November 12, 2019

Students Get an Inside Look at the Entertainment Industry

posted on: Thursday January 17, 2019

By Kelly Marcela ’21

While Rhode Island rang in the new year with cold winter weather, some students escaped to sunny California this January.

As part of the Providence College in Hollywood program, 13 PC students and four faculty members from various departments traveled to Los Angeles, to spend three days exploring the entertainment industry and potential career paths.

The PC in Hollywood program was founded in 2012 by alum Todd Slater ’97 – an independent film producer and partner at Blue Fox Entertainment – with the goal of introducing students to potential career paths in the entertainment industry.

Since its foundation, the program has already seen success: four former PC in Hollywood participants are currently working in the Los Angeles entertainment industry, and many others have spent a summer interning with alumni in Hollywood.

The itinerary was an action-packed three days, as students were introduced to all aspects of the industry, from acting and directing to writing and creative advertising. They learned about a variety of fields within entertainment, and participant William Burleigh ’19 said, “I definitely learned a lot about what the film industry is like.”

A highlight was visiting the sets of major Hollywood studios including Sony Picture Studios, Sunset Gower Studios, and touring the set of Criminal Minds.

The trip was an incredible opportunity, not just to visit the entertainment industry in Los Angeles, but also to network there. They met with alumni from places like Focus Features, the Walt Disney Company, and the Hollywood Museum.

The trip also included a networking night with local alumni in Los Angeles. Seeing the success of fellow Friars was an inspiration for students like Ariel Tavares ’20, who said, “It’s almost surreal to know they shared the same rooms in Ruane and Smith that we use now to make their dream a reality.”

PC has no shortage of alumni who have made their name in the entertainment industry, both onscreen and off.

One big name is John O’Hurley, ’76, who is known for his recurring role on Seinfeld among other things. Another success is John Bowab, ’55, who spent over 30 years directing on Broadway and television.

Students had the chance to meet both O’Hurley and Bowab on the trip. The connections with all of the alumni went beyond professional advice and became personal mentors.

This was particularly meaningful for Tavares, who added, “I guess I didn’t realize just how true the statement was that ‘Friars give back’. So many successful alumni took the time out of their busy schedules to not only share their stories but offer themselves up as a resource.”

Alumni also show support through their donations, which make the annual program possible.

PC in Hollywood was a preview of life after graduation for students interested in a career in the entertainment industry.

Most of the participants are film minors and theater majors, like Aisling Sheahan, ’19, who plans to apply the knowledge from her experience to her theater major and beyond.

She explained, “I was able to connect with many PC alumni out in Hollywood and create relationships with them,” She also shared that the the alumni happily shared their wisdom and that she was “able to ask for their advice.”

In addition to forming professional relationships in the industry, students were also able to make personal connections with fellow students who share their passion. The prospect of building a career in Hollywood can be daunting, but a support system on campus can boost up confidence.

Erica Beatey ’19 expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to form such friendships through the program, “I was also blessed to meet my fellow students who are now my friends. PC in Hollywood gave us the gift of each other to confide in, work beside, and strive towards greatness with.”

The trip also included a networking night with local alumni in Los Angeles. Seeing the success of fellow Friars was an inspiration for students like Ariel Tavares ’20, who said, “It’s almost surreal to know they shared the same rooms in Ruane and Smith that we use now to make their dream a reality.” 

PC has no shortage of alumni who have made their name in the entertainment industry, both onscreen and off. 

One big name is John O’Hurley ’76 who is known for his recurring role on Seinfeld, among other things. Another success is John Bowab ’55 who spent over 30 years directing on Broadway and on television. 

Students had the chance to meet both O’Hurley and Bowab on the trip. The connections with all of the alumni went beyond professional advice and became personal mentors. 

This was particularly meaningful for Tavares, who added, “I guess I didn’t realize just how true the statement was that ‘Friars give back.’ So many successful alumni took the time out of their busy schedules to not only share their stories but offer themselves up as a resource.” 

Alumni also show support through their donations, which make the annual program possible.

PC in Hollywood was a preview of life after graduation for students interested in a career in the entertainment industry. 

Most of the participants are film minors and theater majors, like Aisling Sheahan ’19, who plans to apply the knowledge from her experience to her theater major and beyond. 

She explained, “I was able to connect with many PC alumni out in Hollywood and create relationships with them.” She also shared that the the alumni happily shared their wisdom and that she was “able to ask for their advice.” 

In addition to forming professional relationships in the industry, students were also able to make personal connections with fellow students who share their passion. The prospect of building a career in Hollywood can be daunting, but a support system on campus can boost up confidence. 

Erica Beatey ’19 expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to form such friendships through the program, “I was also blessed to meet my fellow students who are now my friends. PC in Hollywood gave us the gift of each other to confide in, work beside, and strive towards greatness with.”

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