Quinn Marcus, a student at Emerson College, pitched to MTV executives so that she could do this.
“What’s your favorite animal?”
“What kind of animal?”
I was 18 with a couple friends, a camera and nothing to do after improv class at Dad’s Garage Theatre in Atlanta. So we went to Little Five Points. The one place you don’t want to mess with people, and — we messed with people. I interviewed a woman who thought snakes were extinct, found a man who poured his heart out in a rap and met people who told me their darkest secrets.
Fast forward three years, and I’m 21 with a couple friends, a camera and a show on mtvU. You’re probably wondering how I got a show, and honestly, I’m excitedly asking the same thing.
My friend from school, Drew Van Steenbergen, and I sent a pitch for “Quinnterviews” to mtvU in May of 2012 and a few days later, my phone rang in the middle of my American Film Comedy class at Emerson College. The call was from a New York City area code. I didn’t know if I should send it to voicemail and pay attention or if this was my opportunity to participate in American … TV … comedy.
Any good Emerson professor would tell you to answer when MTV is calling, so I found myself in the bathroom whispering into my phone. An mtvU executive assistant wanted me to send a video expressing why I deserved a show — and she needed it by tomorrow. I asked my professor if I could leave class to make a funny video for MTV. And again, like any good Emerson professor, he said yes.
We filmed the video in a furniture store, pretending it was my home. We thought it would be hilarious. It turned out just looking like I lived in an apartment with seven couches, all with price tags on them. Drew edited the clip overnight and a couple days later mtvU was calling again, inviting me to pitch to executives.
The execs were coming from New York to meet me so I got dressed four hours early and sat nervously in my dorm room rehearsing my pitch. I had never pitched anything to anyone. Was I supposed to walk around the room with bravado and speak in rhetorical questions like in the movies? Was I supposed to play hardball (whatever that means)? Was I supposed to bring cookies? I told myself I should be the perfect blend of confidence and sweetness. Just like Erin Brockovich.
I was told — or I thought I was told — I would be pitching to a senior vice president, Paula, and executive producer, Randy. But I was actually introduced to Paul and Randi. I opened with a stupid joke about what I thought their names and genders were supposed to be … which was met with silence. I tried to fill the space by talking for three minutes straight, but used up all my air in the first 30 seconds. Also, did I mention that Paul and Randi (Paula and Randy) were the most good-looking, fit, well-dressed people I’d ever met? That being said, everyone I have met at MTV has been the most good-looking, fit, well-dressed person I’ve ever met.
When I took a breath, Paul(a) said, “Well, you can stop pitching to us because we think the show is great. So let’s just shoot the shit and figure out how to do this.” That was not the way they tell you it happens in class. I was so happy — happy they liked my show and happy that my pitching experience was over.
Hopefully it’s just the beginning for Quinnterviews and if it is, I would like to preemptively thank all the unsuspecting and uninhibited pedestrians of Boston. We’ve filmed several episodes already, which air Tuesdays on mtvU and can be seen anytime on mtvU.com. However, I’m still waiting for the day I get the “Listen, Quinn, we’ve enjoyed working with you, but you’re just not good looking, fit or well-dressed enough to work here” call. And to that, I will say, “Very true, beautiful person.”
Looking For A Roommate: Quinn visits a Boston Food Truck Festival looking for dinner and a roommate.
Looking for Love: Quinn’s search for love takes her to Central Park in New York City.
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