How do you describe a feeling? A feeling that’s always been with you since early childhood. The same feeling that followed you into your pre-adolescent years and that continued into your adolescence. How do you describe a feeling that has stayed with you even into your young adulthood? A feeling that you don’t belong. A feeling that you’re destined for more. A feeling that you’re meant to inspire others by being yourself and sharing your story. I’ll try my best to describe this unshakeable feeling to you.
All my life I’ve been given an audience. When I was younger, the church congregation was my audience. You see, my father is a pastor. Yea…I’m a preacher’s kid. Say what you want about preacher’s kids, but we are just like every other kid. We aren’t perfect at all, but sometimes it’s hard when you know everyone’s watching you. It can be a lot of pressure for a child. Anyway, I would always perform in the church. Whether it was singing with the choir, performing a solo, saying a speech, acting in a play, whatever I could do to get myself in front of an audience. I loved inspiring people with my gifts, and I was the same way at home. Whenever there was a family engagement, you could count on Emile trying to perform a song, or put on a play with his favorite cousin Jessica. I know my family probably wanted me to sit my narrow behind down and shut up, but they put up with it and let me perform. Dad and I would always record home movies where I would tell a story to inspire generations to come. Ok, that may not be true. One of my home movies was a love story featuring all of my McDonald’s Happy meal toys. I doubt any future generations will care if Spider-man will take back Sleeping Beauty after she cheated on him with Wolverine and ran off in one of my Hot Wheels cars. All kidding aside, everything happens for a reason.
My first job was at Six Flags Over Georgia working on the Six Flags Over Georgia Railroad. I wanted to work on one of the awesome coasters or thrill rides, but when I was hired, my options were Bugs Bunny World or the Six Flags Over Georgia Railroad. So basically little kids with too much energy for me to handle in 90+ degree weather or families and bored people looking to pass time. I chose the latter, but I didn’t know that I would have to memorize a 10 page script, verbatim. Either way, I gave it my all and made sure people had the ride of their lives. I had so much enthusiasm and personality as I gave customers a tour of the park day after day. I even received a customer service award because management was so pleased with the way I delivered the script to guests. Did I know this would help prepare me for the career path I would pursue later in life? NOPE. In college, I worked for AT&T as a Sales Support Representative…I basically greeted guests, answered questions, and handled quick transactions. My main role was to keep customers relaxed while they waited for service. So what would I do? I would answer their questions and then keep them entertained. The interesting thing is that most of the people in this North Georgia AT&T store were interested in my story. What was this well-spoken, intelligent, and handsome young man’s hopes and dreams for his future? At the time I had some ideas, but the one thing I always knew was that there was something big in the future waiting for me.
There’s obviously more to this story, but you’ll have to wait until my book is released years from now to find out the rest. 😉 Anyway, I’ve been incredibly busy working hard to make my dream of being a host a reality. Just recently shot new headshots with Bradford Rogne, finished editing my hosting reel, redesigned my official website, and have been staying positive and focused. My Chasing L.A. web series will be starting up again soon, so be on the lookout for that. Thanks for all your support, and be sure to check out my hosting reel below. I know I normally say keep chasing your dreams, but I’ve changed my mind. Work hard so that it’s no longer a chase and your dream is your reality. I love you all.
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