A World of Entertainment with Duke in New York
I’m Zoey Kang (T’19), majoring in Visual and Media Studies with certificates in Markets and Management and Arts of the Moving Image, and although it’s less than an hour out from my hometown, I’m officially “studying away” in New York City. There’s an intimately small (yet growing!) number of Duke students who go into the arts and media industries, and one member of the group taught me a useful term. Our university clearly offers a plethora of study abroad experiences, but for those interested in entertainment, “DiLANY” is a true gold mine; should you have the opportunity, attending both Duke in LA (DiLA) and Duke in NY (DiNY) would be a priceless, complementary pair. I am fortunate enough to be a current participant of the latter.
Working in entertainment seems like a daunting move, doomed for a future of instability, uncontrollable changes, and games of who-knows-who. DiNY has eased the process of getting our feet in that door by providing for us connections to obtain our internships and organizing networking workshops with industry professionals such as those in publishing, TV, and marketing. It is with these panelists I learned my first lesson: the importance of others. Others’ ideas can be gleaned from lunches (when was the last time you talked to that camp friend from high school?), events (random free screenings and concerts can be found on sites like Facebook and Eventbrite), and continued consumption of media (we’re riding the wave of a major media movement, in which the number of platforms to access content with seem to multiply by the day). Despite all of these opportunities, there’s nothing to be overwhelmed by! Not only does this give creators more avenues to generate unique material, but it also gives us increased control in choosing how to best spend our time digesting others’ ideas and learning to make our own.
One of our speakers recommended a book, The Charisma Myth, from which I learned my second lesson: the importance of visualization. I’m interning at production company Moxie Pictures, where I work under the director of TV development, and my most difficult task thus far has been pitching TV ideas – no matter how much command you may feel you have over the subject (my knowledge of America’s deadliest serial killers is definitely disconcerting), if you can’t picture how the fascinating investigative article can turn into an eight-part documentary series, it’s time to move on. We’re living in a time when ceasing to consume media can set you back, so it’s no coincidence that every one of the FANG stocks (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google: together the most popular and best-performing in the tech market) are now desperately developing their original programming. Their leaders are undoubtedly visualizing what their next step should be to keep up with competition because, much like in chess, looking ahead is key.
DiNY is for students of all academic backgrounds and interests; practicing creativity is something easily lost with age, yet it’s a skill becoming ever more significant to exercise. My internship has pushed my research and writing skills, but most importantly, it has fostered this creativity, and this program has taught me to embrace the city, to interact with it, and to take advantage of what it has to offer. Working in and exploring New York City, one of the world’s greatest artistic hubs, is beneficial (and exciting, of course) for everyone.
Zoey Kang is majoring in Visual and Media Studies with certificates in Markets and Management and Arts of the Moving Image. Markets and Management Studies will be featuring students' summer experiences all summer. Check in weekly or follow us on Facebook to read more about what our students are doing this summer.
Picture: The 2017 DiNY students on a walking tour of the West Village with professors Marianna Torgovnick and Tsitsi Jaji