The Right Place at the Right Time
By Monica DeStefano
After I declared my TRF major spring of freshman year and heard about the LA Semester for the first time, I didn’t even consider passing the opportunity up. I actually had little to no qualms about coming out to California; I just knew that the program was a necessary part of my degree if I truly wanted to succeed in this industry. As my departure date approached, I was shocked by the amount of negative reactions I received from friends, family, and even strangers. “Oh, you’re going to LA? You’re going to HATE it.” “People are crazy out there!” “You’ll want to come back to the east coast immediately.” I definitely started to feel skeptical, but I also couldn’t understand why people would tell me how much a place sucks when I’m about to move there indefinitely.
Now that I officially am moving out here as a post grad, I feel confident that this is the right place for me to be right now. Contrary to popular belief, people who currently work in the entertainment industry want students like my classmates and I to succeed. They see burgeoning talent and they admire it. My time at Nickelodeon Animation Studio has shown me nothing but support and encouragement, and if you show initiative in your ultimate career goals, people want to help you. So far, I’ve only encountered people that create content they love, not content that generates the most revenue. This might be specific to animation, but I’ve found the LA entertainment community to be welcoming and inspiring, rather than manipulative and superficial.