Part 2. A Lucky Break and a Half LieBack in June 2008
My dad called me up. He was calling from Kansas City where he was trying out for a job as a Microsoft Excel Trainer. He’d spent the larger part of the last two months preparing for the interview. While the job was a major pay cut from the six figure salary he was used to, it was something he'd wanted to do for a while.
“So they asked if I knew Photoshop,” he said, “I said no...but my son does. Does that help? Thought you’d appreciate that.”
“Huh,” I said.
“It got a bit of a laugh,” he said.
“No - that could be interesting. I like money. Could you email me who to email?”
“Really? I guess. It sounds like they’re pretty desperate for Photoshop trainers. I mean, if they’re asking me, they must be.”
That night I emailed this letter (I cut out the boring parts):
Dear Ms. ********,
Fred Shuback informed me...blah blah blah...a decade with Photoshop...employed as a digital artist .... After Effects, Maya, Web design and a number of film post software such as Shake, MoKey...I can teach Photoshop...blah blah blah... hotkeys...Photoshop tutorials on my website receiving roughly 10,000 hits a month...if you type Photoshop Crash Course into google, I'm hit #3...my website...thank you.
Six days later, they wrote back with a form letter saying if I flew myself to Kansas City, they’d be happy to audition me. I counter offered with a ‘How about I upload a youtube video of me teaching instead?’
They wrote back, ‘I suppose.’
I didn’t have screen capture software, so I pointed my video camera at my monitor, and uploaded a thirty minute video to youtube. I’ve since removed it because it was too embarrassing, but this sorry excuse for a video was enough to earn me a half hour phone conversation. Apparently I sounded sane, so the next day they booked me on a ticket to Kansas City.
The whole process took two weeks from beginning to end, and while it’s easy to say I got lucky, hearing about it from my dad, the fact is when luck struck, I was ready. That's what made the difference. At least that’s how I justify it in my head.
Tuesday 12/13 – Part 3: Drowning Out in Kansas City