A phone call from an MTV executive changed everything for Quinn Marcus ’13. She stepped out of her American Film Comedy class to take the call in the bathroom, where she learned that the pitch she had sent to the network in May had piqued executives’ interest. She was asked to submit a video that showcased her personality and reasons for wanting her own show on mtvU, a 24-hour MTV channel that focuses on college life.
Marcus recruited her friends to help her produce the video. In it, she approached strangers on the street, asking what they thought of her personality and taping their answers. A few days later, MTV executives came to Boston and met Marcus at the W Hotel, where she gave her final pitch for the show, which was met with enthusiasm. Fast forward to present day, and the first link under “Popular Shows” on the mtvU website is Quinnterviews: “How Many Guys Do You Think You Could Pick Up Dressed As a Hairy Banana Hammock?”
Quinnterviews follows Marcus around the streets of Boston, where she conducts brief, hilariously awkward interviews with random people about topics centered on a typical college student’s life. Past Quinnterviews include “INCOMING, Freshmen That Is,” in which Marcus talks to Emerson freshmen and their parents as they pull up to the residence halls and begin moving in. “Are you coming in with a girlfriend?” Marcus asks one student. When he says yes, she replies, “Uh oh. Better drop that quick.”
“The most interesting part of doing Quinnterviews is seeing how different people react to a camera being shoved in their face,” said Marcus. “Some people don’t want to be a part of it, but others will hand you their baby and answer anything you ask them.”
Marcus goes everywhere from Emerson Dance Company auditions to Collegefest to iParty, all in a day’s work. “It’s amazing being able to do this while I’m still in college,” Marcus said. “I’m glad I get to be on the Emerson campus during the show’s beginnings. Everyone at Emerson is very supportive.”
The show has garnered a lot of attention for Marcus both on and off campus. Since Quinnterviews began airing on mtvU, Marcus has been featured in USA Today, the Boston Globe, and Emerson’s own Berkeley Beacon.
“Sometimes people will come up to me on the street and just say, ‘Quinnterviews!’ It’s all very weird,” Marcus said. “The attention is still something I have to get used to, but it’s all very positive.”
After she graduates this year, Marcus hopes to move to New York City and continue pursuing a career in comedy.
For now, though, Quinnterviews will still be filmed in Boston as Marcus finishes her senior year.