed feminist. But anyone who would sacrifice their moral beliefs (or just plain intelligence) to make a quick buck off of Pat Robertson's idiotic fanbase doesn't have a lot of cred in my book.
I left that day hoping I wouldn't come back. Hoping I wouldn't have to hear this Sandra Bernhard wannabe who was working that day talk about her supposed meeting with Spike Lee's editor and how she wants to milk Shmuley for everything he's worth ("do you realize how important he is?" she reminded me, "he's been on oprah.").
Thankfully, my interview the next day went well. Although I was nervous, because these types of positions are normally filled by communication and theatre majors. A background in psychology certainly doesn't impress TV. My saving grace was Giant Productions. If I didn't have Giant on my resume, I have no doubt I wouldn't have even been called for an interview. So long story short, I got the job! More to come later...