The only way to know if something is possible is to try. It takes guts and a little bit of luck sometimes. But that’s exactly what earned local girl, Tara Boemmel, an internship at DreamWorks studio in Los Angeles, Calif., this summer.
A native of Bethany Beach, she is a currently a communication major at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., where she mainly studied radio and television broadcasting. But rather than work a summer job waiting tables or renting umbrellas, she decided to throw her name into the lot and try to get some real-life experience in the entertainment industry.
“I just did what was necessary to make my dream come true,” said Boemmel.
More than 2000 applicants vied for 20 positions on DreamWorks’ intern staff, but Boemmel’s on-line application made its way into the keeper stack. The rest is history.
Boemmel now works in the casting department responsible for dubbing American movies in foreign countries. Her day consists of analyzing the voice quality, accuracy and mouth movement of foreign actors who serve as the voices of the movies’ American characters.
She worked on the new animated comedy “Madagascar” and is currently working on dubbing new unreleased projects, including clay-animation film “Wallace and Gromit — The Curse of the Were-Rabbit” and animated film “Over the Hedge.”
“It was a hard adjustment from just going to class and then having the rest of the day off to working 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day,” said Boemmel. “It was mentally draining at first, but we (interns) have a couple supervisors that walk us through the process and help us through each project.”
Boemmel grades mark her as an excellent student at Liberty University. (She currently has a 3.9 grade point average.) But she had no experience in casting and was looking for a challenge.
“I was just looking to branch out in my major, and now I realize that if I’m going to stay in casting that I will need a business degree. A lot of casting is dealing with contracts, so hopefully, when I graduate I’ll get accepted to Loyola University to go for my masters of business administration degree,” explained Boemmel.
In addition to working in a field that was totally new to her and the longer, more demanding hours, Boemmel had to make other adjustments as well.
Small towns are inherently much different than large cities, but Boemmel’s main concern about moving out west had to do with the “L.A. attitude.”
“There is definitely a me-first mentality out here,” said Boemmel. “You can tell the way someone is out here by the way they drive, and everyone is very aggressive.”
“They don’t even wave when you let them in; but they are busy and that’s why they are out here — for them,” explained Boemmel. “Don’t get me wrong — everyone isn’t unfriendly. There are nice people here; but it isn’t like the way it is at home.”
Even though Boemmel has to deal with bad attitudes and even worse drivers, the West Coast has its appeal.
“There is tons of stuff to do on the weekends,” said Boemmel. “We (interns) go to Universal City and ride the mechanical bull or we head to the beach. We found this beach called Zuma Beach, which is really nice. I’ve been there every weekend for the past month since I’ve been here,” Boemmel said.
Boemmel said that she wasn’t sure if she would pursue production work after she completes her master’s degree but instead may return home and work in an applicable field. But one thing is for sure: whatever she has her sights set on; it most certainly is a possibility.
“You have to dream big,” said Boemmel. “Kids back home should break out a bit and explore new options.”
“If you work your hardest, your dream will come to you if you work for it,” said Boemmel. “Anyone can do this.”