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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Bension

My First Celebrity TV Interview

When I was in college, I volunteered on this scrappy and awesome student-created television show called "ATX Most Wanted". It was a 106 & Park style project where we would show music videos and interview artists; we were definitely at an advantage being in Austin, Texas, one of the live music capitals of the world. Hip-hop rapper Common came to Austin to perform a concert, and I had reached out to his management team to get an interview. Me and my Executive Producer at the time were so excited, we waited anxiously backstage, knowing that this was one of the largest names our show had seen yet. We waited, and waited...and waited. Then Common's manager came over to deliver the bad news. The artist had actually done two concerts that day, filling in earlier in the day for a headliner who didn't show up to a festival. As a result, he was bone tired, and we weren't going to get the interview. I know we were both disappointed in that moment, and even a little annoyed that we didn't get the news earlier, but in that moment, something in me shifted. I fixed my face, shook the manager's hand, thanked him sincerely, and told him I hoped that whenever Common came back to Austin, we could try again.

Not too long after, I was named Executive Producer of the show. All my student mentors had graduated, and it was on my shoulders to make this show work. And it was just my luck that Common was coming back to town. His manager had actually remembered me from a year ago, citing my cool head in a less-than-cool situation, and we got the interview. He was very tired, and you could tell a bit in the interview, but because of my determination, he mustered up a little extra energy to help some kids with a television show get a win. It was one of the jewels in my newly minted Executive Producer crown. I tell this story, because sometimes, our destiny takes a little patience and perseverance. Now I'll be honest, I'm not always the most patient person. I'm eager, enthusiastic and excited, so I don't always want to wait, but I've learned that through consistency and not giving up, good things come my way.

Since that time, I've earned more jewels, and I have plenty of stories like this one, where I accepted a "not yet" in place of a no, and was greatly rewarded. Even in my decade of marketing, sometimes it took awhile for companies I worked for to adopt the innovations I saw, but when they did, success usually followed. Sometimes, I look back at this short clip and I'm reminded of the power of endurance. I still feel that way today about television and film producing. I may not have taken the straight path to my destination, but I have plenty of stamina, so I will get there.

This week, I'm gearing up to attend the Hall of Fame at my school, Full Sail University, and with the same qualities I had back then, it's my intention to end the week with multiple opportunities and connections in my desired career field. And you know what? Even if it doesn't happen immediately, I'll put a smile on my face, thank God for where I am, and simply wait.

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