While most of us were trying to find the motivation to attend Zoom University, digital media production enthusiast Kaden Kerpsack found herself taking the semester off and working as a production assistant on the set of Love Island. It all began when Kaden set an incredible goal for herself: find an internship she is passionate about during the pandemic. Luckily, she came across the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity through connections she has made in the past.
Before landing the job, she had worked on the set of Floribama Shore, during which she also worked as a production assistant and helped with appearance releases. Although COVID-19 made the future look bleak for TV and film production, Kaden was able to beat the odds and continue working on her career goals. Her journey to success reminds us all how self-determination and connections within the industry can definitely provide a helping hand in times of uncertainty!
Her Campus (HC): Tell us how you found yourself on the set of Love Island.
Kaden Kerpsack (KK): After working on the set of Floribama Shore, I came back to school and started looking for internships for the upcoming summer. I applied to nearly 50 and didn’t get a “yes” from a single one. Then, the pandemic hit. I was sitting at home bored out of my mind and working as a waitress at my old job when, out of nowhere, my boss from Floribama Shore texted me. She told me to come work with her in Las Vegas for a few months, but I was unsure if I should go. At first, I thought the job was a Jersey Shore spin-off. With school coming up in August and the pandemic, I didn’t think much of it and pushed it to the side. That all changed a couple of weeks later after I saw the Love Island poster on her Snapchat story. I made the connection that the potential job she was talking about was, in fact, Love Island and immediately called her to explain how I had changed my mind. It didn’t take me long to pack my bags, take the semester off and move to Las Vegas for three months!
HC: Were you nervous about moving to Las Vegas so quickly?
KK: Yes, for sure. I’ve never been that far from my family before, so I was definitely anxious. I flew there super worried knowing I was going to be locked in a hotel for a few months. Not only that, but the only person I knew was my boss. However, I knew I wanted to do it and wasn’t going to let my anxiety get in the way of that. It was honestly one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! Pushing past my anxiety not only allowed me to get into the industry but also helped me make two of my closest friends.
HC: You said that you were a production assistant. What did that job entail?
KK: Basically, production assistants just make sure everyone has what they need for the show to run smoothly. As for me, I was working in the control room. I was in charge of arranging the catering, ordering audio and camera equipment, reconciling receipts and getting SD cards transported back and forth from set to postproduction. I then ended up getting promoted to Key Production Assistant, which made me the head of all production assistants!
HC: On your Instagram (@kadenkerpsack), it shows that you worked with Laurel Goldman. What was it like to work with her and the other stars of Love Island?
KK: Since the stars are in the villa by themselves, we were separated from them during the whole shoot. However, all the cast members came to the wrap party. It was a great night, they were all so fun to get to know. Laurel and I ended up talking all night. I still talk to her from time to time; she’s the sweetest!
HC: What was your favorite part of the whole experience?
KK: I think it was just being able to prove to myself and others that I could do it. I’ve had so many setbacks and issues with my career, and this was the first time people actually appreciated my work.
HC: What advice do you have for someone considering working within the TV/film industry?
KK: The best thing to do is to put yourself out there and make connections. Everyone knows everyone in this industry, so it’s best to always make a good impression no matter what!