It occurred to me today that this month is 10 years since I left my last job in TV. It was the last production of Junkyard Wars, and I worked really hard to get that job. I guess I'd worked in TV production for 4 years at the time, but it seemed longer. I ended up being a segment producer on one show that was interesting, but ultimately not very good. When that show ended (because I got fired for leaving a flippant outgoing message on a co-worker's phone that was no longer in use), I struggled to find good jobs. I'd find something here and there, for three to six months at a time, and my credit and pay rate kept going down at each job. The gig before Junkyard Wars was at G4, where I thought I could really fit in, producing for a show called Filter. But I had a producer I worked under who seemed to have no idea what he was doing, and I got no input from anyone. I would put stuff together, and when it was done, the executives weren't so into it. At one point, I was basically instructed to take out every clever joke, and dumb everything down. The producer I worked for, who hired me, who was useless, got fired, and my job kind of ended.
Finally, I ended up at Junkyard Wars, and instead of producer, the best I could get was researcher. Any other show in the world would have called it an associate producer, but desperate times. It paid $800 a week, which sounds not terrible, but it was a paycut, and you also have to factor in the idea that you're out of work for weeks or months between jobs in that field. So we produced a show where people made snow vehicles, and I found or helped find teams from the US, UK, and Russia, and we found expert judges, and we arranged for them to come out to the shoots, and stocked the junkyard with the right parts needed (spoiler), and it was generally successful. But then that was over too, and I had no more leads. I ended up taking a more regular office job, tangentially related to TV work, where I was for 4 years before leaving to do iFanboy full time.
But that was my first career. Over at 26. Now I work in digital publishing. It certainly wasn't the plan, but the thing was, I don't know that I really had a plan, which might have been a problem, but it might also have just been a pretty normal thing that happens to people. TV sounded good, but I never found an opportunity to work in the kind of TV I wanted. I worked in an early version of reality TV, before it was even known as that. Since then, the entire landscape of TV production, cable and broadcast, as well as distribution has changed entirely. I used to always say that if everything fell apart, I could always go back into production, but I think that train has sailed, which is fine, because I didn't really love it. It sounds cool to people, and I got to meet celebrities, but that gets old pretty fast, and the long hours and unreliable work can wear you away. On the other hand, it taught me that I can literally do anything that needs to be done. I ended up with some strange objectives, and had no choice but to get them done. That gave me a form of confidence I still lean on today when I feel like I'm over my head.
I don't have a moral or a point. I just can't believe it's been that long, and thought it was a bit of a milestone. Also, it took me a good minute or so to think of how old I was 10 years ago, when suddenly it dawned on me that I'm an idiot.
Ooh, here's a lesson. It can be hard to follow your dream when you don't know what your dream is. Before you know it, you're hunting around the San Fernando valley for a 4WD truck that can be made to look like junkyard scrap moments after you get back.