Name: Tori Mason
Graduation Year: 2019
Major: Cinema and Media Studies
Minor: Narrative Structure
Hometown: Hollister, California
What were your favorite positions/memories at TVTV?
I started at Trojan Vision my sophomore year, working as a CTPR 409 student and an AP on The Morning Brew, and worked my way up to being an Executive Producer my senior year. I had so many wonderful experiences working on The Morning Brew. It gave me the opportunity to work with so many amazingly talented people that I have no doubt are going to be names that I see on my TV when the credits roll! I used to absolutely love late-night brainstorming sessions with my producing crew and the few times I got yelled at in Leavey because we were having too much fun. I also was super proud of the fact that I booked Drake Bell on the show when I EP-ed. I accidentally called him “Drake Josh” two times in a row to his face and it still haunts me two years later, but it was still a special memory!
How was your transition out of USC into the workplace?
I didn’t graduate with a job offer which was hands down one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever experienced. I tried not to be discouraged and just kept trying to land that first job. I made it a daily goal to apply to at least 5 jobs a day until I got hired. After a month of radio silence, I finally got my first job as an office assistant for a boutique talent agency. I was essentially an assistant to the assistants. The job wasn’t glamorous, but it also wasn’t very time-intensive, so I had a lot of time on my hands to read scripts and shadow other assistants, and learn as much as I could before I landed a job as an assistant to a talent manager, which is the job I’ve had for the past year and a half.
What are you up to now?
I currently work as an assistant to a talent manager at Link Entertainment. I definitely have the most boring job of anyone who’s done one of these (Trojan Vision has really had some great alumni and I’m so happy to say that I’m a part of that network!), but despite that, I absolutely love what I do and I adore the woman I work for. All I’ve ever wanted to do in my life is help other people. My job isn’t the most glamorous – I don’t get to work on movie sets or cover red carpets – but I do get to spend every day helping actors live their dreams by helping them get jobs and then supporting them in every way I can to make sure they’re successful. My boss actually represents one of the people that I once booked to come on the show (and a bunch of people that I tried and didn’t succeed in booking!)
Where would you like to be in 5-10 years?
In 5-10 years, I would love to be a talent manager/producer, representing comedians!
Any words of advice for students?
Don’t be discouraged if your first job in this industry isn’t where you want to end up! My dream job when I graduated was to work on a comedy touring desk at UTA and I came very close to achieving that goal but, to my disappointment, I made it all the way to the end of the hiring process and didn’t get the job. I know now that I would have been very unhappy with that job and although my path was nothing like I imagined when I walked across that stage to accept my diploma, I think that I ended up where I was meant to be. I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and that good things happen to those people that work hard and keep working hard even when the bumps in the road try to get the better of you! (Also, please enjoy the time that you have left at USC because you will never sleep again once you become an assistant).
** Please reach out to our Industry Relations Manager, Phoebe Lai (email@example.com) to get in touch with our Notable Alumni or be featured in our next newsletter!