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So Long, Farewell

So long, farewell

Oh Gotham, I feel like the Von Trapp children being sent away to bed while the party is in full swing, because today is my last day at Gotham.

I honestly don’t know how to start this. Ask Imani. I’ve rewritten this post dozens of times because I’m unsure what and how to write it.

Well, I found this internship on Twitter one morning during a job search. I thought the current intern blog sounded fun, and I already knew the school from its website and Twitter account. I went into the interview not knowing what to expect.

I remember meeting Dana and Alex and being completely charmed and welcomed. I remember bombing on the interview question “what are three adjectives to describe you?”

One of my words was “good-recover-able,” which Dana and Alex good-naturedly accepted. Thank goodness.

I remember excitedly telling people that I thought the interview went well. I remember first meeting Imani and Devin at the office during training, when we awkwardly sat next to one another, eating burgers with the rest of Gotham.

We were sort of the new kids at the party.

Seriously. It was Alex’s birthday, so there were cupcakes.

I remember thinking “can I eat two cupcakes, if I just met Alex? Because these cupcakes are good.”

I remember being in the big office with Devin and Imani, and for some reason, Alex and Dana jokingly asked us to reveal a deep dark secret as a team building concept. We laughed it off, but I—out of nerves I suppose—kept coming out with secrets to make Devin and Imani laugh.

We planned the blog and started to joke about James Franco. I found out Imani was just as Arthur obsessed as I was. Devin stayed with me to design the tumblr.

I looked forward to Mondays and Wednesdays during my week, because, well, it’s just nice being part of Gotham’s office.

People are fun. Teachers are coming in or going. I have Devin and Imani sharing a desk with me, okay to talk about anything when I dislike being in my head too long. There are gummy bears and Swedish fish to eat. I get to blog during the day as I man the phones.

Those phone calls are always interesting. You never know who will be on the other end or what they’ll want. I’ve had scary phone calls, funny phone calls, and friendly phone calls. Those are the best, because I like talking to people and finding out why they want to take a class.

As for the guys in the office:

You guys are kooky and random. Thank you for answering my questions when you guys were in the middle of conversation. I’m also sorry if it took me a while to process Living Social deals.

Also, thank you for going along with my awkward humor.

I’m glad there were as many references to Independence Day as there were. That we did get to discuss Labyrinth. And that we got to give our two cents over the new designs going on at Gotham.

Though, I still think the new office should have a tree-house vibe with a moat.

I know you guys are so emotionally wrought that you are knocking down the walls once we leave. It’ll be okay, though.

You’re going to live on. You’re going to survive.

Because today is my…last day at Gotham.*

So, thanks Gotham, for being really nice and welcoming and a home away from the cold, cruel world. I’m off now, out to discover what exactly I’m going to do next.

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I’m not sure what I’ll be up to once I leave, but I’ll do you guys proud.

LYLAS (love ya like a sistah),
Georgette

*Thank you, President Whitmore.
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Georgette vs. the Mic

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So after weeks of hard work and debate over such topics as “is there another sleazy man magazine she could reference? Is it better if your female voice sounds like a man?” my comedy class had our comedy showcase, and man was it adorable.

By adorable, I mean it felt exactly like a school production, where we sat to the side of the stage, altogether, as if we were kindergarteners preparing to talk to you about the Presidents.

And one of the students, God bless him, brought 50+ people, so we had a bigger audience than we expected. This was nice and also intimidating at the same time. Nice because there were a lot of people, so I could get comfortable with that, rather than focus on the three friends who came out. And intimidating because of the obvious reason: there are 50+ facing you as you try to be funny. When that happens at parties, you just excuse yourself to the restroom and never return. There’s none of that when you are on stage.

So the build up to that performance was usual. Tons of doubt, attempts at hiding behind my bathroom door, coughing to see if I was sick enough to use as an excuse to myself and my instructor.

But in the class before I went, a lot of people didn’t have anything memorized.

This made me feel excellent.

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Right before the show, I sat in a deli, reading my bit to the air, eating a sandwich, rewriting lines, and frankly not caring that the studious girl with the fur collar kept giving me weird looks.

I walked to the comedy club repeating everything like a mantra, stopping in the middle of the sidewalk if I couldn’t remember, and facing the heavens above because I’m dramatic.

