Tag: Interview

Pay your Copy Editors

As of tonight, I break away from classes to celebrate Spring Break 2019.

It promises to be more of a workation this year. Not to say that I’ve ever been the hard partying Spring Breakers type in the first place, but I usually chill when I can.

However, 2019 is throwing all that out the window.

While all those peers I don’t know are off in Cancún, I’ll be at home writing my novel and racking up Internship hours.

My regular schoolwork has left me a bit behind on those projects, so the extra time is a godsend. For Gladeo, I have a bunch of work stored up that I just need to sit down and finish.

Editing a piece, completing my own piece, planning a video shoot for later and transcribing the interview I’ll be conducting, and more.

No idea whether my blog post tomorrow is going to be about that interview or the Fire Emblem Heroes banner that’s dropping.

Or I might do both. Who knows!

For tonight, all I know is I’m going to relax and write a nice, easy post.

At the end of writing about the SPJ guest speaker last night, I noted seeing an echo of things from my time at CSUF.

Today I’ve noticed a few other things. Including my love affair with Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links back during Spring Break 2017. 

It defined my life when I started back then, but I’ve completely abandoned the game after a nearly two-year streak.

I blame a combination of exhaustion with the gameplay and a distinct lack of time to pass around.

I’m not going to say I regret the decision necessarily. Plus it’s still on my phone, and can be reopened at any time.

But the timing felt poignant on the eve of this anniversary.

However, the more stand-out example of a recurring college experience happened when I stopped to get gas on the way home. Because I won’t be at that Shell station I use during my commutes for at least a week, I was thinking about how I might not have to use it much longer.

But don’t worry, I’m not actually getting sentimental about a gas station. Only a specific story related to that gas station.

About two-or-three years ago when I was News Editor at the Daily Titan, I found myself looking for things to drive our Copy Editors Kyle Bender and Ashley Haley crazy.

My favorite discovery was a completely misspelled word in the gas pump digital display. It was very obvious, and given the high traffic through that station I expected it to get fixed quickly.

But no.

Here we are in 2019 and that same spelling error is there:

IMG_2446
“… come indise and check out monthly specials.”

It’s astounding to me that this is still there. I’m 100 percent certain they’ve changed out all the pumps since I saw this the first time, yet nothing has changed.

This is why we need Copy Editors, folks. Otherwise these mistakes live on forever.

That’s all I had to say. Go pay your copy editors.

In the meantime, I’m going to go start whatever semblance of a break I have.

What did I just find?

What did I just find?

Oh yeah, I’m clickbaiting all you social media folks today.

It’ll be worth it. I promise.

After an interview fell through this afternoon, in order to not be a complete bum for the day I decided to finally put my full energy into another New Year tradition that I’ve been half-assing for a little while now:

Cleaning my room.

I’ve done an entire post about the subject in the past, and to be honest the overall appearance of the room hasn’t changed much since then.

It will sometime soon when I finally get this new computer together and put in a proper spot, but for now you can get the gist of things from that other post. All the decor is mostly the same.

Arguably the most notable thing I had originally wanted to talk about with this post was how nice it feels to finally clear off a usually cluttered surface.

Because just look at this:

img_1812

Especially with the new calendar, it’s looking pretty slick.

At least until you turn around and look at where all the stuff wound up…

img_1813

Slightly less slick.

Though I’ll admit it’s also satisfying to remind myself how much I usually put up without it looking too busy.

However, if you’re keen on picking up context clues with blog post headlines, featured images and past tense language in text, you know that I wound up finding something completely different to talk about.

Something much more whacky and interesting.

Hidden away behind my bookshelf in an unopened plastic casing was this astounding poster:

img_1814

You may be wondering why I decided to just put up a picture of the woman’s face instead of the full image for my Featured Image, and to be fair it’s 99 percent just to be funny clickbait.

But it’s also because that was genuinely my reaction when I first unraveled this thing.

