Sam @CUSP Conference 2015

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Chasing the Dream...Day 73

I never expected making a full commitment to chasing my dream of being a media dynamo (theater, novels, PR, TV, film and the internet) to be one smooth ride. I expected ups and downs and now in my going into the third month, of this commitment, I am definitely experiencing the down part of this crazy ride.

I have made a full-fledged commitment recently, but that's not to say that I haven't been pursuing my dreams for years, I have. I'll start from the beginning so I can paint a full picture. I've always loved performing and writing. Those two things complete me creatively and spiritually. After high school I was somewhat distracted for reasons that are personal and I don't want to discuss with the blogosphere. But, eventually realized that I would never be happy unless I went after my dream. So, when I turned 21 I stopped going to business school and enrolled in Wayne State University's Journalism program. The first two semesters were really difficult because high school hadn't prepared me for college and everything I learned in business school was futile. But, I did three internships my first two years while working full-time at an insurance company reporting deaths and dismemberments. In the meantime, I also joined a theater group and did some work on and behind stage. Eventually, my department at the life insurance company was laid-off and I attempted and was interviewed for an internship at HARPO Studios-I didn't get it and that pretty much summarizes the next few years-tons of interviews and auditions, some call-backs, but mostly a ton of nos. I did, however, finish college and I have done two post-graduate internships, like the one I am doing now, but nothing has taken me to the next level. Here are some examples, I wrote and wrote a theater company about writing for their website and I actually got a callback. But, after that I never heard from them again. A radio station in New York and D.C. called and inquired about my credentials, but I never got a follow-up. I queried around 200 agents and publishers for my manuscript, "Everything Is Not Enough" and never received a hit. And, my last example, I moved to Vegas, thousands of miles away from everyone I know, hoping for a fresh start and hoping to open doors that had otherwise not been open to me. I had been there almost a year when the radio station where I was working had an open producer position and I thought, "This is it! This is my foot in the door. Working for a big market like Vegas and work really hard and eventually break into New York's market." Well, I had an interview I even demonstrated that I could produce stories by sharing my self-published magazine with them. And, I thought, "They'll probably hire me since I am already here instead of hiring from outside." Well, they hired from the outside and I moved on.

This past year has been really weird. I have had three jobs in less than a year, four if you count my attempt to freelance for a start-up company, and I have yet to find steady employment. The economy is a mess and that's probably the biggest factor for my stagnation this year. But, after two manuscripts, years and thousands of dollars in education, an attempt to have my own magazine, dozens of auditions, relocating twice and paying dues as an intern, it would be nice to see some light at the end of the tunnel. I'm not going to lie, TODAY I don't see it. I might tomorrow, but I can only tell you what I feel right now. I REALLY like my current PR internship, I am getting tons of experience. And, I realize that I am still young, but I am not that 21-year-old anymore and it would be nice to see some of my hard work pay off. It's also becoming a struggle to keep myself motivated because I am paid very little (the equivalent that I made making pizzas when I was 16), and I have to keep telling myself that the creative and career benefits will eventually turn into monetary rewards. The bills are calling! (And, I want to help my family out.)

I just wanted to share my journey with you, some of it anyway. It aint easy being an artist and trying to make your dreams come true. It's a long journey for most of us. One that takes thick skin, resilience and commitment. I am proud of myself for having the courage and spirit to pursue what makes me happy. And, I hope that one day God will bless me for my sincere efforts and I will look back at this blog entry and be grateful that I made it through and continued pursuing my dreams.

Keep Dreaming!



1 comment:

Liz and Mike and Eli said...

love you Sam! You keep it up! I miss you at work but it's good to know that you're holding on for what you believe in...I still have your articles in my desk...:)