Never again, I thought angrily, never again will I talk myself into doing this. I’ll do it, and we’ll never talk about it ever again.

But it wasn’t that bad.

I was excited when I sat with my group.  I was excited when my friends came in and sat down. I nervously forced them to hug me, and we tried to talk about anything other than the impending show.

And I sat with my class beforehand, attempting to make light of everything, though some of us grabbed out papers and read through them quickly. I was already tired of my voice, so I stuck mine into my boot and hoped for the best.

If it came down to it, I’d pull it out and just read it.

I don’t remember my stage time if I’m honest. I think it’s a coping mechanism I mastered over the years, but I do remember trying to slow down as I spoke, I remember thinking that I knew which line came next really easily, and I also remember that I asked questions of the audience.

With that last one, it’s a bit of a risk, because the audience may just try to mess with you if you ask a question to set-up your next joke. I knew that and I did it out of nerves. But I think I recovered. Who knows!

I asked my friend what she thought of my bit, and she came to the conclusion that I did win the audience at times, though I seemed to confuse them at others.

I told her that that seemed to be the usual reaction to me at any other time and was pretty pleased by that review.

This Thursday is my last show. Let’s hope it’s two for two as far as success and fuzzy memories go.

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Of Write-Ins and Cosplay

The time has come, you guys. We are responsible interns (or proved ourselves to be responsible interns), and Devin, Imani, and I took charge of a Write-In.

There’s something magical about coming into a familiar place at an off time. It’s sort of like seeing your school at night, after the homecoming dance or after a parent-teacher night, when all of the teachers and students aren’t there.

I don’t know. To me it’s kind of cool.

Stop it, Devin. I know you’re making fun of me now.

Anyways, the phones weren’t ringing, which is always nice and calm. That might be it.  And with everyone’s desk without their owner, it was the ultimate time to cosplay as Gotham’s Best Office Workers.

Tonight Street will be played by Georgette

Tonight Street will be played by Georgette

It’s uncanny isn’t it?

Devin will play Dana.

Devin will play Dana.

Can someone say Oscar?

Britt will be played by Imani.

Britt will be played by Imani.

So we were in charge of the Write-In, and by “in charge” one of our tasks was signing people in and ushering them to their respectable rooms. This did not have to be a bigger deal than I made it, but I liked to think that I was playing matchmaker for two large rooms of people, almost as if I were Nick Fury, enrolling superheroes into the Avengers.

As Alex sat by, I debated which room of writers would win in a tug-o-war battle against one another.

“That one,” I told him rather decidedly, pointing at 1402. “It has more people. I gave them an unfair advantage.”

Alex considered this a moment before he replied, “Well, you don’t know the physicality of the other room.”

This was something I did not consider, and I bemoaned my failings as a Write-In Leader.

We also took care of the food. And by “took care of the food” I mean that we cut veggies for the platter and I made Alton Brown-esque commentary on technique and kitchen skill, until Devin asked if I was going to do that all night.

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That made me laugh, but it also shut me up. Besides, I had trouble coming up with more techniques and ways to describe Devin’s wrists as she made cheese cubes.

Write-Ins are always fun because there’s the break where you can get to know fellow writers, and we had the bonus of playing a Tetris-Frogger type of game as we did so, refilling food trays and grabbing the spare Blondies on the table.

We met a lot of nice people, and Imani chatted about poetry with Britt for a while.

Did I mention the wine?

I felt like a fancy waiter or a rapper’s groupie in a music video, pouring vino into awaiting empty glasses, being called over for more.

All-in-all, successfully, fun Write-In. You should probably go to one.

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The Writer’s Arc of Emotions: A Playlist

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So you sat down to write, maybe after a long break or maybe with a goal in mind, either way: congratulations! You’re going to do it.  You have an idea or maybe some down time, and you’re at your computer or typewriter or hammer and chisel and are pumped.

Well, we are here to help you traverse the wilds that is the writer’s emotions as you put pen to paper.  This playlist will certainly help.

I Just Sat Down with Tea, Coffee, a Notebook, Five Back-Up Pens, and My Laptop

Flathead –The Fratellis
First Date-Blink 182

You are on fire! Man you are on a roll. You are not leaving this seat until you have dialog and character development and setting down.  The thoughts can’t keep up with the fire brimming through your fingertips. Hell, you’re like a driver on The Fast and the Furious, burning rubber and making the asphalt smoke as you drive over and kill Paul Walker.

