Chapter One: How It All Began
I get a lot of questions about my life and career. I’ve done a lot of things in what a lot of people consider a short amount of time. And some people have even requested that I write my stories down. So, I thought I’d begin here…
It all started with an entrepreneurial heart around the age of 12, that’s when I started running a candy shop & balloon animal business in middle school. My father taught me about budget, cost of goods and profit. I made the wholesale purchases with my allowance money, created order forms and began taking orders during lunch. After awhile I found the candy business unfulfilling so I looked towards my new endeavor: A printed newsletter all about Sanrio characters (you know, like Hello Kitty). This was also around the time I created my first website and used my father’s post office box to collect subscriptions worldwide. Without any advertising whatsoever, I was in business and receiving international subscription requests. I printed a quarterly black & white newsletter that highlighted one Sanrio character and included fan art people would snail mail in. I paid for everything (well, reimbursing my Dad mainly): paper, stamps, labels, etc. It really taught me a lot about what was possible (everything) and fulfilled another side of my personality (writing), but still wasn’t enough. That’s when I applied to be a Teen People Trendspotter.
I was 14 years old and didn’t believe the word ‘no’ to be an answer for anything. I got picked by Teen People and quickly escalated my role from talking about fashion trends to writing about music, pop music. I was suddenly interviewing popstars like Mandy Moore, Dream and Debelah Morgan.
To test my skills/powers as a journalist (and continuing my faith practice of never taking ‘no’ for an answer), my best friends & I decided we wanted to talk our way into the hottest concert in town (N Sync) and see how far we could go. The day of the concert, we showed up at 10:30am and immediately parked next to N Sync’s tour buses outside the Astrodome. Security seemed to think that’s where a journalist belonged, who were we to deny them. Then we started to survey the land when a few other security officers approached us, we stated who we were and what we were there to do: Write an article about a day in the life of N Sync, obviously. Security asked if we had credentials yet and we said the box office wouldn’t be open for a few more hours (all true information). To our surprise, these three gentlemen went to their lead and came back with working wristbands. Suddenly we were backstage watching N Sync’s crew build their stage.
Of course, working wristbands only allowed access until about 3pm so we’d have to find another plan in the meantime. That meant, time to make friends with the crew. We didn’t take up much of their time, just introduced ourselves, made sure people saw us and stayed out of the way. Around 2:30pm we told security we were heading to the box office to grab credentials… really we went to Burger King. When we came back we said the box office didn’t have the artist lists yet, another very common thing to happen at any concert. We hung out for a bit near the backstage doors, with our new security friends, and then went to try again.
Keep in mind, we knew we had no passes. We just kept the confidence act up and took necessary action.
This time we came back slightly frustrated, they still didn’t have artist lists and now we were gonna miss sound check. We said this loudly enough so that the hair/make-up team for the opening act (currently coming up the ramp) could hear us. They walked over to us, pulled out ‘support guest’ passes and handed each of us one. Seriously.
Suddenly we were backstage, with the next best pass to All Access, for the hottest ticket in town all summer. The passes let us roam anywhere we wanted (we stayed clear of dressing rooms, we know better) and walked right into the front row for what was actually the best pop concert I’ve ever seen. But that’s when I realized pop music wasn’t my dream…
[to be continued…]