I wake to the sound of my alarm going off, and I begin the rituals of my daily routine knowing I have another long night ahead of me. I enter the workplace to the exciting bustle of another bar shift. My coworkers and I stock up and man the bar as the huge dinner and late night crowds make their waves. Mixing and shaking cocktails, lugging around beer kegs, and punching in orders to the kitchen was my bread and butter for almost 5 years. This year, though, I decided to make an effort to return to what I loved most, and regain that passion for the creative arts that sparked so much inspiration into me when I was younger. Several months later, after dusting off the ol’ resume, finally creating that new demo reel, and applying with my fingers crossed; I bursted with excitement when I received an email stating that I will become the next Jpixx Intern!
My video journey started in the year 2008, when YouTube had just splashed its way onto the internet, and created an unprecedented platform for smaller creators. From there, I met my first collaborators who would go on to become my best friends, Chandler Perry and Joey Cathey. What started out as a few high school kids filming goofy videos, to make our friends and family laugh, gradually snowballed into a serious passion.
Over the years, we went on to compete in timed film competitions, submit our work to film festivals across the country, and always looked to push the envelope on the next project. Whether it was our first silent film or an entire project filmed in virtual reality, we were always anticipating the next big idea. Although, we always found time to return to our comedic roots every now and then. Being behind the camera is what I love most, but the amount of fantastic and talented individuals I’ve met through this medium is something I’ll always cherish.
I will say that the transition between industries was intimidating at first. Having to focus on becoming a better bartender created a period of time where I wasn’t spending as much time on my artistic passions as I would have liked, but it didn’t stop me from partaking in some awesome projects along the way. There was a pivotal moment when my best friend, Chandler Perry, came to me with an offer to be a part of an upcoming project. He began to pitch a short comedy about a sailor, a pirate, and a merchant stranded on a deserted isle with a chicken. He had me at the word ‘chicken’ and I was all in! Typically, I would be spending my weekends behind the bar, but this weekend I would be spending it on a remote island off the coast of South Carolina.
Throughout the entire production, the weather and conditions became rough at times, but it didn’t matter, I was having the best time of my life with some talented people and I knew this is where I belonged. Several months later, I stumbled upon a video that had a profound effect on me called “The Toolbox Fallacy”. It was as if the creator was speaking directly to me, and from there on forward, I had enough of the “what if’s”, it was a make or break decision and I was determined to return to the video production field. Every now and then, when I feel like I’m in a creative rut, I will go back and watch that video for inspiration, and it never fails to put things back into perspective for me.
Having already been familiar with Jpixx, I was beyond excited to get a good look at the inner machinations of their work. My first day of training, I joined a small crew to capture some photos and video for the Virginia Beach Educational Foundation. I have to admit, leading up to this day, I was anxious, but as soon as we started unpacking the equipment, and a camera was put into my hand, the nerves started to wear off.
That is until I had to face off against my boss in a 1v1 exercise bike challenge. After a couple burning thighs and trying to hide my sweat, I came out victorious! It was interesting to see the flow and rhythm between Jon, Lizzie, and Savannah. Their professional yet laid back approach to their work made it seem effortless, and the interaction between clients created a really positive vibe for the rest of the shoot. They were excited for us to record the great work their foundation is doing, and we were happy to provide them with our talents.
As we started to pack everything up and call it a wrap, Jon got his revenge by tasking me with folding the reflector. Let’s just say I struggled.. and struggled.. and eventually had to tap out. It’s a rite of passage among interns, and I was no exception!
From there, I was brought on to assist Jon, Jessa, and Tyler on a shoot for the RocSolid Foundation. This particular shoot was a lot of fun and an eye opening experience for me. We walk into a large room full of punching bags and a couple boxing rings, and I remember thinking how awesome this setting is for the upcoming shoot. It was an action packed day of relaying equipment and info between film crews, scouring downtown Norfolk for AA batteries, and firing off the fog machine at will. This particular shoot made me realize that Jpixx and some of the scope of their work is bigger than them. The shoot was shaping up to be an awesome video, but the cause behind it was also really important. I quickly learned that Jpixx does a good job of communicating with their clients and supporting great causes within our community. They were there to convey RocSolid’s message and efforts in the best way possible, and it made me proud to work alongside them. Seeing the impact that Jpixx and the RocSolid Foundation made with the kids and their families, that day, was truly special.
Fast forward to late March, and the news of a virus spreading across the world quickly grips the globe. Businesses are temporarily closing their doors, and everyone is being asked to quarantine themselves at home. Small businesses are having to reinvent their operations, marketing, and storefronts. It’s been an interesting and surreal time for Jpixx as well, and although I look forward to things operating as usual, I also feel like there is a lot to learn from this moment in time. Meetings went from the office to our homes, and I feel like I have bonded with the staff in a really unique way as we all try to adapt in this unprecedented time. Seeing the resilience and hard work this company has put forth to transition to an entirely online world has helped me learn and acquire new knowledge that I may have missed out on, otherwise. Creating meaningful digital engagement with our followers/clients, broadening the ability to multitask, strengthening my writing muscles, and spending more time video/photo editing than I ever have has been a liberating experience.
There were countless days, spent behind the bar, daydreaming about the opportunity to work for a company like Jpixx. Now that I’m here, I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. It’s been a humbling experience dusting off the skills I had acquired, and inserting myself in new areas of expertise such as social media marketing. Luckily, the crew at Jpixx has been nothing short of welcoming and supportive which has me excited to wake up and hop into the next day! Whether I’m working under Jpixx or setting out to create the next project, I’ll always remember to capture life creatively!