My Internship With Conan O'Brien

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My Internship With Conan O'Brien

This is a guest blog written by Allie D, part of our Intern Queen Syracuse Blog Network. If you would like to blog for about your experiences, please comment on this blog.

Last semester I took part in Syracuse University’s semester in Los
Angeles. In addition to taking classes taught by heavy-hitters in the
entertainment industry, I myself was required to emerge into the
business by having an internship to gain experience of my own. I was
luck enough to intern for the man himself, Conan O’Brien, at his new
digs on the famous Warner Bros. lot for his show in TBS.

It is impossible for me to share all of the greatness that was my
internship at Conan in one blog post, but I’ll try my best! I began my
internship in September 2010. I remember walking into the soundstage
to find…nothing. It was nearly baron. Throughout my time at Conan that
empty space transformed into a full stage complete with green rooms,
wardrobe, dressing rooms and most importantly a set. I got to
experience a show being built from the ground up—from conception to

Three days a week I would step foot into the office ready to go. The
staff, my fellow interns and Conan O’Brien himself were incredibly
friendly, helpful and polite. I remember one day I was creating a
channel guide for the televisions in the office and Conan walked up
the stairs and stopped when he saw me, “what do they have you doing?”
he asked. “Channel guide” was all I could say. His response of “you
must have done something terrible in your past life to deserve this”
was perfect. I will never forget that moment.

During my time as an intern I assisted with everything from wardrobe,
costumes, props, talent, errands and the live Coco Cam for which I
stayed awake for 23 hours, dressed up like a zombie and had a blast
all while it was being broadcast live on the Internet. I ran errands,
did stand in work and painted stripes on the “Minty The Candy Cane”
costume. In addition, I got to sit in on rehearsals almost daily,
which was by far the coolest part of the job description. I got to
experience first hand what does and doesn’t work and subsequently does
or doesn’t make it to the show. I got to watch accidents turn into
huge laughs and jokes get tossed. Through sitting in on rehearsals I
got to learn the ropes of successfully putting on a television show
four days a week.  Through it all, I learned a very important lesson.
Coffee runs and dirty work aside, I learned that interns may be at the
bottom of the food chain, but without them everyone would go hungry.
No job is unimportant and every task serves a purpose. Interns are a
necessity in the entertainment world. I believe we’re right up there
with craft services—and that’s pretty darn important.

I would recommend interning at Conan to everyone and anyone if you are
lucky enough to get offered a position. It is an incredible
opportunity and the people you will meet are invaluable resources. My
former boss even helped me get an internship with Late Night With
Jimmy Fallon this summer. You never know who you’ll meet, and no
connection is unimportant.