Long Overdue...

This is way too long overdue.

My last entry was posted in September of 2015…10 months ago! Let me catch you up to speed since then in the clearest and most efficient way possible. I’m going to cover the biggest “ah-ha” moments, big events, and try to uncover and dissect my thoughts.

So right after I signed off from blogging, all my persistence, networking, hard work, and determination paid off. In October of 2015, I received an email from the HR department at William Morris Endeavor (WME/IMG, talent agency) to come in for an interview for their floater program. I took the interview, and I got a gig in the mailroom – an invaluable experience I will certainly never forget.

My Entourage

For those of you who don’t know, WME is one of the biggest talent agencies in the world. If you’re familiar with the entertainment world, you may have heard of big time directors/producers that “started in the mailroom.” This is what we’re talking about. If you’ve ever watched the HBO series, Entourage, then you absolutely know what I’m talking about. Ari Gold and Entourage were based off of Ari Emanuel and his talent agency, William Morris Endeavor.

So before an assistant gets assigned a desk (like Ari Gold’s Lloyd), they start out in the mailroom. It’s a floating rotational program, where you’re either helping sort out mail in the mailroom or put on various assignments. I know it’s 2016, but you would be SHOCKED by how much mail comes through a talent agency. You learn a lot just by sorting mail. You see all the fan mail (so much for Rihanna, Regis Phillbin, Queen Latifah, Lin-Manuel Miranda, etc.) that gets delivered, all the contracts from lawyers coming through, tons of bills and checks, and you get to see what is going to who and what’s coming in and what’s going out. If you’re not in the mailroom, you’ll be assigned to either: cover an assistant’s desk if they’re out, write script coverage (write up plot synopses, character breakdowns, review scripts, etc), or you may be doing a taping with one of the clients (this was my absolute favorite assignment. You were literally reading lines for celebs’ casting audition tapes). Oh, and when you’re a floater, you make a whopping $10 an hour. No lie.

Now let me fill you on the freaking PEOPLE at WME. Oh em gee. This was the best part. The mailroom is essentially a bunch of Jewish kids that want to run Hollywood. It was SO fun. Everyone was nuts. Everyone was obsessed with entertainment. And everyone loved a good slice of babka (oy, that’s a whole other story, but serious shout out to Shauna Small, better known to my friends as babka girl).

Okay sooooo here’s what happened. I kid you not, on my third day at WME, I received an email from a contact that I made 3 years prior. His name is Michael Hoffman and in 2013 when we first connected, he was working as a social media coordinator at Bravo (this was the job I wanted!!! So I had a mutual connection put us in touch). Michael and I vibed, stayed in touch over the next three years, and he moved over to HBO about 2.5 years ago. Knowing that I had quit my job in July 2015, he reached out to me on October 30, 2015 asking if I was available to chat because there were some jobs opening at HBO and he wanted to see if my interests aligned. BEST. EMAIL. EVER. We talked that week and he told me about a position on his team as a Digital/Social Media Coordinator.

Honestly, I had some hesitations. I had just started at WME, one of the most prestigious companies in show biz and I was really more interested in jobs in development, not social media. Buttttt after some additional calls with Michael, and mannyyyyy hours of deliberation with my nearest and dearest (Lena Baker and Michael Reid, and my parents lol), I decided to take the interview.

Okay, before I go on to life after WME, I just want to make one thing clear. I LOVED working at WME. I was honestly really sad to leave. I learned so much there, I made some amazing friends (that I hang out with what feels like every weekend still), and I really felt part of this talent agency “club” that you’ll only understand if you go through it. Ugh IMYSM WME.

Vamos a South America

So in the midst of all the entertainment angels looking down from the heavens on me and hooking a sister up with an interview at HBO after moths of near-depression from rejection and unemployment, this chick was heading to South America with childhood friend later turned BFF, Lena Baker. In December, LB and I headed down south on a 15 day trip to Lima, Peru, Santiago, Chile, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. We stayed with my family in Lima, made some new friends in Santiago, got to hang with some more of my fam in Buenos Aires, and got sunburnt AF along the way. God, we had SO much fun. Our trip to SA made for some incredible Snapchat content. And we didn’t even come close to ever wanting to kill each other. Honestly, I’m sorry if we weren’t Snapchat friends in December of 2015, because you missed out.

So right before leaving for SA in December, I interviewed at HBO. Days before leaving, I got a call from Emily Giannusa (now my current boss), offering me the position. I accepted and went on the trip, and when I got back, I gave my two weeks notice to my girl Katrina DeRosa in HR at WME.

Home Box Office

So I started at HBO in January 2016 and 7 months later, I’m still lovin’ it. I get to work with the one and only Michael Hoffman (@mh0ffman <-- everyone go follow him rn, he would be appalled if I didn’t plug him at some point) every single day and Emily Giannusa is seriously da.bomb. I have learned so much from everyone at HBO, and I feel v #blessed for this opportunity to learn, grow, and be part of some of the most influential entertainment digital marketing campaigns in the world.

