The Saga Begins

Monday, January 10th– a day that will live on in Basic Cable Internamy, also known as my first day at CONAN.

Before we get to this momentous occasion, we need to understand the mindset of the night before. The Sunday before I was to be thrown into the free-labor market, was an informative one. Kyle, my friend and an employee at Lopez Tonight, got my parents and me walk-on passes to the Warner Brothers lot where he and Allie gave us a personalized tour. We saw the behind the scenes of outdoor sets, like the faux Chicago L-line, and the “New York” and “Anywhere America” sham buildings. We saw sound stages where classics such as Casablanca, Yankee Doodle Dandy, ER, and Friends were filmed- and let’s not forget Batman and Robin or Wild Wild West. These huge barrack-like sound stages that are often featured in Warner Brothers promotional ads and logos, hold decades of cinematography history. Yes, the tour was exciting and I was relieved to know exactly where I would need to go the next morning to arrive at CONAN.

After the tour I gathered my things from the Hotel, and caravanned in my Jeep to Kyle’s house where I stayed for the week. Mom and Dad flew out Monday morning, and I heard after dropping me off after dinner, they tore up Sunset Boulevard, but they’ll have to start their own blog to tell you about that.

I called it an early night and was surprisingly able to sleep the night away. At 6:15 am, the alarm went off. It was time to start my day- a quick run, shower, actually putting time into hair and makeup, dressing myself in what I had laid out the night before, and a 10 minute drive. It was time for CONAN!

I arrived to work about 30 minutes early. That seemed a little eager so I sat in the parking garage for about 10 minutes. Then crossed the street into the Warner Brothers’ lot where I proceeded through security to Stage 15. My heart was racing. I had no idea what to expect.  Much to my relief, all I was confronted with was a room full of friendly interns- some veterans of the show (some dating back to The Tonight Show) and a bunch of newbies, just like me. Our supervisor doesn’t believe in long winded boring orientations and threw us right in the mix. Within minutes of my arrival, I was following veteran interns on coffee runs and learning the ropes of the office basically on my own. Around 10am the newbies were rounded up and steered like cattle to receive our WB/ CONAN ID badges. These allow us to get on the lot, in the buildings, and the parking garages. They also don’t say anything except your name and show, so it looks like you’re more official than an intern, but I’m not just any intern, I’m a Basic Cable Intern! Only the best for me!

The first day was going just fine. I was breaking down cardboard boxes in the main hallway when all of a sudden, I looked up, and saw Conan O’Brien wandering in and out of offices. My first reaction was confusion. I thought to myself, “Why would Conan O’Brien be here, where I work?” and I proceeded to break down boxes. The about a half second later, it hit me: “Meg! He’s not visiting YOUR work, you’re breaking down HIS boxes for HIS show in HIS studio.” Frozen in awe- I belief the reality of this internship hit me at that exact moment. I don’t know if there are any words to adequately describe that type of revelation.

The rest of the day went by faster than it began. Before I knew, I was back at Kyle and Allie’s apartment and they were taking me out for a celebratory 1st Day Dinner of bumpin pasta. I called it an early night as to mentally absorb that day and prep for the next.

I work at a TV show. I work at CONAN. How freaking awesome is that!?!

More to come! Stay Tuned!

In this week’s edition of “Things are Different in California”:

3) Alcohol is available whenever you want. Sundays? Late night? Cold? Not a problem. I can walk into a grocery store and get whatever I want whenever I want. Not that I do, but the option is always there. It isn’t hard to pass, however,  sales and alcohol taxes are ridiculous here.

4) To a Californian, meeting a Hoosier is like meeting an Alien- We’re exotic and possibly primitive: “Oooohhhhh, You’re from Indiana!?! What’s that like?” On one hand it’s fun to be the different species for once, on another hand, it may be considered insulting- either way I’ve been giving a lot of crash-courses in Hoosier life and times.

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