Warning, this is a long story, so for those looking for art... well... here's a puppy.
Crazy I haven't updated in almost 6 months. I'd been busy sending out my resumes and reels to companies, only to get months and months of silence. No emails, phone calls, nada. Animation is a tough biz to get into. Sometimes it's about who you know, most of the time it's about being the best of the best, and then there are those who just get lucky. As far as becoming a professional animator, I wasn't any of those.
Meanwhile, I've been working as a Lab Tech at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Helping students learn new programs, troubleshoot software and hardware, facebooking... Well, doing all this the past couple of years started to demotivate me as it wasn't where I had imagined I'd be years after college. I was getting restless and I wanted to see progress on some front.
During eternal search for the mythological "Animation Career", I'd applied to Rhythm & Hues, a special effects movie company known for their work in "The Golden Compass" (which got them an Oscar), "Scooby Doo", "Alvin & the Chipmunks", "The Incredible Hulk", and MANY other films. While my animation reel wasn't enough to score me a job as an animator, I was able to get in contact with a friend who had worked there for a couple years. He was a TD in their render department and said he'd pass my resume along since he knew I was a hard working, trustworthy person. Back in college, we worked on a few projects together, went bar hopping, and had a few memories. He'd recommended back then it'd always be good to know a little bit of UNIX code, as a lot of industries run on Linux based systems. You never know when it might come in handy.
Well, it took months after giving him my resume that it fell into the right hands. I'd nearly given up hope that anyone would ever see it until I got the "phone call". It was the opportunity for an interview at R&H down in LA. Without hesitation I agreed, and drove to LA the following week. By the end of the interview I was cool on the outside, but inside, I was a mess. Just being considered for any position at such a reputable company was an honor, and I was nervous and excited at the same time. I thought the worst was over as I drove back toward gloomy San Francisco, but then there was... The Wait. I didn't realize it'd be another month before I got any type of follow-up (especially when I was told I hear back from someone in 2 weeks or less). The anxiety was killing me.
A month after the interview, I assumed that was my shot and though I did my best, they must have found a "better fit". I carried on with my current job, prepping for another semester of students, animation; the daily grind. One night, however, I got, not a call, no. I got an EMAIL from someone at R&H. Ah, so there is my rejection letter I thought. I mean, if they wanted me for job, they'd called me. But the email was an easy impersonal way of letting someone know they just didn't quite cut it. I opened it up just for closure, and my eyes immediately glazed over a few choice words: "Impressed", "Good Fit", and "Offer". I jumped out of my chair and felt a surge of happiness. They wanted me! They were offering me a position as a Render I/O Coordinator. I start in 2 weeks. =D
So what's the point? I didn't get that animation job I'd been pining for all these years. Yeah, well... I am one step closer to my dreams. The first goal coming out of college was to get a job at a movie company. It could be any position, so long as I got to see my name in the credits on that silver screen. I am well on my way. This is only the first step toward achieving the ultimate goal of animator. I am closer, and I feel progress, momentum, and motivation.
Where you go in your career is decided on 3 things. Skill, Timing, and Luck. If you don't have one, you can always make it up with another. Constantly work on your skills, because those are the foundations of your career, never give up on improving if your dreams require you to be one of the best. Socializing is an important skill. Make friends, stay friends, and respect everyone around you, as one day, you realize how much you all need each other. For some, their calling comes early, for others, it could take much longer. Be patient and continue to thrive. I still have a long road ahead of me, but in time, I know I'll reach where I need to be; where I belong.
Thanks to everyone who has supported me. Once I'm settled, I'm going to pick up caricaturing on my free time again. Just to loosen up. Then continue with my animations.
Now then... off to LA!