It’s been eye opening seeing what a huge influence social media has on the greater company, and beyond. You guys, social media is EXTREMELY important in this world we’re living in these days. You’re a crazy person if you don’t get that social media is an avenue straight into people’s everyday lives. It is the most perfect, influential, and FREE marketing tool for any and all companies/brands. Ugh I think social media is amazing and a game-freaking-changer. Andddd we are watching the evolution and growth of social media go down right before our very eyes.

Where My Head’s At

So. It’s been almost a year since I took that risk and left my job (with no job lined up), and I have absolutely zero regrets. Boy has it been wilddddd though. Summer 2015 was a serious low point. I felt so defeated. I was working my ass off producing original content, networking day after day, and putting myself out there.

I was so close to giving up. Not a day went by without tears. I felt so hopeless, crushed, and overwhelmed. I never thought I’d be able to bounce back. It’s still crazy though, because it never crossed my mind to give-up on my dreams of working in entertainment (well my real dream is to be a talk show host, but that comes later). I had dedicated the last 6 years of my life to this dream. There are no other options. I can’t NOT work in entertainment.

I have this fire inside of me that doesn’t let me stop. Since graduating college, I’ve had this newfound realization that life is short AF. If I’m not doing something each and everyday that is pushing me toward my goals, I feel like it’s a day wasted. There are only 24 precious hours in a day, and you can’t afford to waste a single second!!

People Though…

I have a whole new respect for my parents and other important people in my life. Not once did my parents nag me about finding a job. They saw how hard I was working, how much I was struggling, and how poor I was (but like seriously…), and they never bothered me about being unemployed. Thank you thank you thank you M+D. You inspire me everyday, no joke.

My friends are pretty incredible. I think it’s so important to surround yourself with people who help build you up, who have similar interests, and who you can learn from. My friends keep me laughing, keep me feeling inspired, and teach me so much every single day.

I want to be successful because I want to share that success with the people who helped me get there. I want to spoil my friends and family because they believed in me. And that’s really all you need – people who support and believe in you.


So What Should You Do?!

It’s pretty crazy now that I’m on the other side of seeking out the help. I get emails often from recent-graduates and peers asking to chat and get advice about breaking out in entertainment, or just work advice in general. Here’s what I tell everyone:

  • First of all, what do you want to do? Really. What is that crazy dream that you have that you want to do with your life? If you don’t have something extremely specific, I challenge you to take a few hours out of your day/week/weekend and really brainstorm on this. After you come up with a small list of dream careers (it can be anything!), then let’s continue to the next bullet
  • Okay, who has that dream job that you want? It could be someone famous, it could be someone most of us have never heard of, or it could be your next-door neighbor from your hometown. Now, how do you get to talk to them? So you may not be able to speak to them directly, but try to get as close as possible. This is where you have to do some serious digging and research. And you can’t be shy. Talk to them. Ask questions. And don’t waste their time.
  • Network. Network. Network. I’ve always resented people whose parents were super connected. But here’s a secret – you don’t need your parents to be super connected! Make your own connections. Talk to everyone you can. Even your peers! They can be incredibly helpful. Ask them what’s worked and what hasn’t.
  • Okay, here’s another piece of advice. Actually DO what you want to do one day. Want to be a writer? Go write. Want to be a graphic designer? Ummm hello, go create some beautiful things. Want to be a musician? Go practice your instrument and record it. Want to be a comedian? Go sign up for open mics. Want to be a fashion designer? Go draw and make me some clothing. Want to be a talk show host? Start a web series.
  • Listen, we are living in a world now where there are literally zero excuses for you not to be doing something that you love. There is a job for everything. Seek it out, work hard at your craft, and achieve baby!

My year in review: a timeline on this past year.

Here's a brief, yet deeper look into my past year and a half. A quick recap of what’s been going on…just to set the scene. I’m going to go in to more detail as time goes on, but I need to do a quick review so we’re all on the same page:

May 2014: Graduated from Indiana University. Honors telecommunications major. Gender Studies and Spanish minor. I wrote my senior thesis on the under representation of women in comedy (http://bit.ly/1IYNZNS). At IU, I developed and produced a comedic talk show for the IU student TV network called Hello Dolly! (www.facebook.com/HelloDollyTV).

June 2014: My friend from college, Ryann Schram, hooked a sister up. I got a job as a Casting Production Assistant at Magilla Entertainment (a TV production company here in NYC). Freelance gig. I’ll say it now, and I’ll probably say it a billion more times…this industry is ALL about WHO YOU KNOW. Don’t forget it kids. It’s BRUTAL. So thank you x100000 to Ryann Schram. Freelance job = when the project is over…you’re back to the drawing board. Time to find a new job.

July 2014: My high school friend and fellow Spanish class partner in crime, Brittany Harshbarger, threw my resume in for a position as the Executive Assistant to the CEO at the ad agency she was working out. Got the job. Worked there for a year.

October 2014: Listened to Serial, the podcast.

