(Photo by Therese Lambert)
My name is Diana Lambert. Today is Monday, November 2nd, 2020. I’m sitting in my bedroom in my off-campus apartment in Philadelphia. We’re in the middle of a global pandemic. The most important Presidential election we’ve ever had is tomorrow. I’m completing my senior year of college over Zoom. Here I am, attempting to talk about myself for the first of many posts for my senior project. It seems a bit out of place, but never-the-less, here I go.
It’s difficult to dive into the scope of this project without giving you (hello, by the way) a little overview of how I’ve gotten to this point in my life. Since I was a kid, I’ve always had an interest in entertainment. Ask my family – they’ll attest to the fact that I grew up constantly singing. I took vocal lessons, participated in my school musicals, and had big dreams of becoming a performer in some respect.
My dad and I playing guitar, circa 2004
Photo by Therese Lambert
Fast forward to seventh grade. I’m thirteen years old and absolutely obsessed with One Direction. As I grew up listening to their albums and following them on tour, I became deeply interested in their public image, fascinated by the ways in which they were branded towards pre-teens and rapidly popularized. It opened my eyes to another career opportunity – one beyond the stage. Maybe, just maybe, I could pursue a path behind-the-scenes.
When first coming to Drexel, however, I wasn’t convinced that a career in entertainment was viable. My mother (with the best intentions) warned me against the supposedly unstable industry. Although she supported me in a multitude of other ways, like coming with me to every One Direction concert, driving me to my voice lessons, and attending every single one of my performances – she wasn’t sure that pursuing a path in entertainment was feasible. She advised me to have a broader mindset and to keep my options open. So, I decided to major in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations and minors in Marketing and Entertainment & Arts Management. I took on internships with Live Nation Entertainment, then The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, and finally Weller Media Agency. Turns out, even with a broad major, I couldn’t shake my love of the arts.
When it came down to it, I knew I needed to have a career in which I would have unfaltering happiness. I longed for the joy I felt listening to ‘Midnight Memories’ in my bedroom during high school. The joy I felt the morning ‘Diana’ was leaked on Twitter. The joy I felt standing front row at one of their concerts in Montreal. I knew, wherever I ended up, I needed to be surrounded by creative and motivated individuals who share a similar interest. I needed to be surrounded by those who are captivated and fulfilled by the work they do. No other career made sense. I needed to be in entertainment.
Harry Styles and I at a One Direction concert in Baltimore, 2015
Photo by Therese Lambert
This past March, I was once again reminded by my mother about the risks of pursuing a career in the entertainment industry (again, she had the best intentions). I was interning with Weller Media Agency and was discussing my career aspirations with my boss over a video call. I mentioned my mother’s worries, and how some of those who worked at my previous internship in live music were furloughed due to the pandemic. To my surprise, my boss said that her sector of the entertainment industry was thriving. With artists being in quarantine, more and more content was being created, and the demand for publicity was high.
I realized then that it’s unfair to label the entertainment industry unstable. Yes, of course it has its risks. It also has its rewards. Although positioned under the same umbrella, each sector within entertainment is affected differently depending on the circumstance. Each individual has their own, unique story that originated from this time of immense change.
Through in-depth interviews and analyses on the history and changes the industry has faced, I’ll be spotlighting the effects of the 2019 SARS-CoV-2 pandemic on the entertainment industry and those working within it.
I invite you to take a few minutes and immerse yourself in these stories. Absorb these experiences, breathe them in. Take a second to think about how you consume entertainment. How has it affected your livelihood?
You might not draw life-changing conclusions from these stories. That’s okay. But, maybe they will get you thinking. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll learn something as well.
Thank you so much for reading. I hope you enjoy.
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