Six months to the day, I scanned my freshly minted ID badge and burst through the door as a brand spanking new PA I at the Worldwide Leader in (College) Sports. These are my confessions...
Working in TV is not glamorous.
I met Erin Andrews a couple summers ago at the College World Series and remember being particularly offended when I, as an aspiring young sports journalist, asked for career advice... and got a flippant reply in return. "Ha, you can have my job. I'm telling you now, it's not as fun as it looks." I was stumped. Dumbfounded. How could the rising star at the center of the college sports scene (with unfettered access to any and every sporting event/player/coach & network exec) think she doesn't have the absolute best job in the world? If ever I run into Ms. Andrews again, I'll be happy to admit.... now I completely understand. (And that's without having one iota of a fraction of her travel schedule or pressure or responsibility).
If you're getting a job in TV, there are a few things you ought to know. 1) Long, obscure hours are the norm. (Once upon a time, I flinched at the thought of working more than 40 hours a week. Now, that's nothing short of a miraculous treat. A blissful cake walk). 2) Kiss your weekends & most nationally-recognized holidays goodbye. And if you ever feel like whining about any or all of the above... Guess what? Nobody will care. Not because they're awful, cold-hearted people, but because they've all been in your shoes, paid their dues & frankly don't give a shiz. (I speak from the heart here). Onward we go. 3) Learn to love coffee... or adopt a comparable vice. (Not condoning cigarettes, kids. But I'm not one to judge. I consume 90 ounces of caffeine on the reg). 4) Know that you will make a mistake... you will get yelled at by a producer... you will lose a substantial chunk of the project you've been slaving over for days due to technology failure... but you will live. (It's live TV, for Dayne Crist's sake. Right, Brent?) 5) At the end of the day - no matter how hectic, how tiring, how demanding - getting paid to be up to your eyeballs in sports is kind of awesome. (As is watching your boss' boss rap "The Humpty Dance" at the open-bar company karaoke party).
I thought I wanted to be in front of the camera, but have sort of accidentally fallen in love with being behind it. It's like when you're about to graduate from high school and people ask you where you're going to college and what you plan on majoring in. And you give them the snazzy ol' pre-meditated answer they want to hear. But inside you have merely an inkling of a vague idea of where you're headed. And you desperately hope to figure it all out before four years is up and the real world smacks you square between the eyes. Well, I've finagled my way through that stage - remember the law school kick? that was fun for two weeks - and come out just fine. (I think). So I refuse to let my Type-A tendencies take over when upper management asks where I want to be in five years. Instead of chewing my fingernails to shreds because I don't have the exact answer, I've chosen to snuggle up to the idea that success is where opportunity meets preparation. (And yes, I'm pretty sure that came from one of the "inspirational" emails my mom occasionally forwards along with videos of cute puppies chasing balloons).
Having a blog is kind of fun when I can click back through the things I've written since I've been in Charlotte. Way back then, my mom told me to quit posting stories about me crying and being homesick because they made her sad. But those stories have become my measuring stick. And I won't bore you with an elaborate personal report card, but suffice it to say, I've come a long way in six months.