December 2014: Went to a taping of Andy Cohen’s Watch What Happens Live! and it changed my life. He is my TALK SHOW INSPO. My TELEVISION BRANDING INSPO. My POPCULTURE INSPO. No exaggeration, it was so inspiring and I can’t describe how I felt leaving that studio. Shout out to lifelong family friend, Bonnie Baker, for the tickets. Please direct all inquiries toward Segolene Dewey if you have questions about how excited I was that night (she was my +1).

August 2014-March 2015: Kept my contacts updated on what I’ve been up to via emails, phone calls, coffees, drinks, LinkedIn, etc. Wanted to stick it out at my job for a year.

March 2015: Signed up for and started improv comedy classes at Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB). Met a whole new group of people that are hilarious and creative. Got me feeling inspired again.

April 2015: Brought Hello Dolly! back for a NYC special edition episode. Did a recap of the Diane Sawyer/Bruce Jenner ABC special interview. I thought it was hilarious? I love popculture, so gotta stay on top of those pop culture current events y’all.

April 2015: I turned 23. Ugh. (http://huff.to/1yG17Vw)

April 2015: Ran into (one of) my comedic idols, Abbi Jacobson, on the street in SoHo. Kept it cool, and whispered to her (to be inconspicuous), how much I love her work and that she inspired me to take improv classes at UCB. She said thanks. That was it. It was great.

May 2015: Performed my first improv comedy show. ‘Twas a success.

July 2015: Left my job at DiMassimo Goldstein (the advertising agency). I put a year in and had to make moves toward my dreams. I have to thank my former boss Mark DiMassimo for believing in me and for telling me that one of my “most unique strengths is that [I] know what [I] want to do at such a young age.” Damn straight. Now it’s time to make it happen.

August 2015: Went to the premiere of Difficult People (Hulu) with my GIRL Steph Seibel. Check her out. She’s a talented fashion designer and another comedic hero of mine. Got to see Amy Poehler and Louis CK in the flesh. That was tight. And I didn’t embarrass Steph.

August 2015: Snapchat flew me out to Los Angeles for an interview. Found out a week later that I didn’t get the job :-( , but I did get a trip to LA. And I think I have to move there……..

August 2015: Reached out to Elaine Sheldon and Sarah Ginsburg, the producers and creators of the podcast, She Does, to congratulate them on their amazing work, tell them how much I respect what they do, and to see if there’s anyway to get along. We’ll see if this turns into anything. But if you’re interested in all types of media and consider yourself a feminist, LISTEN TO THIS PODCAST (www.shedoespodcast.com)!!!

August 2015: Had a short internship with Jax Media (TV production company. They produce Broad City, Inside Amy Schumer, Difficult People, Odd Mom Out, etc.). I was up their butt for months about getting in that office and learning from them, so I got to intern finally. In the short time that I was there, I learned TONS. Got to read scripts, learned about ~pR0duCti0n LyFe~ from Andrew Segovia, who is super talented and the coolest, and did other basic PA tasks. I told Andrew that this struggle was all “part of my E! True Hollywood Story”.

September 2015: So…here I am now. A 23 year-old, smart, funny, personable, reliable girl (and not modest), with a college degree, burning passion and drive, and no job (no steady job. I’m working odd jobs to make money on the side). How the HELL does this happen? Well, it happens.

I am Dolly.

Alright y’all. Here it goes:

So I’ve been trying to get back in the writing game for a couple weeks, maybe months, now. Let me fill you all in.

For those of you who don’t know me, and I guess for those of you who know me too, my name is Dolly Meckler, I’m 23 years old and a suburban Connecticut girl, rediscovering her native New York City roots (being a white Jewish girl and moving to the waspy AF town of New Canaan, CT after 10 years of growing up in NYC is a whole other story). I graduated from Indiana University in May 2014 and have been tryna “make it” since then. I know what you’re thinking, I’m only 23, I have my whole life ahead of me, but this girl has big dreams ahead of her and right NOW is my time to put in the hard work and build a strong foundation for what’s to come in the future.

After a crazy year and a half (I’ll give a detailed timeline of what’s been going on with me in a future post)…here I am now. A 23 year-old, smart, funny, personable, reliable girl (and not modest about it), with a college degree, burning passion and drive, and no job (no steady job at least. I’m working odd jobs to make money on the side). How the HELL does this happen? Well, it happens.

So now it’s time for me to really document this time in my life. To use this time to create. To write. To pay attention to what’s going on around me. To use all of this for future comedic material.

Here’s to exploring humor and adding to my extensive list of funny things that WOULD happen to me (ex: getting hit by a delivery man on a bike in the rain, the infamous “Necklace Guy”, my monthly “membership” at Equinox, when I was directing traffic at the EZ-Pass toll at the Midtown Tunnel on my way to LaGuardia, my obsession with connecting to WiFi no matter the uncomfortable-ness of the situation, and the time I called out the stranger that straight up hijacked my LinkedIn bullet points on my profile, etc…).