After months of sweating, pulling my hair out and fighting off negativity like a ninja . . . drum roll please . . . I have been accepted into the Peter Stark Producing Program at the University of Southern California. So not only did I get accepted, but I was accepted by one of the most competitive programs at the school. I can't wait to start buying up the paraphernalia. As you know, this journey was not easy. In fact, it was hella hard. I had to put up with a lot of craziness and just hope that the outcome would end up like this.
It took 3 years, but I'm finally able to look back on my life and actually see all of the connections that have lead me to this moment. Hindsight is truly 20/20 and to say that God didn't play a part in the way my life has went would be straight up cray.
Here's my story in a 4 year radius. See if you can connect the dots.
2009 - I'd been applying to every editing job on the planet, but couldn't seem to get any work outside of the news station that I'd been at since I graduated college. It was my dream to work in entertainment TV/Film but figured I needed to work in media in whatever capacity I could - which happened to be news so that's the only kind of jobs I applied to.
2010 - I quit my job of 6 years at said news station. I was making good money but working a low level, soul draining job that I couldn't seem to get out of and despite all of my experience and high level references, I couldn't get a job anywhere else. So I moved to Japan out of frustration, wanderlust and anger. I met A LOT of really cool people from around the U.S. (mainly CA), bonded with them and kept in touch.
2011 - Still working in Japan. Huge natural disaster. Left Japan. Came home and couldn't find a job. I felt like I was back at square one, but it was worst because this time I wasn't stuck working for a news station - I had nothing. I spent a ton of money going to networking events and applying to more news jobs and ended up with nothing. I went into a depression and decided never to apply to another news job again.
2012 - Started working on my own comedic web series as a way to "put myself out there." Also started playing with the idea of going to grad school after I hit up Google and started researching all of my favorite movie producers and film directors. Decided I would focus on applying to only 1 school and chose USC (after literally doing about 5 minutes of research) because I knew I wanted to move to CA and be closer to my friends that I met in Japan. Also, LA IS Hollywood, the movie capital of the world…duh! Got a job at LensCrafters while I worked on my web series and started studying for the GRE's. Flew to CA to visit my friends and took a tour of the Cinematic Arts Department. Came back and applied. Got accepted onto a waiting list. Doubled up the next semester and reapplied to 2 programs.
2013 - Made plans to move to CA regardless of whether I was accepted or not. Set the date and gave my notice to LC. Found out I was accepted to my dream program and here I am. :-)
The story takes a lot of twists but there are a few things that I'd like to mention. When I took my initial tour of USC with my friend in California, she was adamant about my applying to the Peter Stark Producing program. I was a little reluctant because I knew they only accepted 25 people per year. Also, I knew that the Production program accepted like 60 people twice a year and that taking the GRE's wasn't a requirement so although I wanted very much to apply to the Peter Stark Producing program and it seemed to be right up my alley . . . I initially applied to the Production program that year. I studied for and took the GRE's anyway (just in case.) When winter came around and I found out I was accepted onto the Spring semester wait list for Production, I was still hopeful but decided to double up and at least apply to the Peter Stark Producing program. Hell, I'd taken the GRE's . . . so why not? Right? So I did that and hoped for the best, although I can't really say I was on pins and needles. I didn't even get a chance to do the first interview because the wait list was so long. (I think I was person #303 or something). Either way, I waited and waited and waited.
And this is when the negativity started to drift in. People forgot that I was applying to grad school and just assumed that I didn't get in. Others intimated that I was holding onto a dream and needed to snap out of it. Some folks felt I was being unrealistic and should just focus on getting a job in CA. I started to actually put more focus into Plan B at this point.
Then . . . the email. They wanted an interview! It wasn't the Production program, though. It was the Peter Stark program. The one that I'd sent my paperwork, GRE scores and essays to without putting my heart into it because I didn't want to risk the disappointment. I was so in love with this program that I couldn't bear the thought of looking at it too hard for fear of being rejected. So I did what I was supposed to do and backed away, emotionally. And I STILL got in!!!
One thing that my S.O. always says is that once you tell people your dreams, you have to be willing to defend them. And he is sooooo right!!! I have never had to explain, defend and convince people of something so hard in my life. People couldn't believe that I'd picked only one school and had plans of moving across the country to go there. "What if you don't get in?" "How are you going to pay for school?" "What if you don't get in?" "You only applied to ONE school?" "Just one?" "What if you don't get in?" I didn't really have an answer for the "What if you don't get in?" question, because I wasn't counting on NOT getting in.
I read a Will Smith quote that said, "There's no reason to have a Plan B because it distracts from Plan A" and that was exactly how I felt. There is no "what if?" My fear was, what if I DO get in and I'm not prepared for that. Either way, it was really hard looking people in the eye and telling them that I'd put it all on the line. It was one of the most vulnerable feelings I'd ever had. But the payoff was soooo worth it!!!
God knew what the deal was! 6 more months, baby!!!