The All-Academy & Foundation Interns Summer Mixer
Performers peer group member Ajay Mehta (who FaceTimed with retired Academy member and fellow actor Conrad Bachmann) and Television Executives peer group member Alex Georgiev
Music peer group members Ian Honeyman, Andrew Raiher, and Jack Curtis Dubowsky
Performers peer group members Roquel La Fayette, Carlos Moreno Jr. and Jacqueline Murphy
2023 Foundation interns
Longtime Television Academy member Alex Georgiev hadn't set foot at Academy headquarters in the NoHo Arts District in quite a while — since 2017. He'd been living in his wife's hometown in England and then, back in Los Angeles, had stayed away due to Covid concerns. On this balmy night he was enjoying his return, attending the All-Academy & Foundation Interns Summer Mixer.
"It's amazing," enthused Georgiev, a member of the Television Executives peer group. "Just to be able to be out here on the lawn, and in front of the Saban Media Center, networking and mixing and seeing friends. I've already bumped into six people I know. It's really great to be back."
Renewing friendships and making new acquaintances was the order of the night at the mixer. Held June 22, the evening also included drinks and Asian-themed culinary selections.
One friend Georgiev had run into was Ajay Mehta (Performers peer group), also returning after several years away as a Covid precaution. "We used to hang out," Mehta said. "It was a pleasant surprise to see him here. It's good to get out because as an actor, I don't meet people behind the camera all the time, especially executives who are in their offices. So it's lovely to come and say hello and get to know people. And I'm meeting younger people, new faces. I like that."
Mehta had brought another friend with him — sort of: retired Academy member and fellow actor Conrad Bachmann, now living in Kentucky, gazed out from Mehta's phone screen as Mehta gave him a virtual tour of the mixer setting.
Also enjoying the evening were Music peer group members Jack Curtis Dubowsky, Ian Honeyman and Andrew Raiher. "Everybody's so interesting, hearing how they've made their way through the business," Honeyman observed. "Everybody's path is so wildly different, how we all wound up doing all this crazy stuff. It's always fun to hear."
Dubowsky had been impressed talking to an Academy Foundation summer intern from Mississippi. "Now they're here, thanks to the TV Academy. It's the ticket to a life that you couldn't have in Mississippi," he noted. "So I found that really fascinating."
Editing intern Chase Ramsey hadn't come quite that far — she's from Gardena — but was attending to spend time with current and former interns and network with industry pros. "I was kind of intimidated, because it seems really daunting, talking to people," she said. "So I was surprised at how nice and how open all the people attending were, ready to engage in conversation, and reach out."
TV veterans were also on hand to network, among them Performers peer group members Carlos Moreno Jr. and Jacqueline Murphy, executive producers-writers-directors-stars of the short-form comedy Pepito's America Mamadas, which they'd like to be picked up for a full-length series.
"You're planting seeds," Murphy said of reconnecting with a former colleague. "So the next time I see that person, he'll say, 'How's your project?' Or it's like, 'I remember meeting Jacqueline when she was an actress, and now she's producing, writing and directing.'"
At the last Academy mixer, show creator Moreno had met an actress he'd like to cast in the longer version. He was hoping for similar good fortune this time. "[Such an occurrence] has that magic quality," he remarked.
A little magic at a mixer never hurt!