Now you can’t just dig up something this bizarre and not try to do a little bit of research into it.

As the corner of the poster suggests, this was a promotional poster for “Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution,” a 2014 game released on the most notable last gen consoles besides the Wii U.

I never played the game, and in fact I don’t think I’d even heard of it until right now.

So where the hell did this poster come from?

Well, according to this Reddit post I found from way back in the day, it was a promotional item given out at GameStop for pre-ordering Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution.

But after a while, employees just started to give them away with anything. I must have picked it up alongside some totally different game and forgot about it.

I shared this rare finding with my friends and together we did a bit more fun elaboration into it. For instance, my friend Nina (who lives in Japan and is studying to be a translator) gave us a bit of insight into exactly what it says:

img_1816

Knowing this is basically like a cheesy B-movie poster is kind of fascinating, honestly.

Then my friend Jonathan went out to YouTube and found us some footage of Mecha Naruto in action.

It’s uhh…

It’s something else.

Probably the most beautiful nightmare fuel I’ve seen in a long time.

Just look at his ultimate jutsu. I’m dumbfounded staring at such a glorious spectacle and frankly want to go thank anyone who was involved in the executive decision to include it in the game.

It’s just that good.

I’m absolutely putting this up on my wall tonight. Probably right up next to my Mega Diancie poster.

Gotta fit that call to action in here somewhere, so let me know what kind of weird stuff you’ve found while cleaning up around the house! This is probably one of the more strange things I’ve ever dug up, so I’d be curious to know if any of you have some similarly unexpected items hiding away.

Life never relents

As of ~7:00 p.m. tonight, when I finally returned home, I was officially finished with the fall 2018 semester.

Truly a momentous occasion! It’s been a rough one all things being equal, so I’m lucky to finally have made it to the other side of the storm. After all, there’s just one more remaining until I finally get that piece of paper. So it all comes down to this, and there’s something as exciting as it is terrifying about the idea.

… Unfortunately, as the title here suggests, not all is sunshine and rainbows despite how uplifting this freedom is.

Finals themselves were rough to get through because I’ve definitely caught the family cold, which has resulted in consuming cough drops at a rate of far-too-many per hour to deal with a scratchy throat and a cough.

It has also left me kind of lethargic, which will make it very fun to get up at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow and interview someone on the east coast.

I just wanted to make sure I got a post in, even if it just amounts to me venting about… Everything.

Probably won’t widely publicize this one to be honest.

Arguably the worst final to have to struggle through with a cold was my Sensation and Perception test yesterday. That’s the one I’ve been dreading for some time because it was cumulative and non-curved.

Yeah, it actually did suck.

Mostly because there were topics on it that he did not tell us were going to be on it in his ‘study guide.’

Then he doubled down on the frustration by handing back our final essay drafts (graded in just one week, while the rough drafts took 3 months I might add). He gave me a point less than I got on the rough draft for a number of corrections previously unmentioned, which feels pretty disingenuous.

Especially considering he also gave me an extra point for making the original corrections. So I wound up with the exact same score.

Boy I’m glad I never have to see that man again.

Luckily today was much less stressful, as all I had to do was present the findings of my Evolution and Creation essay to the class in a casual round-table. Then afterward I went out to dinner with my friend Mimi to celebrate the end of a long semester.

It was fun!

… Up until the point where my permanent retainer broke. So now I’m missing a wire behind my front teeth, and there’s just a bit of poking if I move my tongue just right.

56696068656__FD4248AA-1102-40A2-96A6-20527A883067

Couldn’t get a sit-down with my orthodontist until Friday, too. It’ll be fun to deal with that for a while.

But then to add insult to injury, after my two-and-a-half hour drive home, I got an email letting me know that I did not get the internship with the Boston Globe I applied for. Much like I feared in this post from a little while back.

I know lots of people apply for these things and I’m not super upset about it, that just happened to be the cherry on the suck Sundae of today.

