Daily Bruin Arts helped me realize my passion for entertainment journalism -30-
Alexis Jones stands for a portrait. (Courtesy of Alexis Jones)
By Alexis Jones
June 11, 2023 9:24 p.m.
It’s wild to think how different your life would have been had you not decided to do just one thing.
For me, that was applying to the Daily Bruin in the fall of my sophomore year.
I have always liked to write, and I did every performance art you can imagine growing up – from playing instruments and singing to dance and theater. But I didn’t think to put two and two together and join the Arts section of the Daily Bruin until then.
Looking back, I’m so glad I did.
After initially applying to UCLA as a physiological science student before switching to pre-psychobiology with plans to attend medical school, I saw writing for the Arts section of the Daily Bruin as my creative outlet. I honestly never imagined I would have enjoyed it as much as I have – so much so that it made me question what I really wanted to do in life.
I never thought my interest in science and health would waver, but some soul-searching led me to realize that I felt more passionate about what I was doing at the Daily Bruin than in my current studies. So, I decided to take a leap of faith, change my major to psychology and minor to film, television and digital media and pursue a career tangentially related to the film industry.
The intersection of psychology and media was something I realized quickly in my studies that I was intrigued by. And thanks to a Daily Bruin interview with a student pursuing the same major and minor as me, I found an internship that aligned with exactly that. The Daily Bruin also allowed me to write my “Cinematic Culture” column, one of my most rewarding projects at the paper, in which I examined the social and psychological impact of film genres on pop culture.
From my experience writing for the Arts section and taking enough film production classes to realize that I liked analyzing movies more than making one, I knew I wanted to try my hand as a professional entertainment journalist. I thought the best way to further tease my curiosity was to apply for editorship. It was just to my delighted surprise that I was afforded the opportunity to jump straight from staff writer to top editor of the Arts section.
As soon as I became an editor, I was able to grow as a journalist in all my endeavors. I became more comfortable with my voice as a writer. I got to cover events I would have only dreamed of going to, such as the Sundance Film Festival this year in Utah.
Through the Daily Bruin, I was also able to secure an internship and now a full-time staff position with People Magazine, which further established my desire to pursue a career as an entertainment journalist. While working there and at the Daily Bruin as the Arts editor – and on top of school my senior year – proved to be a serious challenge, I’m thankful it all happened when it did.
If not for the Daily Bruin, I wouldn’t have experienced all that I am grateful to have experienced.
But most importantly, I found my people here.
The friends I’ve made at the Daily Bruin understand my struggles and triumphs because they’re the same struggles and triumphs they encounter working at the paper. They also understand almost all of my random pop culture references, which I really appreciate since no one else really ever has.
What I’m most grateful for, however, is that they’ve been my eye in the storm, cheering me on or lending an ear when I’ve been bogged down by what feels like the weight of the world with everything I was trying to achieve my last year at UCLA.
Lastly, I’ve been able to be my true self with the people I met at the Daily Bruin. Everyone there accepts me for me, weirdness and all.
So, what I’m really trying to say here is: Thank you, Daily Bruin.
You’ve been my guiding light during my time here at UCLA, and I can’t thank you enough.
Jones was an Arts contributor 2020-2021, Arts reporter 2021-2022, Arts staffer in 2022 and the Arts editor 2022-2023.