In 2005, my mentor (a producer at a TV network) told me that his job was literally killing him. He hated his job, was sick to his stomach and ultimately found himself at the emergency room.
According to him, he wasn’t getting paid enough and his bosses didn’t value his contributions. I was a 17-year-old intern. This was the year I decided I never wanted to feel what this man felt. And so I went on a journey to controlling my fate. I had no idea how I’d do it, but I never wanted to get stuck doing a job I hated.
In 2006, I snuck into Clark Atlanta University’s film school where I uncovered an unusual yet life-changing talent. I was an announcer. Soon, campus was hiring me as the official emcee. And then they started paying me.
By 2009, I was on MTV as the voice behind a Nas & Damian Marley commercial. In 2010, I landed my first national campaign on CNN. That year, I graduated and moved back to Brooklyn to sign with Howard Stern’s agent, Don Buchwald & Associates.
Today, five years into the game, I’ve worked with CNN, AT&T, McDonalds, Comedy Central, Taco Bell, Universal Records and more, as a freelancer. And I’ve also worked as a busboy, waiter and furniture mover. Freelancing isn’t all that easy.
In 2013, I landed a job at the NoMad Hotel in New York as the front door host. Technically, I was a bouncer. My job was to keep peace in the bar. While this was not the job of my dreams, it was the job that has changed my life forever. It was the first experience I’ve had where I learned that work can be fun. The culture. The team. The values. It was, in many ways, a magical place.
I wondered, maybe I’ve been seeing things all wrong since the early days of what my mentor said to me. Maybe work can be fun. Maybe working for an organization doesn’t have to be miserable. Maybe I’m missing out on something.
In July 2014, an answer came in the form of an opportunity. I was accepted into PromaxBDA’s Promo Pathway program and moved to Los Angeles to get a job. For many who don’t know me, this might sound logical. But for me, this is the biggest challenge I’ve ever faced.
I’m undoing a decade of thought and process and entering into the “real world” of being a piece of the puzzle within an organization. And I like the idea.
Currently, I’m taking classes in graphic design, entertainment marketing and advertising. In 2015, my goal is to find a home at a creative agency or broadcast network.