How I Ended up Traveling the U.S. getting paid to Draw, Write & Teach: Part 2


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 website...thank you.


Jeremy Shuback

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

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Feature Image via s2art