Lindsey Mutz – From Wells Hall to 30 Rock

Faculty Shout-Out by Dr. Joshua Yumibe, Director of Film Studies:  “I distinctly remember my first meeting with Lindsey, when she was an entering freshman. Very early on that fall, she set up a meeting with me to discuss both coursework and potential internships that she wanted to pursue—The Tonight Show! What struck me immediately was her ambition and dedication, and I continue to be amazed and inspired by what she has achieved.”

Faculty Shout-Out by Professor Jeff Wray: “I first had Lindsey as a student in both Film Directing and Screenwriting. She was always ready to collaborate and her emerging writing talent was evident. In fact, she quickly gained a reputation for being a go to comic writer in both classes. When Lindsey informed me she was applying for an internship at Saturday Night Live, my immediate thought was,‘of course’.” 

How would you describe your time as an English or Film Studies major at MSU?

Since I was both an English and Film Studies major, I really had the best of both worlds during my time at MSU. I had the chance to take a wide variety of different English and Film courses and was able to use those skills in a lot of different experiences outside of class, including student organizations and off-campus internships. I loved my time at MSU and will miss it a lot!

Which classes, instructors, or experiences particularly stand out for you and why? How did they prepare you for the next phase of your life?

I really enjoyed Film Directing with Professor Jeff Wray. The course was extremely hands-on and allowed for a lot of group projects and collaboration. Additionally, Methods of Literary History: Genre, with Professor Natalie Phillips, stood out for me. In that class we looked at the history of fictional consciousness and analyzed texts from a psychological perspective. It was such a unique way to offer an interdisciplinary class experience. Both of these classes helped prepare me to think critically and creatively about writing, both for literary analysis and for the screen.

What advice would you give future English or Film Studies majors, based on your experiences in the department?

My advice for students would be to use your courses in English or Film Studies as jumping-off points to get involved in student organizations, and to use student organizations as jumping-off points to explore internships and other professional experiences. For English students, literary journals like the Offbeat or Red Cedar Review provide really great professional writing experience. For Film Studies students, MSU Telecasters, Film Club and Impact student radio are great ways to get involved in production and creative development.

What coursework-related projects were/are you working on this year, and what interests or excites you about them? 

This past fall I did an independent study with Professor Jeff Wray that focused on comedy writing. I worked on creating a writing packet, creating content in the voice of current late-night hosts, and responding to topical news stories with sketches, monologue jokes, and desk pieces. I did this as a way to practice for pursuing writing opportunities in the future, post-graduation. I’m hoping this will be helpful when I pursue writing jobs post-grad.

What are your hopes and aspirations, post-graduation? 

After graduation I am planning to permanently relocate to New York and pursue work in television and late-night comedy. I don’t know what I’ll be doing right away, but I know it will be something in television. Long term I hope to become a writer/producer in the late-night comedy world.

Please reflect a bit on the strange experience of being a graduating senior during this moment of local and global crisis. What resources have been most useful to you in navigating this unprecedented situation?

Obviously, it’s a very stressful and uncertain time for everybody. Seniors are graduating into a rapidly collapsing economy, so I understand how a lot of students might feel scared and frustrated, for so many different reasons. Coming out of a global pandemic will hopefully give us all some perspective on what really matters in our lives. I’ve found it helpful to unplug from the news once in a while and spend lots of time outdoors. I also find it really uplifting to see the ways, small and large, that people are helping one another get through this time.