At least I can still relish the idea of finally sending all of these books back to Chegg.

IMG_1724
Good riddance.

Considering I’ll never write anything better than ‘suck Sundae of today’ in my life, I’ll leave things off there. Hopefully you didn’t find this vent post too obnoxious, I swear tomorrow I’ll go back to writing about something more fun.

For now, however… I need some sleep. After all, I’ll have to be up again in a hurry.

Director of Photography Career Profile uploaded

I didn’t want to let this actually important work-related stuff fall through the cracks in between a pair of Fire Emblem Heroes posts after seeing it come through my email, so welcome to lucky post number two for the night.

The Career Profile I wrote on being a Director of Photography finally got put up on Gladeo’s website today!

If you recall, a few weeks ago I wrote a Spotlight on Alexxiss Jackson. She’s a freelance DP who has won a number of awards for her work on films, music videos and more. That piece was interesting because it was really the first (features-style) profile of that sort I had cobbled together using interview answers from text rather than actually talking to them in person or over the phone.

The follow-up to that piece was a full Career Profile on Directors of Photography that I, again, used some notes from her that I received over an interview form to create. In a much less significant capacity, however.

Career Profiles are built more on research through places like the Bureau of Labor statistics after all. So this is a ‘research with a side of interview’ than a Q&A like the Spotlight.

If you want to check out the profile, take a look jump on into the rabbit hole through this link here, or head on over to the right-side of the blog to see my full archive of work for Gladeo!

Since the experimental stuff worked so well with Alexxiss, I’m sure more Profiles/Spotlights will start to roll in via some connections Gladeo has been making. In that case, look forward to some more frequent work uploads hopefully coming soon.

A different kind of Gladeo Spotlight

Seemingly out of nowhere, today I have a new byline to talk about and record for posterity! Just of a slightly different vein than usual.

Since taking up my new position at Gladeo and starting the school semester, I’ve had a little less time to do my own interviews for Career Profiles and Spotlights. That isn’t to say I haven’t been trying, but the availability of people getting back to me has also been a mitigating factor.

So long story short I’ve been focused a bit more on the backend, helping our reporters do what they need to do and trying to establish our nonprofit as an avenue for other students to intern at. More of a long-term growth establishment process.

One thing I’ve been in the loop about with Michelle is our outreach to a number of different organizations as potential partnerships. The general idea is that instead of having a longer, more intimate process with every single Spotlight, were also trying to create connections with groups that can disseminate smaller surveys so we can edit those text answers together into a quick piece for our site.

The piece I have for you all today with Alexxiss Jackson is kind of the prototypical example of what we’re trying to do.

Obviously I don’t have a very extensive take winding behind the production of this Spotlight, as the background mostly involved me getting looped in on a process that we’re trying to set up. But Alexxiss was lovely to talk to over email, and I barely had to do anything to edit it into our typical format.

Frankly the extent of it was changing the font, making the Q’s in the Q&A more conversational and re-writing the introductory portion of the piece into third rather than first person. Plus doing a little extra research into the different awards and accolades she’s received so I could make her look that much cooler — since she does have a pretty extensive history directing films and music videos that have been featured at film festivals and won awards.

Then I put the whole thing together, packaged it with the photos we were produced and let Michelle post it online. We’re still working out some security protocols before I get clearance to do the back-end posting step, or else I probably would have just done that too.

With this kind of set-up in place, I imagine I should get a bunch of more quick bylines out for Gladeo sooner rather than later. That won’t change my continuing efforts to pursue larger, more personal interviews…

But hey, I don’t think my resume will complain either way.

If you want to see the other stuff I’ve done for Gladeo, take a look at that link over on the right!

Otherwise I figured I would end this with a friendly reminder to all of you living in the States that you should go out and vote tomorrow.

Not applicable to anyone reading this in the future, but hey. It’s still important.

Networking Matters

It’s the cliché you’ve heard a million times when it comes to breaking into whatever industry you want to break into.

