"Reach out to people with the profession that you want via linked in or email. Ask if they would be open to scheduling a 30 minute phone call or (in non covid times) if you could bring them a cup of coffee at work and chat for a small window. Prepare some questions for them about their career, listen actively and critically. Become a face to them and use the information you collect to determine whether this career is right for you."
Hear Davielle talk about her unconventional path to how she found producing and give advice on how you can pursue your passions!
Through Berkeley’s UCEAP study abroad program, I studied Shakespeare, Metaphysics, and Short Fiction writing at Cambridge University (Pembroke and King’s College) with other exchange students from around the world.
My career roadmap has been all over the place.
Discovering passion for film, theater, and storytelling. I took plenty of cinematography, theater, art, film, and general extra curricular classes to figure out what my interests were and who I was as a person. This is such an important step. Don’t just pick a road and stick to it, see what other roads look like first and be honest about what makes you happy even if it may not be in line what others pressure you to do.
Switching schools to AOC gave me early access to college courses and helped me get a taste of what it was like to navigate academia. It also reinforced self discipline and learning.
UC Berkeley changed my career trajectory. It has a fantastic English Program and getting the brand name on my resume (as frustrating as it is to say) really opened doors for me in my career. It also taught me how to navigate large political infrastructure which is profoundly useful in life in general and gave me access to great academic training. It exposed me to so many people, cultures, and ideas that I would have never gotten in other parts of the country or at other universities.
Joining CalTV at UC Berkeley game me more exposure to journalism and film production. It gave me my first taste of producing as a one woman show and laid the foundations for my career. It also gave me free access to art and live performances that I wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise.
Attending Cambridge University in England for a semester changed the way I viewed the world. I come from a lower socioeconomic family so it was my first time abroad surrounded by people from higher socio-economic backgrounds. It made me realize I needed a profession that traveled.
In High School I worked as a nanny full time. While I was at Berkeley I worked full time as a barback and later bartender at a local bar so I could pay for my rent, food, etc. This taught me discipline, work ethic, and humility. It also taught me the importance of balancing short term needs (paying the bills) with my long term goals (education and career).
After turning an unpaid internship at a small production company in LA into a paid gig, I applied to Paramount Pictures Page Program and got the job. For the first 4 months I gave tours of the Paramount lot but then I interviewed for a job as an Animation Coordinator which allowed me to work for the VPs of the Animation department. I learned a lot about features there. While at Paramount, I realized the feature film world offered a very long road to success, experience, and decent pay. Because of this, I decided to give advertising production a try. I still got to work on set and with scripts/talent/etc but I also made exponentially more money, worked on more projects per year, and was eventually able to produce my own projects.
Because of my background in acting, every company I worked at would ask me to read voiceover for them. This eventually led me to become the voice of brands like Intel, Sutter Health, and Staples. I eventually signed with an agent and am now a voice actor on the side. It’s been a great way to keep performance and acting in my life while still maintaining a career as a producer. While working as a producer at my last agency, I applied and was accepted into USC’s graduate directing program. I decided not to attend since it was incredibly expensive and I had lots of hands on production experience already. Instead, I took an integrated producing job at a new agency. This was a very difficult decision but ended up being the right one since schools and production were shut down because of COVID.
Here are my extracurriculars relevant to this pathway
DURING MY HIGH SCHOOL CAREER
Trained at Joffrey Ballet and Chicago Ballet’s Summer Intensive Programs.
Associated Student Body Vice President & President of my class.
Jazz band and Jazz Choir
DURING MY COLLEGE CAREER
Bear Stage Actor (Theater)
Creative Writing Intensives
Voice Over Acting (Stars Agency)
What I'm currently doing/hope to do
Currently I work as an Integrated Producer and a voiceover actor. I produce branded commercials, art installations, VR/AR, websites, etc. My work has taken me all over the world (Canada, Slovenia, France, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Las Vegas). My career trajectory is uncertain currently. I’ve been producing for 6 years and while I could go on to become a Senior Producer, and Executive Producer, and eventually a Head of Production, I’m questioning whether or not that’s for me. I’ve always been intensely passionate about writing, creative content, directing, and philanthropy and would love to try my hand at a new profession.. Some of my most idolized career professionals have had multiple careers and I’m hoping to overcome my fear of change and do the same eventually.
How to maximize my time in high school?
Advice #1: Research. Read about companies you like, careers you find interesting and how to get there. Read articles about how to build a resume, about how to interview well, about how to be a high performer. The more you know the more powerful and effective you will be.
Advice #2: Reach out to people with the profession that you want via linked in or email. Ask if they would be open to scheduling a 30 minute phone call or (in non COVID times) if you could bring them a cup of coffee at work and chat. Prepare some questions for them about their career, listen actively and critically. Become a face to them and use the information you collect to determine whether this career is right for you. Ask them if there are any other careers they might be interested in eventually pursuing (this can help reveal similar professions that you might not have known about previously). Always be polite to the people you reach out to. Always thank them for their time.
Advice #3: Ask to shadow people for a day who have the career you want. Don’t be pushy, simply ask politely and be open to hearing a “No.”
Advice #4: Become a production assistant on any set you can. Getting experience in pre production, production, and post is going to give you a leg up in the industry. The earlier you can do that the better.
Advice #5: Stay in touch with the network you build. Offer to help them with any projects they might have. Check in every 6 months just to see how they’re doing and offer a helping hand. A big part of getting opportunities is developing relationships with people in your industry so that you’re the first person they think of when a new opportunity comes up. Be the solution to their problem and you’ll go far.
Advice #6: Be a good person. People may not remember what you did but they will remember how you make them feel. Opportunity often comes from folks just wanting to work with good people. Be that good human.