You're the Coordinator of New York Programs and Membership for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. What's it like working for the Academy?
It’s a movie lover’s dream job. We get to work with filmmakers along every phase of the filmmaking process and highlight films that people might not already know. Plus I can binge watch weird movies and call it “research.”
I ran into Melissa Rocha the other night and she said you used to intern at Film Forum! What was your journey from movie fan to Academy employee?
I was working a depressing job at a golf driving range after college, and one day while driving a golf cart in the active range (and not an armored caged-in one, just your standard golf cart) dodging golf balls whizzing by my head and wearing a golf ball bucket as a helmet I realized I needed a new line of work. I liked films so I googled “NYC film internship” and applied to every internship I could find. I landed a few at Anthology Film Archives, the Film Society of Lincoln Center, and FRANK PR. The FRANK PR internship turned into an assistant position which I left after a year to go to graduate school studying film history at NYU. During grad school, I found myself at Film Forum as a 23 year old intern while Melissa was theater managing. They paid me in coffee, popcorn, and free movies which for a hardened grad student is surprisingly enough to get by on. I was also part time at the Academy’s New York office, and when I graduated NYU I was hired full time as their Coordinator of NY Programs and Membership. It’s not exactly a rags to riches story but hey at least no one hits golf balls at me anymore!
What can people expect from your contribution to the Oscar panel?
The Academy’s inner workings, and the especially the nomination process, can be a little confusing so I hope to clear up some common misconceptions while also giving the breakdown on the Academy’s recent initiatives for expanding our membership.