Making a meaningful career out of being a nerd
I am a journalist who creates content about the film and television industry that goes deep, is interesting and excites my sources and audience.
I’m inspired by going behind the scenes. It’s why I became a journalist, to uncover the stories behind the stories. This passion began by watching behind the scenes on the DVD’s of my Disney movies as a kid. It transformed into reading Live from New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live and watching Inside the Actor’s Studio to get as much insight as possible into the work of the people I was seeing on the screen and the ones behind the camera.
Now, it has resulted in who I am today, a journalist who is writing about what inspires her. There are so many people who work on these products and there is such magic to understanding the work they do and how they develop a story into a masterpiece. I want to create content about that process to show people the complexity of the art that is film and television.
To make a long story long...
There are a few things I have known for the majority of my life: I love movies (and TV, and theater and, and, and…but it started with movies), I have a weird encyclopedic knowledge of actors and actresses, I've always loved watching the news, I adore working with students and I am an analytical creative.
When I realized all these things my career path became obvious: I knew I was going to be an arts journalist and an educator.
My parents took me to see Finding Nemo when I was 4 years old and ever since I've been obsessed with film and learning about how the entertainment industry works. But, growing up in the mile-by-mile farm town of Davenport, Washington direct access to entertainment and journalism was nonexistent. So began my unique and unconventional odyssey to become the journalist I am today.
If I've learned anything from my journey it's the importance of being a planner who can pivot. I have somehow accomplished everything I have set out to do, but not in the way I ever expected to do it. And I’ve picked up some extra passions along the way. It's taken drive, patience, creativity and a willingness to try everything to find myself where I am today, and I will continue to use those traits to find success throughout my career.
The first unexpected decision came when I committed to Gonzaga University instead of a journalism school on the East Coast. While at GU I served as the editor-in-chief of the student newspaper The Gonzaga Bulletin during the fall of 2020 (you know, the height of covid), and by the end of my 3 years there, I had written over 100 stories for all sections. I traveled to March Madness to cover the women's basketball team, won awards for covering protests and emerged as the victor in my 3 year battle with Adobe InDesign.
I realized quickly that grad school was the next logical step in my journey. During undergrad, I obtained a minor in communication studies and had a consistent work-study job through Spokane Public Schools. Added to my work at The Bulletin, where I worked to teach students the basics of journalism, incorporating education into my career goals seemed like a natural fit.
When I was looking at schools for undergrad, I toured Syracuse University but brushed it away. Then when grad school came around, I decided to apply. Now, I have a master's degree from the Goldring Arts Journalism and Communications program from the esteemed S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. At SU I wrote stories about things like mental health representation on WandaVision, learned how to code, copy edit and take photos for publication.
Throughout my entire higher education, I have also worked. What started as a necessity to pay for school quickly turned into some of the most important career development I have received. At The Inlander I got to cover Les Miserables (which was the first time I covered a play on a press pass). I wrote about everything from roofs to game shows to farmers to marathons at The Spokesman-Review on 24-hour deadlines. And my time at Spokane Public Schools granted me the opportunity to work with kids directly in the classroom as well as over the summer during the height of the pandemic.
Ultimately my goal is to mix my two passions of journalism and education together. I want to use my passions and skillset in my career to make the world a better and more informed place. A professor once told me that we go into journalism and academia not to sell a product or please a corporation but to do right by people. That’s exactly what I am doing.