Growing up, my brother and I each had a book that allowed us to record things for each school grade like height, weight, favorite activities, etc. One of the blanks to fill in asked what we wanted to be when we grew up. I distinctly remember recording occupations that I thought I was supposed to answer — Ballerina, Nurse, Doctor, Veterinarian. But in third grade I had an epiphany.
That was the year that I was in the gifted program. (I’ve joked about this before that I was only in it a year before they suggested I take a break and possibly come back in 5th grade. In my defense, I was smart on paper but not bored in the regular classroom. The kids in the gifted program were SUPER smart. Some even went on to Ivy League schools — some were Rhodes scholars. I think maybe I was just precocious. I don’t know.)
Anyhoo — back to the epiphany. In 1979 the kids in this class got to write, produce and record a newscast at our local cable tv station. I remember some reports were real news and some were fake news that we each created and reported on. I don’t know how the decision was made, but in addition to writing my own story, I was chosen to be one of the news anchors. Once I started reading the teleprompter, I was hooked. It just felt right and I had THE TIME OF MY LIFE. It was easy and I was comfortable. I loved it. One of the silly details I still recall is that I was wearing a V-neck, green velour top. I hated that shirt, but my mom made me wear it.
So the epiphany was that reading the news was actually a job! Until then I was only aware of a handful of occupations. Last month, the memories of that first tv experience came flooding back when I recorded some design segments at our television station KVOS. The first one just aired and here it is for your viewing pleasure!
Nowadays with the sheer number of cable channels and reality tv there are so many more opportunities other than being a news anchor. It would’ve been nice to record “television anchor person” in that school memories book and stayed true to course from that moment on. But most of us know by now that life doesn’t usually work like that. There was no way to predict how my passion for furniture design would evolve and how the opportunity to combine my first love with my true passion would arise. But I’m energized and ready to see what’s next.