I decided kind of last minute to go to this “How did they get there?” round table that AAJA-LA was having. It was kind of interesting, but I was a little dismayed to find that most of the talk was about how to get started in the business. Heehee. Folks my age and my experience level are now figuring how to get the heck out!
All joking aside, it was cool to hear about how people got started. Hal Eisner, in the middle of the bottom row of pictures, of Fox 11 and UPN 13, got started in radio by sending in a postcard when his local Texas radio station asked for high school sports readers. NBC 4’s Ted Chen said his father wanted him to be an engineer, but of course, he ended up in journalism. LAT’s Daniel Yi, top right, (who talked a little bit about the last day for his editor, Bill Sing, who helped found AAJA and took a buyout from the LAT) filled a need for Korean-speaking journalists who could write in English. Alex Stone, top left, really wanted to get into radio, but checked out a teen radio program anyway. Cynthia Wang worked (mostly?) unpaid internships till she got to People Magazine, where she decided she wanted to work, and kept pestering them to hire her and even flew herself out to their Christmas party to pester them some more. (That’s so awesome.) Richard Chang, top middle, was an English major, but figured journalism, rather than writing the great American novel?, would get him a steady paycheck.
I’m not too sure what I expected when I decided to go, especially considering I got off work last night at 12:30 and ended up at this roundtable at 10:45 this morning. Does that even make sense? It was nice to see folks I hadn’t seen in a while, including Richard, who is a friend of one of my older sister’s high school friends, Bill Rams (she calls him Billy). Small world! It was also nice to see Grace, a girl I work with. Plus, I used the fact that I was in Burbank as an opportunity to go to Porto’s. Mmmmmmm……steak torta sandwich and cheese rolls. Yum.
As a bonus, the triple amputee who graduated from UCLA yesterday? Her brother showed up, too. Again, small world!