Around the world in 90 days

(Photo provided)

October 9, 2018

It’s an aspiring actress’s ultimate career audition: New York City, London and Los Angeles. Noelle Mefford ’18 interned in all three cities in a three-month span.

The globetrotting public relations major from Glen Carbon, Ill., left for the Big Apple after spring classes ended, flew to London in June, then trekked to L.A. in August for a semester in Hollywood.

“It was a fun whirlwind that made me excited to move to a big city,” Mefford said. “I wanted to understand as much of the business side before I threw myself into acting, and the summer didn’t disappoint.”

First stop: Wetzel Entertainment Group, noted for clients such as actors Michael Shannon and John Gallagher Jr.

Mefford saw the near future of the silver screen before scripts hit production. As a previewer, she tracked offers actors received, which gave her a sneak peek at projects in the works for names like Kristen Wiig, Donald Glover and Mindy Kahling.

Often cast as a romantic lead in Bradley productions, she realized she could find a similar role or pursue her comedy character interests.

“That got me excited knowing there are roles out there I could play,” she said. “Of course, it’s so competitive I could get discouraged by rejection, but I’ll surely find something and start my career.”

After a one-day layover at home, it was off to the second stop: Upstairs at the Gatehouse, a historic small London theater near the famous West End entertainment district. The venue is noted for its Fringe Theatre productions, which are similar to off-Broadway shows.

She had a front-row seat to the inner-workings of small theaters, as she worked on everything from stage setup to show PR. Free time allowed her to explore West End venues.

“It was interesting to see everyone hustling to make it,” Mefford said. “I realized everyone started the same way I did — by jumping at every opportunity that came their way.”

Third stop: Bradley’s Hollywood Semester

Mefford returned home for four days to prepare for L.A., where she’s interning for Population Media Center (PMC) to cap her Bradley Experience. Her primary task is to read scripts and recommend storylines for the production company to pursue. It’s also a chance to bump into celebrities, as PMC is near the Oprah Winfrey Network and HBO’s “Big Little Lies” filming location.

Next stop: The world?

Mefford’s Bradley journey will end in December, when one adventure will give way to another. It’s a step the world traveler is ready to embrace.

“After my big adventure, I know I can handle anything that comes my way,” she said. “I’m excited to start my acting career and to see where that leads me. I don’t know if I’ll succeed, but I know I’ve done everything to put myself in the best position.”