I’ve spent nearly 28 years of my life playing it safe. A stable lifestyle with occasional spurts of passion. Sure, it wasn’t at all a bad way to live, but with every waking moment there was a truth I had a hard time acknowledging: this wasn’t me. I was living this life because I was told it was what I should do. It was where I should stay to secure my future. But what’s the point of securing a future if you’re not living in the moment?
Enter risk; the arch-nemesis I didn’t know I’d been battling. Risk in the flesh was a way of life so unlike the one I’ve been living it wasn’t even something I was aware of until 2007. It was then that I met someone whose belief in me and support of me brought me to realize that I may possess a thing called talent. A talent that could be fostered into a, dare I say it, career.
When this light bulb flickered I came to see there were people in this world who didn’t work simply as a means of income, but as an outlet for some unique talent. I wanted to join this group of elites, but I knew there was a price to pay. Dedication. Hard work. Sacrifice... And I was ok with that. I’d spent the last 3 years of my life dedicating Spring and Summer weekends to producing my web series and shorts while dealing with a 9-6 job during the week. All the while I was constantly asked, “Why do you spend your free time doing this if you’re not getting paid?” I’ll admit, there were times I wasn’t so sure myself. But, when my Sony commercial made its rounds, the desire to make my passion my profession was overwhelming…and the thought of making the jump was scary as hell.
A talk with my mentor brought me down from the fence I’d been straddling and landed me on the side of change. “Production is where your heart is. If you don’t take this chance now it may be too difficult for you to do so later on,” she told me. I knew she was right, so when I got the call to interview for an associate field producer position on an Emmy award winning daytime TV show I went for it…and landed it.
Being the crew had already been back from hiatus for a few weeks, they needed me asap. The 2 weeks that followed my acceptance of the offer were some of the most hectic I’ve ever lived. It wasn’t just the transition, I was dealing with serious personal issues, family issues, the loss of 2 years worth of editing (thank you guy who stole my harddrive!), a wrecked bathroom (thank you upstairs neighbor!), and an annoying physical reaction to all the stress (hello hives!) So believe me, I understand that when it rains, it tsunamis. And following with another cliche, I’ll add that what didn’t kill me did make me stronger and ready for the insanity I would experience once I started my new position.
Today, with a full week of being an AP under my belt, I can say that I have no regrets. I’ve already experienced a few things like...my first 14 hour day... the uncertainty of not knowing when I’ll be able to wrap up and go home...wondering if I'll be called on a field shoot in the middle of my cousin's bday party...the delicious tasting food of a celebrity chef...the feeling that I’m very much needed for the skills I possess...the adrenaline rush caused by last minute chaos. And through it all, something deep down tells me I was born for this.
For the first time in my professional life I feel I’ve landed not on a job, but a career. I have to do what I love on purpose. It’s both daunting and enthralling, but now that I’m here, I can’t imagine living life any other way.