I know I’ve heard it more than my share of times, especially considering the extra emphasis journalism places on not just networking for jobs, but networking for sources.

Usually I’ll just roll my eyes when I hear someone say it. Because everyone says it, despite the fact that it’s intrinsically simple and somewhat obvious advice.

But that advice played a big hand in two things that were relevant for my work today.

So I figured I should throw my hat in the ring just this once and remind you all that if you aren’t networking often, you should be.

The first case comes out of an earlier adventure. Remember when I went with my friend Mimi to see the Blizzard employees speak at the Fullerton Public Library?

While I was there I passed my business card along to one of the presenters, who said he would get it to someone in the HR Department.

Lo and behold, just a few days later a Blizzard Entertainment/Activision employee had signed up to be a Gladeo interviewee. Not the same person, granted, but still. I was highly appreciative.

Thus in the not-so-distant future I will be doing a profile of someone at Blizzard. Which is pretty awesome not just in terms of someone being interested in the work I’ve been doing, but also because I love video games. So who knows, if that goes well perhaps I’ll get access to more Blizzard employees and I can say I’ve gotten a wider breadth of understanding about the company under my belt.

So yeah. Going to random events just to network was a successful strategy for me.

My other more recent example is a bit esoteric, so stay with me.

When I was in elementary school, I spent a lot of time playing chess. Which sounds like I’m just inviting my own eminent torment and bullying I know, but it’s true. I was part of the chess club and everything.

Wasn’t too bad at it either, considering I won a number of trophies in little competitions. #HumbleBrag

One of the reasons I was so good at it was because I learned from a guy named Chessmaster Steve. He was, needless to say, the best.

Though I haven’t really thought about or heard from him since all those years ago.

Until today, if the obvious build-up to a point wasn’t obvious enough.

See when Chessmaster Steve was not teaching elementary school kids chess (even if I had assumed at the time that was all he did), he was apparently a trained physical therapist. One who now works for the Office of Veterans Affairs.

As it turns out, one of the Gladeo League reporters has been having trouble finding a physical therapist to talk to for a profile they’re working on.

So, long story short, my mom has kept in touch with Steve for all these years, and I was able to make contact with him so we can try to have the reporter set-up an interview.

Apparently I was playing the long-game when it comes to networking as well, because that’s a connection that I never in a thousand years would have imagined might become relevant.

That’s essentially my elevator pitch. Like I said I’m usually the person who rolls his eyes when someone says it, but networking and making solid connections is super important.

So make sure you get on doing that ASAP for whatever job it is you might be after.

Lecture over. Hope you all took notes because this is 100 percent going to be on the exam.

Two-for-One Deal on Gladeo Spotlights

You like reading?

I sure hope so, because today I’ve got two brand new published Spotlight interviews to check out. That’s right, the editing and publishing pipeline has finally caught up with me.

There isn’t a lot of build-up I can think to add to this other than a vague “keep on the lookout” message for some interesting developments coming soon. Next week when everything is confirmed I should have more to say.

But until then, feel free to enjoy these nice little interviews:

The first is featuring Raymundo Vizcarra, the band director at Redondo Union High School. Though my sister is one of his students, I never really had the opportunity to talk with Ray that often before going to chat for this piece.

He’s got a lot of solid advice in regards to balancing school and work, considering he’s working toward a master’s degree, as well as a rather heartfelt history concerning his family moving to the U.S., his father being absent for a number of years and how life led him down the path of music.

You can check that Spotlight out here.

The second features Ismael Villarreal, a design engineer for the aerospace manufacturer AdelWiggins Group.

I found Ismael after being asked to look for some individuals working in STEM careers, particularly engineers. My friend Jonathan’s dad works for AdelWiggins and was able to help get me connected to Ismael, a fairly young buck in the field that got a lucky break into aerospace.

We mostly discussed how the competitive business of aerospace manufacturing works and how his past experiences with education proved both beneficial and lacking in preparing him for the work he was going into.

