I grew up in Central Texas and went to a small, private Christian school from 5th-12th grade. There were only 19 people in my high school graduating class. I went on to college at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, TX, a small city of oh, 100,000 or so. While I knew in college that I somehow wanted to work in the tv or film business, and majored in Electronic Media while there, I was probably the last person anyone expected to move to a big city like L.A. and work in such a crazy industry as entertainment!
But I had big dreams, even if those dreams were just to see if I could do it and an intrigue to discover a world vastly different that the one I had grown up into. Even though I didn’t watch a lot of tv or movies growing up, I was always fascinated by the power that entertainment held over the general public, and I decided that hey, rather than let myself be influenced by entertainment, I’d rather get myself on the other side of it and be the one doing the influencing. Like I said, big dreams. 🙂 I could never tell you exactly what I wanted to do – whether producing, writing, directing, etc – but I just knew that I wanted to do something.
In the fall of my sophomore year (Fall ’00), I very randomly decided to apply to be on MTV’s The Real World. I never watched the show, just thought I might be an interesting character, since I came from a more conservative, Christian background. I ended up making the second stage call backs. I didn’t get any further in the process, but that experience put the name of the production company, Bunim-Murray, into my mind. I saw that they had an internship program, and the next year, in fall of ’01, I applied to be an intern for the following semester and was accepted into the program. L.A. here I come!
During the spring of 2002, I interned at both Bunim-Murray Productions and also Entertainment Tonight. It was an incredibly interesting semester overall, and definitely the “Real World” experience I hoped it would be. Little did I know, it was also the semester that would introduce me to my future husband, but I’ll save that story for another post. 🙂
After my internships, I had to go back to Abilene and finish my senior year of college. I graduated in May of 2003 and moved back out to L.A. for good in August. I had kept up contacts at Bunim-Murray Productions, and out of pure luck, a position was opening up at the exact same time. I was hired as a Web Dept. Production Assistant only TWO days after having arrived in L.A.!!
I worked at Bunim-Murray for about a year and a half, eventually moving from the web department to production of their reality shows, as both a production assistant and release coordinator. In the summer of 2004, I worked on a show that took me around the world called The Rebel Billionaire, an “Apprentice” style show with Richard Branson. We traveled to England, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Morocco, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Miami. It was pretty awesome and impacted my life quite a bit. Someday I will write a book on this whole experience. I’ve been saying this for years, but someday I really, really will. Maybe once my husband makes it big and I have the luxury and time to write…we’ll see…
Somewhere around this time, I started becoming serious with my then-boyfriend, now-husband (that story here) and knew that I couldn’t keep traveling on production of reality tv shows and keep a relationship. So in late 2005 I went back to school (and got married) and got my teaching credentials. I originally got my teaching credentials in order to work as a Studio Teacher, which is an on-set teacher/tutor for child actors – I originally never planned to teach in a classroom setting.
I did actually become a studio teacher and worked on sets of commercials and independent films for about a year (I couldn’t work on regular tv shows as I wasn’t in the union, which is a whole other issue to deal with), and it was kind of a cool job…but it was super unsteady and near impossible to have a life around. It was also around this time that my husband started pursuing screenwriting fulltime and ONE of us had to have a steady paycheck. So I got a regular teaching job.
And that sort of brings us up to today. Or at least gives a background as to what brought me out here originally and what keeps me here now. I’ve now been teaching Algebra for 6 years, have been married for 8 years, and have been a mom for about 2 and a half years.
And blogging for about a week. 🙂
(You may also want to read What Brought My Husband to L.A. and The Story of How We Met)