Remember what it was like being young and not knowing what you wanted to do with your life? As it turns out, I didn’t have that experience. I knew early on what I wanted to do. In high school, I had some journalism classes. Somewhere around the summer prior to my senior year, I got to go down to a red carpet day at Central Missouri State University (CMSU). There, I got a tour of the TV studio and radio station, and I knew in my heart of hearts that I wanted to be a broadcaster.
When I went to CMSU, I volunteered at their PBS station, KMOS-TV 6. It stands as the highlight of my broadcasting career. It was broadcasting in a pure form, where I worked in master control putting shows on the air. You had to do it by hand, too. None of that automation business for us! I had a great mentor down there with Fred Hunt, the Chief Operator. In his all-too-short time with us, he affected many lives, including my own. I miss him greatly. I graduated from CMSU with a degree in Broadcasting & Film.
I went to work at KSMO-TV 62 in Kansas City shortly after that. My part-time gig in master control turned into a full-time gig in the traffic department, helping to schedule commercials within programming and generate logs. I bet you thought it had something to do with helicopters! Traffic became the focus of my career for many years afterwards, leading to positions at KCWE-TV 29 and Barkley & Evergreen. I even landed up as Chief Operator at KKFI 90.1 FM when I went back to school.
During those years, I discovered within myself a creative side. Not from work, but from side projects. Towards the end of my tenure in traffic, I was feeling like something was missing. I began to realize that any career moves would be lateral. I needed a change.
Circumstances in life led me to going back to school at DeVry University. I wanted to design websites. This was a bold move for me, as I delved into the most creative venture of my life. It was also one of the scariest. I was a father of two. Could I go back to school again? Could I compete with kids half my age?
As I soon discovered, I have a real knack for web design. If only the web existed when I was in high school! I graduated with honors with an associates in Web Graphic Design and a bachelor’s in Multimedia Design & Development.
Since then I have worked in web design, and am currently employed at VinSolutions. I think I have found my dream job. It’s a great environment with a great group of people. I get to make websites for car dealers every day. I can work on my own, but help is around the corner if I ever need.
That’s just my professional career! I haven’t even gone into my time as a freelance writer and game designer for Margaret Weis Productions. That, however, is a different story.
Life is about change. Circumstances change, technology changes. Sometimes there are ups, and sometimes there are downs. In order to succeed, you have to roll with the punches and go with the flow. Companies like Blockbuster are no longer around because they didn’t adapt to the changing marketplace soon enough. We, as creative people, must also adapt to change. We cannot get stuck on one technology, or with one mindset. We have to constantly grow, improving ourselves. If and when those circumstances change, we have to find our place within the new scheme of things.