Today I had the opportunity to speak at the Career Day at Beverly Hills High School, opening up young minds and potentially warping them beyond recognition. But I hope I did an adequate job of laying out the highs and lows of my chosen profession (or at least one of them): “Novelist.”
Sure, I’ve been asked to do career days before, but I’ve just never found the right project for me. At times the date just doesn’t fit with demands of my schedule, particularly when I’m off writing in remote locations. Sometimes, the guidance counselors demand too much creative control, not allowing me to push my boundaries or to grow in the role. And at other times, I just haven’t liked the other names associated with the project. But with this particular Career Day, all the stars aligned and it came together in just the right way.
And, before the event, there was just a great vibe between all the speakers in the green room…or the cafeteria…whatever you want to call it. I mean sometimes you feel the pressure to network with all of the high-powered agents, actors, local TV anchors and veterinarians. People are hopping all over the room to exchange business cards and talk about their latest projects. But with this career day, everyone was really chill. I just let them do their own thing, and they did the same with me.
But, as everyone on the Career Day circuit knows, one of the best things about “The Day” is the gift bag. Some people think the Oscar gift bag is pretty killer, while others prefer the one presenters receive at the Grammies. These people just haven’t done it BHHS style. You obviously get the dopest refrigerator magnets from all of the local real estate moguls. Commemorative Career Day mug? It’s in the bag. Handy BHHS pocket calendar, office supplies company mousepad and complimentary Career Day binder? Check, check and check. And, of course, the customary $26,000 Bvlgari timepiece.
I wa nt to thank my fellow Career Day megastar/interior designer Tara Riceberg for getting me involved in the Career Day "scene", organizer Robert Hayne for inviting me and Mimi Nguyen for hosting my presentation in the student newspaper headquarters (it took me back to the late 80s, when Macs were less ubiquitous but we got it done old school with our chemical type-setting machines). And to all the students: study hard, experience life, and never trust the spell checker.
Until next year.