There's a scene in the movie Big where Tom Hanks and his friend are sitting in Hanks' new office. Hanks says all he does is play with toys all day and then tells people what he thinks. His friend looks at him with a blank face and says, "And they pay you for that...?...SUCKERS!"
My friends have had the same response when I explain what I do.
When I joined the ranks of NS in the fall, I was extremely excited. Aside from meeting Schmuck and Chris at IF3, I'd known Doug for years and was finally getting compensation on a somewhat regular basis for writing about skiing. They're a great group of guys to work with. After two and 1/2 winters with Freeskier (who gave me my shot at writing and a chance to get published. Special thanks to Nicole, Flip, Harvey, and Digital Dave) it was nice to finally receive a paycheck. I'm not here bragging or boasting, I'm simply stating that it truly is a great feeling of accomplishment getting recognition for doing something you love. In order to do this type of work, chances are at more than one point you'll be broke, cold, sleeping in a beat up vehicle, and eating PB&J sandwiches 3 times a day while writing for a "free" pair of goggles. When I started, I did it for free. nothing. niltch. I just loved doing it.
Now I'm on the verge of graduating college (not really, I graduate in December) and I'm applying for internships for this summer. Under work experience I can proudly put down my years with Freeskier and my time spent here at NS. I'm really proud of the work I've done for both places and can never thank the people that helped make it happen enough. (Seriously though Jeff Schmuck, thank you!) Hopefully after tomorrow, my experiences with ski journalism will pay off with a good internship. No one wants to be a coffee bitch.
I guess what I'm wanting to say is to all those struggling writers, photographers, and videographers out there is: keep at it. It might not pay off now but eventually down the road it might. The best advice I ever received was do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life. Skiing is fun and some of us want to be apart of the grander scheme of things and behind the scenes. We'll see if my small role in the ski industry takes on a larger role but for right now, I'm happy just being able to reach the 12 of you that will read this blog and the thousands that read my articles. Keep on skiing and thanks again!
P.S. Just to prove I'm not completely "growing up", here's a picture from last weekend's charity 80's party. Yes that's a Bartles and James in one hand and a blonde in the other. It's hip to be square...ok...maybe not...but come on! It was an 80's party! Sorry for partying!