What I’m Thankful For

Posted: January 31, 2019 in update
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It’s been quite a while since I last posted, but I certainly haven’t been standing still. Things have been full speed ahead, and I am grateful for every moment. I missed posting during the Thanksgiving break, I thought I would still take some time and talk a little about everything I’m thankful for as we move through the beginning of 2019.

As fate would have it, I ended up back in the VFX Department at Stoopid Buddy after my contract in the Puppet Department ended. I had a wonderful time in there though, and managed to stay there through the completion of the Buddy Thunderstruck build. As you may or may not know, depending on if you have read any of my other posts, I originally started in Puppets after attending classes in both stop-motion animation and puppet fabrication at Buddy. That happened to open up an opportunity for me, and is the first thing I am thankful for.

I took a risk on those classes, coming out from the Chicagoland area (and paying for extended stay housing) so I could attend them. I knew that it would be a fantastic learning experience in a real, working animation studio, so I couldn’t pass it up. What I didn’t necessarily expect, though, was for it to turn into a work opportunity. I was already a pretty big fan of Robot Chicken, but I felt like I really connected with the studio and my instructors. So much so, when I got back home, I felt confident enough to make the leap and finally move to the LA area.

That, of course, was another huge risk. I had some savings, but knew I would go through them quickly in the LA area. Fortunately, I was offered my first short gig at Buddy not too long afterwards, which turned into a much longer one almost immediately thereafter. That was the start of my current path and the next thing I am thankful for.

Fast forward a little bit to more recent times. Like I mentioned, I have been working in the VFX department for almost the last 3 years. As my other speciality, I moved there after projects wound down on the Puppets side. I am supremely grateful to the studio and the department heads for allowing this mobility. I am glad they allowed me to prove myself and my abilities, even without knowing a whole lot about me besides what others told them and my work samples. That openness led me to where I am now.

And where am I now? A couple of Emmy certificates (Robot Chicken) and an Annie Award nomination for VFX (SuperMansion S3) later, I am really thankful once again for all the opportunities I’ve been given. The only dark cloud is the fact that I am currently laid off due to a project slowdown, but I know that will change. I know new opportunities will come around, as long as I am open to them.

But I will always remember and be grateful for everything and everyone that helped get me to this point. I did work really hard, yes, but I also recognize the fact that it didn’t all happen in a vacuum. And I’m thankful for that, too.


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