Casey Waslasky can tell you if NBC’s snarky comedy “30 Rock” is accurate in depicting total chaos at the network’s Manhattan headquarters.
Waslasky, a junior at King’s College, on Friday finished a summer internship with “Today” and confirmed that in the TV business things can get wild, but Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin’s foolish antics never appear on the real production floor.
With nine other interns, he was surprised to see how much he and the others contributed to producing the morning news.
“You think ‘intern,’ you think getting coffee and doing typical intern duties. It’s completely different,” Waslasky said. “I was shocked by how much they rely on the interns.”
Through the experience, he fetched only one cup of coffee, but it was voluntary. Matt Damon, the star of the Jason Bourne trilogy, was a guest on “Today” and he wanted Starbucks.
“For future reference, he gets a large latte with skim milk. If he’s ever walking through Wilkes-Barre and he needs a coffee, you’ll know what to do,” Waslasky said.
Waslasky is studying math communication at King’s, a conglomerate degree of advertising, graphics and broadcast production. He said it’s a good degree to help him prepare for a career in the entertainment world.
Most of his fellow interns at “Today” were from top-notch private schools such as Yale, Harvard, Brown and George Washington universities. He said he was proud to know he didn’t get accepted for his connections to big-name universities, but rather for his determination and willingness to dig deep into the bowels of a Google search for the hiring manager’s phone number and call her directly.
For housing, he found an apartment to sublet for summer, in Hell’s Kitchen, about seven blocks from the studio where he worked every day. Other than going away for senior week with his friends, Waslasky had never lived away from home. He said the experience was enlightening.
“(It was the) first time doing my own laundry. It was definitely a wake-up call, having to come home and not finding any food in the refrigerator,” he said.
On Fridays when “Today” brought in performers such as Jimmy Buffett and Luke Bryan, the interns started the day around 4 or 5 a.m. A driver picked them up for an early start for their jobs of handing out VIP passes and helping the guest stars in the dressing room. Interns also helped producers research for news segments.
Waslasky said the entertainment business is most appealing to him because he was always learning something new.
“That’s what I loved. It was never the same thing twice,” he said.