“My advice would be to put everything you have into the program. Go to the all the events, network with people outside of MSLCE, and most importantly build within your cohort.”
Lauren Vernea, Class of 2017
What is your current role(s)/project(s) and what are your responsibilities?
By day, I’m currently a freelance documentary associate producer based in New York City. On nights and weekends, I’m an actress, writer and narrative film producer. After doing my internship at the end of MSLCE, I was hired by the company for another project and from there, thankfully, the work kept coming. I’ve been able to work for some really awesome companies like Mass Appeal, Vox, and ABC News, producing documentaries for Netflix, PBS, Starz, and Fox. As an Associate Producer I work mainly with producers and editors, getting documentaries ready for air. This includes finding archival videos and photos, scheduling shoots, reviewing cuts, performing journalist duties, etc. My favorite aspect of the work is shaping the script/story and conducting interviews. I’ve had the opportunity to travel and lead shoots at music festivals and really cool events. I’ve met people I’ve looked up to all my life and learned from them. I wish I knew more about this industry before I moved to NYC and I tell other MSLCE students that reach out to me to look into it and take it seriously. It’s a really awesome industry.
Besides my day job, living in NYC really made me step up my game as a writer, actor, and singer. I’ve been able to take classes in all three of these areas and find professional work opportunities. I’m creating pitch decks, acting in plays, writing and performing sketch comedy at The People’s Improv Theater, singing in cabarets near Broadway at Don’t Tell Mama, and workshopping my comedy TV pilot scripts that I’m prepping to shoot next year. The people who live here are overly ambitious and it does rub off on you. It can be a stressful city to live in, but the access you get to the industry, outside of LA, is unparalleled. If you’re like me and you always wanted to work in entertainment, it’s a playground here.
Tell us about any interesting or unique projects you worked on during your time in the MSLCE program.
My favorite project during MSLCE would definitely be the fictional sketch comedy network we created called “Sketch Connect” in Entrepreneurship for the Arts with Prof. Greg Latterman. That was by far my favorite class of the program as I love creating creative organizations from the ground up. What made this class different, however, were the research tactics I learned and feedback I received through the class that allowed for the final product to turn out so much better. The Digital TV class with AJ Christian was amazing as he’s just an amazing and authentic person who genuinely wants to mentor creators of color. He really helped me find my voice and understand more about the TV industry as a whole.