That’s the premise of the movie right?

Writing is awful and I don’t know what to do

This House is a Circus –Arctic Monkeys
East Coast Girl- Cayucas
Floetic- Floetry

What happened? Life was going so well.  You had the idea and the characters were doing what you wanted in a logical progression that made sense to their arc, and yet . . . why do they sound stiff and cliché all of a sudden?  Why do your characters keep eyeing the clock or Tweeting as they wait for you to give them things to do?  Who gave them that smartphone?

Dang. The honeymoon phase is over.

Reign it in! You can do it. Get their attention, spice up your love life, forbid them to Tweet and focus!

And possibly take a dance break with this song.

Writing Is Going Really Well

Sway –Dean Martin
You Make My Dreams Come True -Hall and Oates

Oh yeah. You got it.  This is what you intended all along. Who was that fool ten minutes ago? Not you!  Things are jellin’ in the way that those Dr. Scholz inserts are working on your high arches.

Who was that furious maniac who sat down? Not you.  You’re savoring the experience now.  You can take your time to describe that intricate vase sitting on your character’s nightstand, because you know just where you’re going with it.

(Hint: it’s a big twist later on in the plot.)

I Thought I had a Plan, Why Isn’t Writing Going Well Anymore?

Crying –Roy Orbison
I Hate You So Much Right Now-Kelis

Good lord. Why didn’t you speed up and write an outline?  You remember when writing was going so well, why can’t it always be that way?

You hate what you have on paper. You reread it and see all of those authors you love leering at you, wishing you would stop telling people that they were your influences because you’re not doing them any favors. You’re embarrassing them.

All is lost!

Wait.  Hang on.  You’re okay.

Nope. Nope.  No you’re not.

I’m Outlining. I’m Going to Look at all of My Craft Notes and Capture that Feeling Again.

Killer Queen -Queen
Metal Guru-T.Rex

You are a professional.  You can do this.  You have the right tools to finish this scene.  Heck, if you were in workshop or sharing your story with an adoring, interested, somewhat attractive looking party, you would be able to tell said party about your project with verbose explanations on character developments and denouements.

The fact that you know means that you can fix it.  You’re one cool cat.

I’m leaving on a Jet Plane and Leaving This So-Called Story Behind.

Take A Chance On Me-ABBA
Absolutely Nothing -Lily Allen

Before you run off into the night in search of a story, remember, it’s just a stalling tactic!  Take a deep breath, listen to some tunes and go back to the drawing board (or laptop).  I’ve found it’s best to look away and come around again to get the most accurate look at my own work.  It’s kind of like staring at a chess board for a long while and after that long while you’re left clueless and strategically impaired.  A break is key, but fleeing forever will do you little good.

Applause-harry-potter
I’m Happy with What I Have.

Santeria -Sublime

You’re exhausted. You’ve been through so much since you sat down and had your five cups of coffee. The sun was out when you sat down and started.  What happened there?

That’s okay, though.  You sit back and look at your document and just think.  You ruminate over some phrases Earlier You thought was brilliant.  You backspace over some extreme description over a vase–did you really need that vase?–and you smirk slightly when you look over a bit of dialogue that you actually enjoyed.

That, my friend, was all you.  You did all of that.

Congratulations.

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Dance, Dance Evolution

Okay, maybe there’s not as much dancing as the title suggests, but there are a lot of changes happening.

Gotham is going through an evolution of sorts, much like a Bulbasaur entering the next stage as a Venusaur, or the Sharks and the Jets at the end of Westside Story.

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The website has some changes. Street walked us through new office renovations, and I suggested a moat. Dana and Alex have some sweet business cards that feel very cool to whip out and present, though they don’t have our names on them. We just like presenting them just the same.

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It’s really an ongoing process, but it’s always neat when something new comes into the office and we huddle around it.

Then ultimately we take it apart, but only because we want it to be the best of course.

But changes are coming soon to Gotham, folks. Stay tuned.

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Lessons through the Wire

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Have you ever had a really aggressive phone call?

My first memory was at age eight when I told a telemarketer that my dad wasn’t home, though he stood right in front of me eating a doughnut.

The telemarketer, I distinctly remember, told me, “Tell your parents not to teach you to lie.” And that set me off to go hide under my bed because I figured she could see my dad standing right there, finishing that Old Fashion.