With some advice on good practices for aspiring engineers who want to go into that field, of course.

You can check that Spotlight out here.

But of course, if you want to see my continually growing body of work, you can always head over to that listing over on the right!

It occurs to me that one day my entire blog could get a re-design and my mainstay “check this out on the right” message may become obsolete… But I think that’s a bridge I’ll cross when I get to it.

Not super relevant for this conversation, however. For now, like I said, just be on the lookout for some things coming up in the near future.

This Gladeo Spotlight is Magic

This Gladeo Spotlight is Magic

Some of you are probably thinking this headline here is just a symptom of me being full of myself.

But it’s not.

It’s actually a sort of pun on the fact that the person I interviewed is named Magic.

Is it worse to abuse the obvious pun than it is to be full of myself? I suppose that’s the kind of semantic detail you as the audience should decide. I won’t dwell on it too long because I have a point to get to.

That point being my Gladeo piece on audio engineers is live right now! I just found out about it this morning during our bi-weekly meeting and got right on putting this together. As soon as I finished helping paint the girl’s room. But you can just look at yesterday’s post if you want more details on that.

My conversation with Magic was probably one of the coolest interviews I’ve had the opportunity to conduct. He’s a great guy with a storied history and plenty of things to say about finding work you enjoy doing that really spoke to me at a personal level even more than just my professional judgement of what makes good quotes. I spent plenty of time going into that when I first did the interview a few weeks back.

Unlike a daily news cycle, these kinds of longer-form database profiles and such don’t have a super quick turnaround, so I’ve been waiting to see everything get through the editing process for a while. In the meantime I’ve been working on some other pieces, but this is the one I’ve been really excited about.

I updated my Gladeo work listing in that tab over on the right, but if you want you can jump through this link here to check out the overall profile on being an Audio Engineer I put together. Through there is another point of access to the Spotlight I wrote about Magic specifically.

When I first started to work on this piece I mentioned an interest in posting the full interview transcript. After all, he said so much wonderful stuff that it was difficult to have o distill it down for proper publication. So I figured hey, I’ve got a personal blog. Why not put the full text here?

If you’re interested in reading the full (somewhat) unabridged hour-long talk I had with Magic, go ahead and click the read more button / scroll down. But if you’re not, I’d still appreciate it if you could check out the published piece over on the Gladeo website.

Thanks a billion everyone, looking forward to getting more out there soon!

Continue reading “This Gladeo Spotlight is Magic”

The Magic of Storytelling

The Magic of Storytelling

The longer I spend time doing work for Gladeo, the more I find myself loving the idea of writing features as much as hard news.

Mostly that comes out of a deep interest in the people and telling their stories, something that comes inherent to all aspects of news writing but takes an especially poignant angle for profiles. After all, a profile is taking the opportunity to tell someone’s story with the sole focus of telling it.

For some reason I always figured I was never very good at features writing just because I’ve always written hard news. But once I got it in my head that it’s all about telling someone’s story, I’ve found myself getting more confident in the idea of writing them.

As I said, Gladeo has helped. Even if it takes more of a Q&A approach to the idea, everything still ties back to finding interesting people and learning the interesting things they have to say.

Tonight, that hunt for interesting people brought me to Magic Moreno. His full pedigree is far too lengthy for me to possibly ever be able to grasp in just a few fleeting words, so I’ll let his website do most of the talking there, but in essence he was a child star musician at six years old and eventually became a music producer/performer with multiple gold and platinum records under his belt and a rolodex featuring such names as Aretha Franklin and Freddie Mercury.

Needless to say, a fascinating guy to get an hour-and-a-half with.


Editor’s Note:

Quick shout out to Aly for making friends with Magic’s son through band at RUHS. I knew you’d come in handy one of these days!


What wound up being even more fascinating about Magic than his accolades (though those alone are a great chat) was his spirituality, his philosophical outlook on the world and how both of those tie in so deeply with his career and how he looks at giving back through other branches of his work like teaching.

