I was sitting on my brother’s couch in Charlotte, North Carolina getting serious about getting paid in April 2007. That’s what started it. Actually, what really started it was someone calling in for a favor, most likely to avoid the blizzard that became one of the greater memories of many years of volunteering for the Velour Winter Battle of the Bands. This would be the December of all Decembers as it would be 2006, the year that Brad Johnson… Yes ladies, THE Brad Johnson as we like to call him around these parts, asked me for my phone number.
He didn’t believe that he was among the first in my life to ever directly ask like that; either that or he was incredibly good at playing dumb. I would believe either scenario. He was in the business of acting after all. And for just a few weeks long enough he was right darn Academy Award winning at the art of acting as if he liked me which reeled me in to what I do best in my life time and time again – get involved with business-relationships.
So there I sat in April, pointing and clicking around the interwebs knowing precisely what I wanted to do with my life with a bit of “get back” attitude involved. Just a matter of hours before I had fired Brad from an independent movie project and left his ass in Los Angeles where I decidedly stuck him with the bill for his previously all expense paid trip to North Carolina to film this real life story / documentary about my then new friend, Gannon Hollywood. I was the screen writer and quite honestly the only one on the project who had spent the last month or more working my butt off for it.
The irony is that through every music video Brad and I did a mock treatment for or filmed together, for every poster I had sped delivered to him on set of a film he was in… For every time I made him look good, he would always come back with, “I can’t believe you do all that you do for free!” At the time he wasn’t referring to just the things I did for him. I was spending nights writing press releases and sending them to every University and major paper in Utah. I was a music journalist pumping out front page reads at the rate of two articles a week. But suddenly, I was bitter.
The kid left me with the worst New Year’s ditch ever – punch to the ego number one. My reaction? I decided I couldn’t stand to stop jet setting. I dropped out of my University and enrolled at University of Phoenix last minute. I started going to school double time and applied for my first career to pay for my school.
Three months later I was ditched in Los Angeles after waiting for a week. I fired him. I flew to North Carolina alone. I took on the idea of not working for free anymore very seriously and started gauging what would be required of me once I graduated from college. While hunting for that future job, I found the College Marketing department at Sony Music. They called me within two days. My first interview was in Charlotte, North Carolina with Jason Hradil. My second interview was in Dallas, Texas with Frank Decicco where I was then hired in May 2007 and officially started on the Sony payroll on July 3, 2007.
Tonight, I didn’t expect to get emotional but as my last year with the college department and having spent so many years with a number of amazing people, the minute my bosses started to talk about how amazing this year has been and how great this department is – I couldn’t help myself. As soon as I could, I found myself grabbing my Director with the same closeness that I would my own brother and giving him a huge, long hug. With all seriousness and tears in both of our eyes I said to him, “I don’t know what I would have done in my life without my Sony family.” I truly mean that. There are so many times, so many trials and so many eras where music has saved me. This job has saved me. This family has been my refuge and my purpose. I have defined my life by it and my very sense of being or confidence. I am so lucky to have had this great trophy and blessing in my life.