She couldn’t, and I overreacted hiding under my bed, because, Young Georgette learned that unless it’s a friend or a family member, whoever calls has no idea who they will get on other end of the phone. It may be a telemarketer. It may be an eight-year-old gatekeeper. Either way, they just don’t know.

Fast forward to Gotham. Have I had a hard time with some phone calls? Yes (but we’ve gotten better). Because people are as different as snow flakes so their problems need care and attention as such. But I’ve also had some really wonderful times, where friendly people don’t mind sharing a little bit of their day or even asking me about mine. Those phone calls can make your day.

I also think that it helps that the interns share one desk.

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Sort of like this, except with a phone.

I like to think of the Intern Desk as being the equivalent of the Real World house, particularly Seattle or San Francisco. You know, because you take three strangers and put them at one desk. Then you see what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real.

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Or something like that.

Because essentially, getting to know someone is sped up when you make them share a piece of real estate, particularly if that piece of real estate is an office desk and a phone.

But at the same time, I can’t see this process working any other way.

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Midterm Intern

We went to go get pie the other day at the Little Pie Company. I like to think we did it in celebration of hitting the mid-mark here at Gotham. Though, it’s most likely because Devin really wanted to eat something after work.

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At the risk of being cheesy—actually, I’m cheesy all the time—I started to think about everything that has happened since I was interviewed in the summer.

The biggest, of course, is that I started my stand-up classes. If you thought you were confident, try stand-up. Seriously. There’s nothing more humbling than having to explain a joke that no one got but which you think is hilarious. But everyone is super supportive. The instructor is encouraging. And it’s like winning the lottery when you get everyone laughing with you.

I also tried yoga with Dana, who is excellent. She was very accepting when I started doing my poses in the wrong direction, facing the class. And, though she may not know it, is often quoted in my brain for this little nugget,

“Open your hamstrings, open your hearts.”

Which I will, without a doubt, carry with me forever.

Seriously, I was walking down the street and bam! It was in my head.

I really enjoyed the Takeaway Series too, where we would just sit in with one of the instructors and a guest and just chat about their own experience or get advice. I got some great tips and dipped into so many cool subjects from TV, children’s book, memoir, and poetry. After every week I kept changing on what I wanted to work on myself.

And just listening to other writers about how they started was my favorite part. Maybe because it’s comforting to hear that it’s hard? People need to say that more often, because people love to hear it. Or maybe I just do?

Wanting to do what you love is hard, and it’s pretty damn nice to hear it from those people who worked through it, because as I juggle internships, job searches, optimistic phone calls to my mom, and desserts meant to uplift my spirits, it’s nice to know that this is just what happens. These things just happen, and my doughnut can be just be a doughnut, which I will eat for taste, rather than as an emotional pick-me-up.

I’ve also gone to a Write-In, which is the best way to start an evening out. I invited my writerly friends to come, and we had a nice time talking to other writers and enjoying the wine and food. There was this woman, a stand-up comedian, who had these really amazing tangents that cracked all of us up. There was a man, who apparently goes really often, and wrote these visceral scenes. And there were so many people with interesting reasons for coming, and we were all encouraging and super-optimistic to one another during the wine breaks.

Plus, I ate a lot of M&M’s and cheese.

Devin and I took a how-to-blog class, which I’m still pumped up about. It was nice to listen and help others with their own perspectives. And my idea of cupcakes and comedy went over pretty well. I really want to start my own blog now. Or just go crazy on this one with all of my new-found knowledge.

We’ve been doing a lot of outreach projects to teens and for the Write-In. I got to make some sweet fliers, using my PowerPoint skills. More importantly, a lot of our ideas are considered and heard, which is something you always want to have but sort of don’t expect in an internship.

Also, I learned a little late that Devin, Imani, and I are referred to as the coven. I’m assured that it’s in the best possible way though. I like to think that they mean the mistress fairies from Sleeping Beauty . . .

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But American Horror Story comes to mind pretty immediately, especially with the season . . .

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. . . yeah. All of those Coven photos were either suggestive or disturbing, so I opted for putting up a different trio. They’re still magical, so this makes sense.

I mean if you’re really that intrigued now, the promo photo sort of looks like this . . .

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But imagine a snake instead of spaghetti and witches instead of two dogs falling in love.

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