Jeremy Banks, senior in English, landed an internship with ABC Network’s “Modern Family.”
Oh, and he just had a Skype date with “Modern Family’s” Sofia Vergara.
“It’s a rare experience … this writing opportunity,” Banks said. “It’s not a widely known thing to come right out of college and write for a seriously popular show like that.
“I was surprised and delighted and apprehensive because I was like, ‘This is a scam.’”
Besides normal intern routines like scouring for hot coffee, Banks will be assisting with script cameos, which are the three minute bits before the actual script begins.
“What is most appealing about the show to me are the characters and the set-up,” Banks said. “They have a really modern family, if you will.
“I think it’s really cool seeing that and having them endorse same-sex couples.”
Before “Modern Family” came into the picture, Banks said he compiled and sent the best of his personal writings into a portfolio to various studios.
“I even sent it to Tyler Perry, and I’m not going to apologize for that,” Banks said. “I will later.”
As he waited for a response from studios, Banks also applied to a few graduate schools, including the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
“Apparently, one of the directors of admissions at USC is really good friends with one of the writers of 'Modern Family,'” Banks said. “The writer thought my portfolio was really funny.”
Banks then received an offer and accepted the internship.
He’s soon to depart from Auburn at the end of July to intern with “Modern Family” until December.
Initially starting out as a music major and playing in the Auburn University Marching Band, Banks switched his major in order to pursue writing.
Once he began gaining more recognition of his writings from friends, Banks said it became easier for him to “publish” what he wrote.
“It was more of a social media thing, too,” Banks said. “I’ve never considered my brand of comedy as one to be appreciated in the region we’re in. I’ve learned to accept that, and that was the biggest hurdle.”
Banks said writing has never felt like a chore to him, and he writes and reads for at least four to five hours each day.
“In my spare time, I write what I want to write,” Banks said. “It’s a really important thing to do, but not as important as engaging with people and interacting. I draw from that, just from conversation in general. I get so many things from friends; it’s just fuel.”
Banks also said his professors inspired him to hone in on his own art of writing.
“One (professor) said, ‘Write what you know,’ and if you follow me on Twitter, it’s all I know,” Banks said.
One of Banks’ closest friends, Mallory Good, became infatuated with Banks’ Twitter feed, @jbanksits2012, before ever meeting him.
As chance would have it, Good met Banks one random night on the Plains.
“I walked up to him like a 14-year-old groupie and said, ‘I follow you on Twitter, and I’m obsessed with you,’” Good said. “It was like he was Justin Bieber.”
Besides the craft of perfecting his Twitter presence, Banks also said he hopes to work in screen-writing with small films one day.
But as far as “Modern Family” goes, Banks said, “I want to be useful, and be there as long as I can. I just want to give back.
“At the heart of these popular shows it’s writing. Someone is sitting in a room to make that show funny.”
Banks said although he “loves Auburn to death,” he’s ready to experience his opportunity in comedic writing elsewhere.
“If someone’s laughing at the end of it, then great,” Banks said. “That’s all I’ll have to say at the end of the day.”