Summer Time Summit

Despite the fact that these entries are for this site to document my “professional life”, I feel like I’m cheating on my book blog…

After an eventful day, all I can say is that my claim to fame is making an entire summit feel ancient in a millisecond.

I spent the day as a “reporter” (a nice title given to me by the awesome Jared, who emailed me about the op, but in all honesty, I was just a glorified teenager with a cellphone tweeting things that really important people in the broadcasting/entertainment industry were saying. It honestly wasn’t that bad. It was fun. And they had great catering), and it gave me an insight into a world that I realized I barely stepped into. I guess… I just sort of dipped my toe into the media industry? Worst analogy ever, but you probably get what I’m trying to say.

The Discoverability Summit (which was run by the CRTC) was a two day event that invited industry professionals to talk about… our industry. Admittedly, the day was various speakers in panels, giving their  (professional) opinions to the moderator about a subject/topic/possible problem that needs fixing at hand in their sector in the industry or in general. To me, however, it was like sitting in and reliving my Media History, Creative Processes, Digital Media and Production Theory classes from first year all over again (to the readers out of the loop, these courses have no meaning to you, but RTA students, you feel, don’t you?). While I do admit to dozing off/skipping/being on Facebook for some (LOL, LET’S BE HONEST, THE MAJORITY OF THOSE) classes, I can say that they came in handy.

While making industry pros feel old and seeing their faces after telling them your 18 (it’s a mixture of awe, surprise, and a lot of curiosity. But mostly surprise) is fun, they really make you feel your age the second that they start talking. And in between paying attention to tweet important quotes, my sheer bordem from topics that didn’t interest me, to wondering if it was REALLY obvious that I was a fetus compared to all of them (although, there was this nice translator lady who thought I worked for the CRTC. I was flattered), I was able to grasp what they were saying. And it was nice knowing that you aren’t a complete failure and can speak the same language as your people (I’d like to thank James Nadler and Richard Lachman specifically right here).

The Summit, to all those who are wondering, was pretty enlightening and honestly, a bit strange. Weird. While I was an outsider for being the youngest, most inexperienced (and probably really awkward) “professional”in the room, I was also one of them, and that’s what got me. See, one of the most reoccurring themes was how the industry would (in a way, and I mean this in the lightest sense, since I’m grappling for words at the moment) regain its stature in a millennial world, dominated by the Internet, the Wild Wild West of the industry (actually, the Wild West is Youtube, according to Steven Kane). And it was weird for me because I was on the boarder-line the entire day: I was their target demographic, the never ending question, while at the same time, I was “one of them” trying to figure out a solution. One day, I won’t be that “question”, I won’t be their main priority, but I’ll be the person making them a demographic.

It was a surreal day, of feeling young and old; of feeling like I belonged and being a fish out of water.

This summer, my goal was to save as much money as I can and then work hard to find a job in media, probably next summer or something. While this opportunity was unpaid and the furthest thing I had in mind, I don’t regret doing this, and will probably will be doing more- I mean, I do have 4 months, and it’s not like I’m not going anywhere (except for McDonald’s and my bed straight after).

On a side note: the music industry panel was my favourite, and I definitely recommend going into Alan Cross’s open office thingys at Ryerson- he’s actually amazing to listen to and talk to.

 

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