After graduating from Tech and attending Second City in Chicago, Patrick Boyd landed for this fall one of 18 graduate school spots – from 4,000 applicants – to the No. 1 film school in the country, the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television.
Degree: Journalism, English ’13
Why did you choose Tech? LSU had creative writing and I imagined myself writing moody short stories in my dorm room while drinking English Breakfast Tea and listening to Miles Davis. Alas, I chose Tech because I could afford to study both English and Journalism, and also take classes in Theater. I wanted to major in everything! (I even considered Forestry because I felt like I could breath better in the woods). Tech provides a cost-effective learning environment at the highest level, which is fortunate for those young students who want to learn everything the world has to offer.
What is your career goal? I'd love to produce, write and direct a feature that gets distribution. I'd also love to write or serve as a show-runner for a television series.
How is your education funded? My education is funded through a fellowship and personal funds. UCLA TFT offers a lot of eventual scholarships and incentive funding the further you go in the program.
How long will film school take? 3-4 years depending on my thesis film.
How did you find out you’d gotten in? The day I found out I got in was probably what I'd call "the dark day of my soul that transitioned into the best day of my life so far." I was panicky that whole day, worried about my future and what I would do if I didn't get in. After watching ‘Mad Men’ the whole day with a friend, I got a call from one of the professors who interviewed me to give me the good news. I'm glad a friend was there or otherwise I probably would have convinced myself I was dreaming.
Where will you live? Culver City, which is about eight miles southeast of the university.
If a high schooler asks you about Tech and wants to go into film, what would you tell him about the start Tech could give him/her? What are some plusses/minuses? I would immediately tell them to major in English, Journalism (possibly both), photography, studio art, or theater…Tech has great programs and professors who helped me become a better writer, and gave me the confidence to continue picking up the pen every day. It's easy for people to tell you that you can't do anything with a fine arts degree, but I'm a firm believer that if you practice and work hard enough, you can make anything happen. Film requires so many different facets of artistry that with one of those degrees, film can be a logical next step. I'd also tell them to watch as many movies and read as many books as possible from all over the world, both good and bad.
What did Second City teach you that made it worth going there? I loved my experience studying improvisation and comedy writing at Second City, and I liken it to that section of ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ where the author moves to Italy for the sole reason to eat and study Italian. It was very much a career/life move I made to study there, if for nothing else than to have fun and eat a lot of pizza. It was clear from the beginning that I wasn't going to be a Main Stage (or even fifth or sixth stage) level improvisor. It did help me etch out my point-of-view in standup and film and introduced me to some friends who have been very formative for me. I used improvisation in ‘Dates With Patrick,’ the web series I co-created, and the two short films I made.
And how does a Second City experience compare to a college experience? College is a more structured environment and usually a necessary stepping stone to your ultimate career goal. Second City classes (or classes in improvisation) are imperative if you want to be an actor working in comedy, but there were also people studying improv from all walks of life and for different reasons. Some made it a career move while others just wanted to make friends or overcome shyness, which are all great reasons to do it.