Updated: Oct 15, 2019
Yeller: Claire, from Research
Place: Warner Bros. Studios, Stage 15
Time: January 2016
Jobs are a lot easier to get when you offer to work five 9-hour days a week for absolutely nothing.
That was the only reason I got this job, for sure. I had zero experience. I’m pretty sure I put on my resume that I was president of the high school scrabble club. A high school stat! Why did no one stop me?! But I had something no other applicants had: a lot of time on my hands.
For six months I took a semester off from school and interned in Los Angeles for the late night show CONAN on TBS. And it was awesome! Every morning I woke up off my brother’s goodwill couch, rode my half-stolen bike through sunny California, and arrive at the iconic Warner Bros. Studios, stage 15. Stage 15 is a legendary sound stage, known for ground-breaking movies like Ghostbusters 2, Oceans 12, Batman Returns, and the Karate Kid!
The whole experience of being on the lot was crazy to me, like I was eating my easy mac in the same cafeteria that John Stamos eats his Oikos greek yogurt! And the reason I knew that was because I SAW JOHN STAMOS EATING OIKOS GREEK YOGURT IN THE CAFETERIA! Like a lot! He doesn’t do those commercials because "Grandfathered" only got one season, he does it because he genuinely likes the product!
I started an internship in the research department and instantly fell in love with the job and everything about the show, the studio, and the staff. On my first day another intern showed me around the building, and finally he showed me the kitchen. And this wasn’t just any kitchen. This was a comedy writer’s kitchen. Meaning it had everything that a 9-year old could want.
But the best part was the fridge. In the fridge was every name-brand soda could you want! And the top shelf of the fridge was completely stocked with one beverage, my favorite of all: Açaí Berry Vitamin Water. I love Açaí Berry vitamin water so much, I have googled multiple times how to correctly pronounce “Açaí”.
And I turned to the other intern and I asked, “Can we have any of this?” and he’s like, “Yeah, they just take it out of your paycheck.” I’m like, “What paycheck?” and he’s like, “Exactly.”
I must’ve downed at least 15 bottles of vitamin water in just 4 days. If I had taken a breathalyzer, I would’ve blown a .2 blood Açaí concentration. But on Friday I was walking to the cafeteria with one of the assistants named Claire with a bottle in my hand. When she saw the bottle she stopped me in my tracks, pointed at it and said, “Where did you get that?!” I said, “I got it from the fridge, I thought interns could take whatever they want?” and she says, “You can, you just can’t take the vitamin waters!”
I knew what I had to do. I said, “OK”, I polished off three more, and then I was done. I had my last hurrah, and stopped cold turkey. Monday morning the next week, I’m hanging out in the kitchen with the other interns when a hush falls over the room, because Conan O’Brien had just walked in the kitchen. Now if you can picture Conan walking towards you, it’s like seeing a Giraffe without a fence. Your mind is like “Shhhh, don’t spook him!”
Conan walks up to the fridge, opens it, and his eyes immediately go to the vitamin waters. But he doesn’t grab one, he just stares at it for a while. He starts counting them to himself, as if he’s thinking, “Did I drink 15 bottles of vitamin water in just 4 days?” Finally he grabs one and he leaves. And I had the adrenaline rush of a lifetime! I felt like I had been pulling off some elaborate heist! Like I had been robbing a bank, except, I didn’t know that I was robbing the bank! And as soon as the teller told me that the money was not free to take, I immediately stopped robbing the bank!
Only in a place like Hollywood can a bottle of vitamin water be more precious than gold, but I encourage you all to go buy a bottle of Açaí Berry vitamin water, and know that you, me, and Conan O’Brien all have something very in common.
Thanks for reading! You can also watch a clip of me telling this story here! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZ0tkw6S-2g
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