He once roamed the halls of Joliet Junior College (JJC) but now, JJC alum Jason Sheedy finds himself combing the streets of New York City, searching for enough donuts to feed 300 hungry audience members at the "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" show.
Sheedy won Fallon's first-ever Late Night Intern Contest this September-a whirlwind from where he was a few years ago.
In 2004, Sheedy enrolled at JJC. Interested in film and editing, he took a film studies class and joined the filmmakers club.
"Being involved with the club gave me the chance to surround myself with people who had the same interests," Sheedy said. "I also took a film study course...it introduced me to some classic films and filmmaking techniques that helped me build a solid foundation of knowledge that guided me into my time at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)."
When he returned home to Morris this past year on summer break, Sheedy knew he needed to secure an internship. After sending numerous e-mails and applications and having little luck, he began to lose hope.
Then he heard about Fallon's contest. He decided to take his chances and send a video submission to the show, a one-minute mock movie trailer advertising all the qualities of a good intern. By early September 2009, Sheedy learned that he had been selected as a finalist.
The top ten finalists were all asked to create a video segment depicting their lives while at college. Based on the contestant's final submission a winner would be chosen. Sheedy wasted no time and began filming.
"Only having two minutes to stand out I knew I had to do something that would catch their attention. It needed to be serious enough to fulfill the requirements, but in a fun way," Sheedy said.
So he tied himself to a chair in a dark room in a mock set-up of an interrogation. Begging for the life of his friend, he was forced to hand over a DVD describing his life at SCAD.
Just two days after sending his video submission, Sheedy answered an unexpected phone call from NBC studios. He was told he had won the competition and was instructed to board the next flight to New York City as a guest of the "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" show.
"As soon as I entered the studio everyone was very welcoming. I felt very comfortable," Sheedy said. "And Jimmy was exactly how he appears on the show-very positive and upbeat."
Now a senior at SCAD, he keeps busy with his schoolwork and is currently working on his senior project. He receives monthly assignments from the show and blogs on the Late Night Web page.
More recently, his short film, "Bloodline" was accepted into two film festivals, the Naperville Independent Film Festival and the 2009 Chicago Horror Film Festival. He will graduate this May with a major in film and television and a minor in sound.
With the skills acquired at JJC, Sheedy has gone from taping mock SNL skits to working along side one of his idols-Jimmy Fallon.
"Not only did I want...a degree," Sheedy said. "JJC also gave me the stepping-stones to where I am now."
Photos courtesy of Savannah College of Art and Design