Recently I was talking to a friend about my journey. We’ve known each other for years but it hadn’t occurred to me that she didn’t know this huge part of who I am. See, 15 years ago I moved to Los Angeles. I left my job in Ohio, where I had gone to college, and headed out west. I showed up in L.A. unemployed, with nothing but my dreams, hunger and my degree. All three of them served me well over the years.
My friend asked me how I’d ended up here? She’s born and raised in Los Angeles and was fascinated that someone would just up and come here, pretty much knowing no one. As I sat in her kitchen, I shared my story.
I had been working in television news before I moved to California. It was what I thought I wanted. When I was college, I couldn’t wait to start my career in television. I wanted to be an anchor. Then, I got an up close look at it all and learned about other things I could do. One of those things was becoming a producer. My job included attending the morning news meetings to find out what was going on in the city and the world. Then I’d chose the stories to cover and find the video and write the script for the anchors. Being in the control room was awesome! I liked it… at first.
Still, I had always been in love with the entertainment industry. I knew my heart was there. I’d always loved music and pop culture. I could tell you any and everything about an artist, writer and producers. I was a self-proclaimed pop culture aficionado. I knew that’s the world I needed to be in.
Then 9/11 happened. My news station had to cover it, of course. That was the beginning of the end for me in news. If ever I needed a reminder that life is short and we need to do the things that we love, that was it. I started making my plans to leave and take my chances in the crazy world of entertainment television. I was hungry for my dream and ready to go all out to get it. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy but I was ready. After saving money for a few months and paying off my bills, I was ready to take my chances in the city of dreams.
Once I got here, I hit the ground running looking for work. I know my work background and having my degree really helped me to get my foot in the door. I landed some really good temp jobs and interviews in the industry. One of the temp jobs offered to hire me full time and tried to low ball me on salary. Once I told them that I had a degree, their story changed and I got what I was asking for. Boom!
Eventually, those industry interviews turned into job offers. I ended up at E! and the Style Network. That was truly a “mama, I made it” moment! It was all that I expected it to be. Getting to be in the middle of pop culture, going to events and literally rubbing shoulders with celebrities was a pretty cool gig.
At work at E! With a friend and Kim Kardashian
I moved around at the networks and learned a few different positions. The writer + producer title stuck with me. I stayed there for nearly a decade. I left the industry to focus on my family.
Even though I’ve taken time to focus my energy on my family, I know it won’t be hard to get back into the industry I love. Proof? I was just contacted about a position. It was my experience that won them over. That same experience that I probably wouldn’t have gotten without a degree.
After sharing my story, I’m pretty sure my friend thinks I’m nuts for moving across the country with nothing. Still what I had was enough and hey, it all worked out! Find inspiration to follow your dreams here.
Did pursuing a degree lead you to your dreams?