An Unprecedented Internship
By: Erame Okojie
At the time of this writing, there are more than 40 million unemployed Americans, a worldwide pandemic, and a global response to the murder of George Floyd; yet, oddly enough, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to be an intern for Press Kitchen. I can honestly say that I love my internship position at Press Kitchen. The staff has been very warm and kind, even though there isn’t any face-to-face contact. I can say that I truly feel as if I’m a part of the Press Kitchen family, even though I’m not a full-time worker.
Although I was lucky enough to have enough credits to graduate from college an entire year early, all of my college friends will begin to partake in their last year of college next semester, half online and half in-person. When I tell my friends that I have a job during these times, I’m thankful that I’m employed during one of the most unprecedented moments of American history, and half saddened that they are stuck at home unsure of whether they’ll be able to afford another year of college and what the future job market holds.
I find it fascinating to know that I am currently a part of a time that will go down as a truly transformative time of American history. When my future children talk to me about the year ‘2020’ and ask me to explain what I did during these times, I feel as if I could write an entire book and still not be able to nail the feeling I’d be trying to articulate. To personally explain how I’ve processed the past three months, I can simply refer to Marvin Gaye’s song “What’s Going On”. The title and message of the song itself can explain how I feel better than anything I believe I could write or say. I always use music as a way to express and communicate how I feel, and it’s truly frightening, yet magical how a song 50 years ago is still so relevant.
Every day since the lockdown began, I have been receiving a new piece of news that makes me rethink my position in every relationship I am a part of, whether it’s family, friends, or even my employers at Press Kitchen. This isn’t me rethinking my position in fear, but instead, I’m rethinking my position as a human being and constantly reminding myself that we are more interconnected than we all think we are.
A word of advice I could give to anyone is to not pay too much attention to what the media tells you, whether it’s through social media or the news. If anything, COVID-19 and the George Floyd protests have proven that the media will never truly be able to capture the truth of any event. It’s up to people themselves to do their own research from multiple different sources and come up with their own arguments and justifications.
I view myself as a futuristic person, and I’m not one to usually look back and dwell on specific moments of time. That same mindset is still active for me right now. I believe that change starts with oneself, and I am taking this time to become a stronger person physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I have hope for the future, and I can’t wait to soar once these difficult times are behind us.
Erame boasts prolific television and media experience, having acted in hit television series including Parks and Recreation and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. In 2018, he helped write comedy scripts for Kevin Hart and his YouTube channel ‘LOL Network’, which sits at over 3.9 million subscribers.
In March of 2018, he launched his first company, “Backhouse Productions,” a film production company specializing in music videos and short films. He and his team have already filmed several music videos for various artists, and are currently working on a short film.
He graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a Philosophy degree in May 2020.