"Live from New York, It's Saturday Night!"

Last week, I got the chance to interview a friend of mine, Sarah Ridgeway, who was accepted into Belmont's program in New York, "Belmont East." Sarah is a senior at Belmont, pursuing a Music Business Degree. Since being accepted into Belmont East, she has been living in Brooklyn, using the subway, paying ten dollars for Chick-fil-A sandwiches (apparently our beloved chicken is pretty pricey up there), and being an overall badass. Not only was she accepted into this awesome program, but she landed an interview at Saturday Night Live this semester. Here is what she had to say about this crazy journey. 

How has your overall experience with Belmont East been?

 My Belmont East experience has been absolutely life-changing! I have had so many fun experiences and learned a lot about myself. It has been challenging at times because the city can be overwhelming, but overcoming those challenges has made it even more rewarding. 

So, the big question everyone wants to know ... how did you get an internship at SNL?!

It is actually a crazy story! I applied 4 months before I heard anything back so I assumed I just didn’t advance on. So, when I moved to NYC I had no internship and no idea what I was going to do. But a week after I got there, I got an email from the HR coordinator of NBCUniversal telling me that she liked my resume and was going to pass it on to the producers of SNL, and I may get called for an interview but it wasn’t likely. Then, a few weeks later the Associate Producer of SNL emailed me. I went in for an interview and I guess she liked me, and the rest is history! 

What has it been like working there? 

The environment of SNL is unlike any other I’ve experienced. Someone once explained that the orderly chaos of Studio 8H can be compared to that of an emergency room. It is extremely fast paced and exciting, so I always have to be on my toes while constantly thinking ahead. It has really transformed my work ethic and taught me that I can thrive in this kind of high-stress environment. I work about 40 hours a week Wednesday through Saturday, with majority of those hours on Saturday during my 15 hour shift! My boss is tough on me, but in a way that motivates me to work harder to rise to the occasion. I also work closely with the SNL House Band who are all so friendly and genuinely enjoy their jobs, which I find so inspiring. 

I know you have met some awesome people. Can you name a few?

Okay, Kanye West, Kid Cudi, Lil Pump, Kim Kardashian, John Mayer, Travis Scott, Tina Fey, Jonah Hill, Maggie Rogers, Jenna Fischer, Steve Carell, Pete Davidson, Keenan Thompson and the rest of the SNL cast! It is so cool to be in an environment where these celebrities walk around without their security and are treated just as hard-working professionals. 

You know I am not going to let you go without telling the full John Mayer story...

Well, my most embarrassing celebrity story was the one and only time I spoke to John Mayer. We were standing next to one another about to go on stage, and were watching a skit on the monitor about Ted Cruz. I knew I had to say something to him or I would regret it for the rest of my life. The only thing that came to my mind was “Oh, I’m from Texas!!!!” and he looks at me and replies, “Oh,cool.” And that was it. And it was the greatest moment of my life.

What a story. So, do you feel like this experience has provided insight into what you’d like to do with your future? 

It has probably made it a little more confusing! I never thought I would have the opportunity to work on a live television show, let alone SNL. I have enjoyed my internship and NYC so much that it is now more difficult to decide whether I want to end up in Nashville or New York, but it is a good problem to have! 

Any advice for future Belmont Easters? Places to visit, subway advice, how to manage stress, etc. 

SAVE YOUR MONEY! You will spend 3x times more a month then you originally plan to, and you should because it’s worth it! Save in advance so you don’t have to worry about missing out on fun opportunities! Also if you’re stressed, just go on a walk. It is so nice to clear your mind and take in the New York City skyline and scenery. $1 pizza will be your best friend and also your worst enemy. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help because the majority of New Yorkers understand how overwhelming the city can be and they are happy to help you! And most importantly, try everything and do as much as you can because the semester flies by!

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