My road in the entertainment industry has been slow but steady. I started out in the industry right after my time at Emerson College was over in December of 2009. Entering 2010, I was an enthusiastic individual looking to get his big break into the business but after two months in, I realized, it wasn’t easy finding a job or getting your foot in. Luckily my friend, Gina, was able to pull my foot into the door with my first gig “If I Can Dream.” From that point on, I’ve been working steadily in showbiz in a variety of shows ranging from online talent shows to sketch comedies to game shows to international talent shows.
That last stint I did was on Q’Viva which lasted about 11 months from June of 2011 to May of 2012. After that gig was over, I thought I wanted a break from the environment I was in. It was getting a bit too stressful, I felt unaccomplished and going nowhere and just impatient with my life. There was ironically only one type of gig that would have got me motivated again and it had to do with one of my idols; Jeff Probst.
I didn’t realize it at the time but Jeff had been pitching his talk show for the past year and it just so happened that after my gig on Q’Viva was over, his production was just starting up. I got a call from my EIC from a previous show who wanted to bring me in for an interview. I was ready to tell him right then and there, during the interview, that I was sick of being an Office P.A. and that I think I may enter the forum of education. Before I could reveal my hesitation, he threw out the name: Jeff Probst, and immediately, my mind was already made and that I would work on the show in any capacity. Fortunately for me, I found myself in a promotion from what I have been doing and making a bit more money than in the past so it was a win-win situation.
For those of you who don’t know, Jeff Probst is the host of Survivor with the very distinguished looking dimples. I didn’t really know much about him or his personality aside from what I witness on the show but let me tell you what a hard-working and caring individual he is. I met him a couple of months after production had started and he had just gotten back from Survivor. He wore cargo shorts, a baseball cap, and the first things I said to him was “You look different.” He kind of gave me a look and asked me, point blank, “In what way?” To this day, I don’t know why I made the comment I did but it was memorable because I just responded with “I didn’t think you wear something like this.” I honestly don’t know what his impression of me was from that exchange but over the next few weeks, he remembered my name. Seriously. Someone who I grew watching up, throughout middle school and high school, actually knows my name. I don’t get starstruck often but the first time he called me by my name, I was in awe.
So TV production starts on the show and everyone on staff is extremely nice and wonderful. I feel like I made some great friendships on this show and hoping that it’s long lasting because unfortunately, people come and go in your life and you never see them again. It is currently February 6th and our staff does not know yet whether we are picked up for a second season. I have my doubts unfortunately since the ratings have been lackluster but if the show does get picked up, I feel like I will stick around and see if I can move in a different direction on staff. If it doesn’t get picked up, I will have cherished my time on the show and will be debating on several paths to take.
Fingers crossed. I’ll update you all in a few weeks as to the status of the show.