I’m only about an hour or so out from actually talking with Magic as of writing this post, So I’ll need a little more time to debrief, and transcribe out what I got to truly have any insights that stood out as especially bright gems.

If anything, I’m considering publishing the entire transcript here once it’s all out together and my Gladeo piece is out there. Because his words deserve an uncut treatment.

Seriously, this interview wasn’t only cool because I got a brief glimpse into a star-studded life, or even just because of the 10 minutes or so we spent listening to a song he just finished producing.

Though that was amazing in itself, seeing him able to distill out one of the 100+ audio tracks comprising the song just to explain how it was an exotic instrument out of Uganda and showcase the way it seamlessly blended into this copacetic composition up until you specifically know to listen for it.

Particularly interesting for me having dabbled slightly into similar audio mixing for broadcast classes, but there’s a vast difference between the three audio tracks there versus the 100+ for a song.

But overall, the stuff that stood out most to me were his philosophical approaches to the ideas of why we do the things we love, the drive we have for that.

I actually felt a pretty deep connection with what he was saying while thinking about the work that I’ve done in the past. After a week that felt like a spiritual lull for me, it was honestly a wonderful thing.

Like I said, it’ll probably be a while before I get to throw everything out into the world, but look forward to it.

I’m certainly looking forward to adding his name onto the list of people I’ve had the pleasure of telling their stories.

Jason’s Ten-Dollar Word of the Day

I spent a lot of the day today doing work, copy editing for a number of different people mostly. While I could go on about why that made me late for getting this post out into the world, that would be boring.

Plus anyone reading this after tonight probably wouldn’t care in the first place. So I’m just going to not do that.

Instead I’m going to pull out an interesting tidbit from one of my jobs today and expand on it.

See, while doing a copy edit for a story coming out of Boom sometime soon regarding the current discussions about separating immigrant children from their parents at the border (a topic I don’t plan to delve too deeply into here, don’t worry) I found there were a few words I had to look up to see if they were being used correctly.

One such word stood out in particular because it gave me a more proper term to use for something which otherwise I’ve always treated in a casual manner.


Proselytize

Intransitive Verb form

  1. To induce someone to convert to one’s faith.
  2. To recruit someone to join one’s party, institution, or cause.

Transitive Verb form

  1. To recruit or convert especially to a new faith, institution or cause.

via the Merriam-Webster dictionary


Basically, when the Jehovah’s Witnesses come to your house to talk with you about their faith, they are proselytizing.

The term extends further than just religious door-to-door salesmanship, however. It’s also a politician’s term, a social movement’s term, an industrialist’s term, so on and so forth.

Funny enough, the word actually reminded me of a story I wrote back in 2013 for the High Tide. Julian Stern, a kid who I’d known through being a school acquaintance for some time by then, was running for City Council while just 18 years old.

Very specifically I recall him spending some time in my house to do the interview because he happened to be going door-to-door campaigning in my neighborhood at the time. It was an interesting interview to be sure, and I actually wound up reflecting that in the lede to my article.

You can read the article here, by the way. Bottom right-hand corner of page three.

Looking back on it now I probably would have been laughed out of my high school newsroom for trying to use a term like “proselytize” in my story, but it would’ve fit quite well as a more specific, mature term.

Of course the average reader more easily understood that he was “selling himself rather than magazines,” and that’s why it was the better choice to go with, but still. I would like to see myself use proselytize in a sentence sometime soon.

Also, don’t read too much into my saying ‘selling himself.’ I know you internet, you’ll make anything dirty, but this is not the time.

Stop it.

Well that’s my ten-dollar word of the day. I actually enjoy seeing things like ‘words of the day’ on every online dictionary and goofy calendar ever made, so I might just try to do this again next time I find a new word that’s interesting. If you’d like to see more of it, or if you learned an interesting new word today yourself, let me know down in the comments!