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How My Work Study Job Landed Me on a Movie Set in Italy

If you had told me a year ago that I would be in Italy over the upcoming spring break, I would have told you that you were crazy. Spring break was a time where you drove down to Florida for a beach day or caught up on sleep and went to the doctor.

I had never been abroad; I conveniently got my passport earlier in the fall semester because Temple pays for it. Adding to the happenstance, the opportunity came from my work study job. Yes, working for $10 an hour at Temple Performing Arts Center (TPAC) lead me to Minori, Italy. That experience was undoubtedly the best adventure I’ve ever been on to this day.

The Connection

Applying for work study jobs is no different than applying for any other type of job. You send out more applications than you can count and hear back from maybe two of them. TPAC was the only job that replied to my application. I interviewed and got in.

I met Val, one of the producers of the movie, on my first shift. She was loud, personable and the only name I remembered after I left. She asked me what my major was and immediately asked me to work on the film. Confused why anyone would offer something to a freshman, I laughed it off and admitted that I didn’t know enough to have that responsibility.

Months later I was trying to convince another coworker to switch to a major in Klein (we love Klein around here) and Val asked me again to work on the movie. She offered me a trip to Italy where I would only have to pay for my flight. In the moment, it felt like one of those outings you “plan” with your friends that never ends up happening. Nevertheless, I trusted Val and took the news home to my parents.

For reference on how they feel about international travel, when my brother went to Peru with his girlfriend, my dad bought a passport in case my brother ended up like the girl in Taken (though he’s no Liam Neeson). I thought I would get a harsh “no,” considering I was going abroad for my first time with a bunch of people my parents had never met. When I did ask, they thought I’d be stupid not to go.

The Moral of the Story

Get out: You’ll hear this from every study abroad program, students who have left the country and adults who are missing their college experience: explore the world while you still can. Though I only had about two days to freely run around Minori, it was the coolest week of my life so far. I froze my butt off in the Mediterranean, danced with an Italian stripper (PG I promise), and watched the lighting crew make daylight past sundown. I met people I never would have otherwise and shared an unforgettable spring break with them. That would never had happened if I went home to go to my dentist appointment and catch up on sleep.

Everything happens for a reason: There’s no better “everything happens for a reason” story than this. I went to Italy because of my work study job. I’m as astonished as you are. The smallest decisions in your life can end in something you never imagined. Never underestimate the small things you decide to do; they could end in a crazy adventure.

If something comes your way—go for it: I almost didn’t go on this trip because I assumed my parents would say no. There was also a moment I was validating not going because of plans I had (including the dentist) for spring break. I’m so grateful that Val asked me to be on the production a second time and even more so that my parents gave me an enthusiastic go. If I didn’t have the support that I do, I wouldn’t have gone. Fight for an opportunity you want; if you want it badly enough it will happen.

I hope that everyone gets an opportunity like this. No, I don’t mean specifically going to Italy or being on a movie set. I hope you come upon something great due to happenstance. The fact that Val had enough faith in my abilities through our informal interactions at work has given me more confidence than any other opportunity I’ve had so far.

We don’t realize how important our actions are until they are. You never know where something will lead you. Arrivederci!

This blog post was written by Kyra Beckish, Director of Community Service.

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