Saturday, March 22, 2014

Portfolio Day: Part 2

I'm going to apologize- from the beginning- for leaving off on such a cliffhanger last post.  I just couldn't bear to include all of this story with the previous stuff.

I'll try to keep this short, but no promises.  Every time I try to tell it to my family or friends or coworkers when they ask what happened on Portfolio Day, it takes me an hour to explain!

After I put out my portfolio on the tables (I never even took a picture of the set-up!), I bailed.  I didn't want to be anywhere near it.  All the TAs were doing a final sweep to make sure everything was fine.  And I forgot to push play on my laptop!  Thankfully, the amazing Tammy asked me if I remembered.  You should've seen my BOLT ACTION™!  (It was already 9 o'clock and we are restricted from the area.  Never mind that the pros were already walking the portfolios!)  Bet THAT looked real professional!

I went to find solace in Sculpture class. ...  I didn't find it.  It eluded me for the rest of the day!

I literally sat with one of my tools between my thumbs, spinning it for at least an hour- staring off into space. I got NOTHING done on Joker in the morning class. Just had a mild freak out. My friend Sydney said something HY-STER-I-CAL in class and I just bust out laughing for several minutes, then- quick as a flash- I was crying! XD (At this point, my sister would call me a Drama Queen.) But I think the laughing had just finally opened the dam that I had all the stress behind.

For lunch, I ran away with Sydney and my friend (NOT the sculpture) Harley. I swore on our way back to the Main Building that I wasn't going to go and look to see if the callbacks had been posted yet. I didn't want to see! But as we were heading to the Cafe, I heard the noise. The sound of dozens of animators talking all at once. I knew instantly that the pages for callbacks had been posted. And I had no power over myself. I HAD to go look! The anticipation and fear was only intensified when one of my classmates, Taylor, said that she thought she saw my name on a couple. I felt like a deer in headlights.

I bee-lined for the boards and started the agonizing scan of the pages for my name. I found one- Nickelodeon. My callback was at 2, with a bunch of others.

Suddenly, the idea of eating was not a pleasant one. I hate half a bowl of plain rice. Seriously, I was that freaked out. So I went back to my second sculpture class at 1 and waited...

I got to talk to the amazing Nick reps and was encouraged to apply for their internships this summer and their other programs. They gave us some sweet stuff/bags, but ran out. I told them I loved getting mail, so I gave them my address. After I did, the lady said, "Oh, you're Amanda!" (Cue deer in headlights.) She told me that Nick, Jr. had been there that morning, but had to split. They'd left invitations for five people for an event and I was one of the 5! It was a thing called Noodles & Doodles. They apologized for the short notice, but it was at 6 PM that night. Another friend of mine, Yerang, was also invited, so I got a ride with her.

Back in sculpture class after my callback, I went nuts on Joker. I still didn't get a LOT done, but I sliced him in half and severed one of his arms and completely changed his position to "plus" his pose. It felt really nice to basically destroy him so that I could put him back together. Then John Mahoney and I monkeyed around...

"Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy."
Yes, I crack myself up! XD

After class, I went to Nickelodeon Studios for the first time! Yerang and I took pictures inside their cool courtyard.

Noodles and Doodles turned out to be a fun thing. They fed us some yummy Asian-style noodles and stuff. Another of my classmates, Brooke was there. And an alum, Darrell- who graduated my freshman year, I think. There were maybe 30-40 people there. Students like us, and also like Nickelodeon professionals! EEK! NO PRESSURE! Then we drew from some prompts they gave us. I liked one or two I drew. This one was my favorite though.

They kept all the doodles we made- which they are going to give to some board of important people or something and see if anything we did can be turned into a series or short or something. They said they would notify us if ours was selected- in 6 months to a year! So, I'm not exactly holding my breath, you know? hahaha! But that would seriously be SO COOL!

Then we went home! It was one HECK of a day! We were pooped!


The thing I walk away from Portfolio Day with is the utmost sense of blessing. And I don't mean because I got a callback, finally! I mean: this event is something that the school arranges for us- they beat the streets looking for studios to come to look at our stuff and try to get us hired. This is NOT a required part of our curriculum. In other words- THEY DON'T HAVE TO DO THIS for us! This is something they MAKE happen. It is the most unbelievable opportunity for us to get our names in the minds of studio people. This is coming from someone who DIDN'T get a personal interview with some studio or a 'job' out of it! (Spoiler alert: NO ONE walks out of portfolio day with a job anymore.) But the amazing crew of Character Animation busted their tails to make this opportunity for us- and I will be forever grateful. This is one of those things that just wouldn't have happened at any other school- hence my sincere love of CalArts. I know I am in the right place.

This place is magical.


  1. Good luck!! It'd be cool to meet you one day in the industry. :) It's been neat to keep up with your calarts story so far~

  2. Not tryna get all fan girl ish but im totally in love with your blog and your story.again, thankyou ahah